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Commodore's Column

by Barbara Morris

On Saturday, November 7, 2020, along with the rest of the world, I woke up to learn the results of the 2020 Presidential election and two sailing related memories immediately sprang to mind. First was the memory of waking up at 5:00 am aboard Harmony, at anchor in a still dark Bahia Santa Maria, about two-thirds of the way through the 2016 Baha Ha Ha rally, to learn the election results via satellite phone. The second thing that came to mind was my conversation with sailing legend Tracy Edwards back in June of this year, about the 30th anniversary of her glass ceiling shattering all women’s team in the 1989-90 Whitbred Around the World Race, and her Foundation which supports girls education worldwide.
The latter of these two memories was punctuated by the sound of the second highest glass ceiling being shattered by the election of a female Vice President. Regardless of how some might feel about her personally or politically, I hope we can all agree that more women in high ranking positions makes for a better, more inclusive and more equitable world. In the words of Tracy Edwards, “We need more women leaders.”
For 35 years, our organization’s mission has been to support women’s sailing, but more than that, it is to help women have the confidence to reach for their goals, to excel in sailing and in turn in life, to have fun and to know they can compete equally in an arena once dominated by men. I know that the awesome men in our club believe in our mission and we are better and stronger for having their support.
The unforeseen events of this year have in so many ways, brought new challenges we never imagined, but they have also opened our eyes and our hearts to the need to strive for a more inclusive, more equitable world, to embrace and celebrate our diversity and truly care about one another.
As Commodore I am thrilled that our small nine member Board of accomplished, dynamic women includes two women of color, and next year that number will grow to three. The more our club reflects the diverse community in which we live, the more we can better accomplish our mission.
Remember to vote in the WSA election, and please join our members meeting on Nov. 10 with our guest speaker Elizabeth Hogan. And please mark your calendar for our final meeting of the year on December 8, where we will have a fun and unique holiday party and will install the 2021 Board.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions, comments or suggestions at I really want to hear from you.

Yours in service,
Excerpt from interview with Tracy Edwards MBE June 2020.
Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Location: Online using ZOOM
Time: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

(5:30 for social time)
  • Click on this link from your computer, tablet, or phone (Meeting ID: 956 7074 0153)
  • Follow the prompts to join with your computer audio or by phone and to turn on your camera. You will be muted when you join the meeting.
  • If it doesn’t work just call 669-900-9128, from your phone and type in 969 5254 5143# when asked for an access code.
  • Another reminder will be emailed between 3:00 & 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday before the meeting.
  • Meetings will be recording and posted on the "members only" page of our website. If you do not want to be on the recording, please turn off your camera in the Zoom meeting.
If you are NEW to Zoom, check out some of their tutorial videos starting with the basic "Joining a Meeting". There are other tutorials on the ZOOM website and YouTube to help you learn more, but you only need to know how to join to start and it's SUPER simple.

November 10, Guest Speaker:
Elizabeth Hogan

Our guest speaker for November 10, is Elizabeth Hogan, co-founder of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative. She will be speaking about her work, the environmental impact on oceans and wildlife from lost and abandoned fishing gear and plastic pollution, and her experience with rescuing wildlife in Alaska. This should be a fascinating presentation so please plan to join us by 6:00 p.m.

Elizabeth Hogan ran the Oceans and Wildlife program of World Animal Protection in the United States for seven years, specializing in marine debris, marine wildlife entanglement, sustainable fisheries, whaling policy, and wildlife in captivity.  To respond to these issues, she co-founded the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, a worldwide coalition dedicated to policies, projects, and scientific research to address ocean-based plastic pollution and mitigate its effects on ocean ecosystems and wildlife.  She was the lead author of the USAID handbook on ocean plastic mitigation, collaborates with plastic manufacturers on waste management and supply chain standards, and has informed policy at the State Department, UN, and FAO. Her work includes analyses of single-use plastic regulations and cap-and-trade programs at state, national, and international levels, as well as the direct links between climate change, plastic pollution, and ocean health.  Elizabeth lives in Washington DC, where she works as a consultant on ocean conservation throughout North and South America.

VOTE NOW! Deadline is Midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 10
There are TWO ways to vote:
1. ONLINE (LOOK FOR THE EMAIL): Vote online before midnight, November 10, 2020.
The E-VOTE link will be sent by email to you from "" at NOON today. Check your SPAM folder if you have not received it by TODAY. You can also download the Election Runner app on your phone and cast your votes through the app.
2. BY MAIL: Mail your marked ballot to:
PO BOX 10034, MARINA DEL REY, CA 90295
(You MUST include your name on the outside of the envelope. Envelopes must be postmarked by 11/10/19 to be counted).
CLICK TO VOTE ONLINE (must have code from email)
You could WIN a $20 Trader Joes gift card!
We need everyone to update their info! So, just login to your account online (or create one if you don't have one). View your profile, review, edit and verify all of your info.

CLICK HERE It's SO simple!
Verify your info by Monday, December 7 to be entered to win one of three gift cards. Winners will be announced at the Dec. 8, Zoom Holiday Party & Board Installation. Gift cards will be mailed, so be sure your physical mailing address is correct.

Meetings, clinics and Dockside Chats which have been recorded are available on the "MEMBERS ONLY" page of our website. You must LOGIN to access the recordings. It can take a few weeks to get recent events posted on the page, so please be patient.

Facebook posters, we love seeing your photos on Facebook, but would also like them for our library. Please put in your contacts and when you post, also email them. Tell us what, when and who the photos of. Horizontal, and group photos are really needed.

They're here!
WSA Neck Gaiters are HERE!
Just $10. Get 'em while they're hot!
This versatile, all-weather piece can be worn as a mask, scarf, bandana or headband and more! Soft, lightweight hem-less polyester material featuring a WSA logo and burgee design that matches our scarves. ORDER ONLINE TODAY! Only $10 including shipping. Supplies are limited.

You can also purchase one of our sheer scarves online for just $23. This beautiful sheer polyester scarf is soft to the touch and measures 23″ x 74″. Features WSASMB logos and burgees on a blue, water inspired background.
Disclaimer: These neck gaiters are not a replacement for medical grade face masks or personal protective equipment. Please remember that use of face masks is not intended to replace other recommended measures to stop the community spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, washing your hands and refraining from touching your face.  Follow the latest advice of the CDC and your own health care professionals as to how best to keep yourself safe.
Please help support the food and drink service at Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club. They are open with limited seating and have food-to-go.
Call for reservations and hours.
(310) 801-9770
or email
A Commitment to Inclusion
We are at an unprecedented time of struggling with a global pandemic and global demonstrations for racial equality.  At a recent WSA board meeting, the board discussed the current events of changes in policing, racial relations and diversity. Six months ago we would have said WSA has made strides in attracting people of color to our organization, in fact, we would have taken pride in the fact that the number of our members of color has grown over the past five years.  Today we realize that that is not enough. Sailing is conventionally a majority white sport, often due to privilege, access to the water and a tradition of families with generations of sailors. As we all learn about and become aware of the microaggressions that are experienced by people of color, we as an organization need to examine our own behaviors and biases. How do we ensure that our members of color feel welcome and included? Having representation on our board is a start, but we need to do more. It is disheartening to hear incidents of comments made to our members of color, microaggressions that question their involvement in sailing. WSA needs to be a club where everyone is welcome regardless of background or race. We need to seek ways to bring diversity to our club and offer time on the water to people who might not otherwise be exposed to sailing. We welcome your comments and suggestions to help us move toward being a more inclusive organization.

The board believes that 2020 will be a year of great positive change for our world and we stand together to make positive change and a commitment to inclusion for WSA.
WSA – on the water since 1985!
To promote and support women’s sailing based on the following principles:
• To provide educational opportunities
• To provide information on gaining access to races, cruises and other Santa Monica Bay activities
• To support established sailing programs for women
• To enhance networking opportunities
Copyright © 2020 Women's Sailing Association of Santa Monica Bay, All rights reserved.

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