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Women Sailors Honed Skills

Fort Pierce Yacht Club

Fort Pierce Yacht Club hosted a racing clinic aimed at women helmspeople this past weekend.  “We were confronted with a shortage of women who felt they had a full skill set to compete in our 2 Women at the Helm annual races” said Diane Korbey, Vice Commodore of Fleet, “so we announced a clinic to refine their skills and to apply them to sailboat racing.  The clinic sold out in 15 minutes.” 

The clinic started in the clubhouse with the basics of sailboat handling: points of sail and turning radius.  Saturday afternoon, July 28 the women boarded two boats and headed off-shore for an afternoon of drills and weather avoidance techniques.  Reconvening on Sunday morning in the clubhouse, they reviewed the drills and discussed starting line tactics and tacking methods. Again, they headed offshore, this time to conduct a two boat 8.6-mile race. Lead instructor Captain Jaye Melanson, who has many years of boat captaining and sailing instruction, “These women knew more than they thought they knew; they just needed practice and confidence building.” said Melanson. 

“The format of the in-class discussions followed by on the water drills was so valuable.  It was the best time ever.”, said Linda Sampson, attendee.  Seven women attended the course and are now ready to practice their skills and to compete in the fall Women’s Cup Trophy Race, to be held on September 29th. 

Fort Pierce Yacht Club races are open to all community boaters with a PHRF rating.  If you are a woman helmsperson or own a boat in need of a woman helmsperson, contact Diane Korbey at for more information. 



Pictured Left: Jayne Melanson

Pictured Right: Janet Woodrow, Stacy Johnson, Linda Sampson, Brenda Thornton and Karen Osborn 


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