WINCHES sailing club encouraging women's interest in the sport

Sailing has predominately been a male-dominated sport, especially in the Tri-Cities where the Wednesday night racing series through the Grand River Sailing Club is nearly a men-only gathering.
Nate Thompson
Jul 26, 2012

But a pair of Grand Haven women in the GRSC, Patti Edwards, the club’s Rear Commodore, and Lisa Schneider, one of the club’s six directors, recently introduced a program to spark interest from women in sailing.

Called the “Winches” sailing program after the hard-working mechanical device on a boat that pulls in, or lets out rope and aides in moving the sail from one side to the other, the club was a six-month course for the beginner sailor. The class’s “final exam” was the Winches Sailing Regatta on Spring Lake on July 14.

The regatta featured 11 women sailing on S-J boats, which were co-owned by the Grand Haven High School Sailing Club. During the six months of instruction, Schneider taught the group of women — which ranged in age from 21 to 67 — on her boat, Dolphin Lady, an X-95 yacht. The class featured newcomers throughout West Michigan, including 5-6 from Grand Rapids who were part of a rowing team.

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