WSA-OC The Whistle
December 2016
Chatting With The Commodore
Valerie Rhodes,   
 WSA-OC Commodore
As I write my final Commodore's article, I am really excited for the future of WSA-OC. We were lucky enough at our November meeting to elect an awesome roster of Flag Officers with Risa Scott serving as our 2017 Commodore and Melanie Green and Karen Pacella serving as Vice Commodore and Rear Commodore respectively. With these dynamic women at the helm, we are in great shape for at least the next three years!

I am also feeling really energized after a recent all day WSA-OC strategy meeting with the incoming board. Our membership is in for another great year with plans on the horizon for Catalina trips, fun programs, community service projects and our very first WSA regatta! If you haven't already joined or renewed. Be sure to do it now!

It has been such an honor to serve as Commodore for the past two years. When I began looking for a women's sailing organization to join in late 2014, I had NO idea it would lead to the rebirth of WORSA into what has evolved into our wonderful WSA-OC organization. Thank you to so many of you who helped walk me thr
ough the early days and stepped up in so many ways along the way to offer advice,
donate your boat, volunteer to lead a
Click image above to play
2016 end-of-year video
meeting and, most of all, be open to new
friendships with  sailing friends in our wonderful community.

Finally, a big thanks to board member Kathleen Brown for the wonderful look back at 2016 she produced for our holiday party. I encourage all of you to take a few minutes to watch and feel proud about all we have accomplished this year! Click on image to play video.

Happy Holidays to all of you!  --  Valerie

Start Off the New Year by Joining Us for our General Meeting

Please join us on January 3rd for our first meeting of the new year as we kick off 2017 with our Officer Installation celebration!  
  • We will be launching our WSA-OC 2017 calendar which is jam-packed with a terrific variety of exciting programs and on the water events.
  • Fun will be shared with a get-to-know your fellow members group activity.
  • Your feedback is very important to us! A brief membership survey will be presented with your chance to win $25 West Marine gift certificate!
Meetings are open to all members, their guests and any member of the public interested in learning more about WSA-OC. Guests may attend up to two meetings as non-members to learn about our group.

Tuesday, January 3rd
6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Happy Half Hour
7:00 - 7:45 p.m. New Business & Announcements
7:45 - 9:00 p.m. Cheers to the New Year 
Aventura Sailing Association (tentative location)
24707 Dana Drive
Dana Point, 92629

Fun & Philanthropy Dominates Holiday Party
Aventura really set the scene for a festive holiday party. 
Photo: Chuck Hutchings
Our 2nd annual WSA-OC Holiday Party was a huge success with big thanks to our  main party planners; Brenda Highley and Risa Scott! Almost 70 members and their
guests attended the party and enjoyed a buffet dinner, no-host bar, steel drum band, fun ice-breaker game and a lively gift exchange. Our party planners even surprised guests with gifts of stemless wine glasses featuring the WSA-OC logo and even arranged for snow showers on the outdoor patio!

Lauras HouseDonation
WSA-OC members displaying a few of the gifts the organization is donating to Laura's House. Photo: Chuck Hutchings
One of the other fun parts of the event was our holiday gift drive benefitting Laura's House, which provides shelter and services for victims of domestic violence. Our members came through BIG TIME with piles of toys, clothing, blankets, slippers and robes to make the holidays a little brighter for the women and children served by Laura's House. WSA-OC members also generously participated in our holiday silent auction which raised over $1,000 with a portion of the proceeds going to our 2017 on-the-water event with Laura's House.
New Board & New Food at the November Meeting
The first order of business at our November was electing the WSA-OC Board of Directors for 2017. As no office had opposition, current Commodore, Valerie Rhodes proposed the membership vote via acclimation. The members in attendance approved the slate with no dissenting votes voiced. The 2017 WSA-OC Board of Directors will be: Commodore, Risa Scott; Vice Commodore, Melanie Green; Rear Commodore, Karen Pacella; Secretary, Brenda Highley; Treasurer, Wayne Wallace; Membership Director, Cheryl Case; Directors, Kathleen Brown and Gabi Schwaiger and Junior Staff Commodore, Valerie Rhodes. 

Don't mess with Chef Rose when she's sharpening her knives ;) Photo: TGallucci
After the business portion of the meeting concluded, Program Director Melanie Green introduced the evening's speaker, chef and sailor, Patricia Rose. During Chef Rose's cooking demonstration,  Cuisine at Sea, we were whisked away to Tahiti as her slideshow from her 2015 trip, during  which she was the onboard chef, played in the background. The Lemongrass Crusted Tuna with Cucumber Salsa and Peanut Sauce dish she prepared for us came about during this trip to Tahiti and the Green Bean, Potato, Tomato and Pesto Salad was inspired for a trip to Catalina. They are simple recipes that are perfect for a boat, as most of her recipes are. She has many more available on her website, which are often accompanied by interesting stories and photos. 
Green Bean, Potato, Tomato and Peanut Sauce salad. Photo: TGallucci

She also gave some kitchen tips and hacks that we can all use:
~ Always sharpen your knife before you start
~ Use a manual food processor on the boat
~ When zesting citrus, use only the color
~ Use a spoon to remove the skin from ginger 
~ When cutting: elbows out, fingers in

The photos and words don't describe the wonderful aromatic experience from the fresh lemongrass and basil being chopped up and the tuna being seared, that those in attendance got to experience. However, the best way to relive the experience or enjoy it for the first time, will be to make the recipes yourself! 
Women's Sailing Convention
In lieu of our February meeting, most of us will be attending the annual Women's Sailing Convention as either presenters or attendees.  Registration for the 2017 Women's Sailing Convention is now open . As in previous years, the event will be held at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Newport Beach on Saturday, February 4, 2017.

This annual event sells out every year and is the largest women's sailing convention on the west coast. Most of the members of the Womens Sailing Convention planning committee are longtime WSA-OC members (and WORSA members previously). Let's show up to support our members and the women's sailing community.

Registration fees include on-the-water and land based instruction, program materials and three wonderful meals!  Sign up early for best course selection.

 OSeas Race Team
CTCT-20161013_103959_0 Women's sailing is getting more and more popular! How exciting it is to see so many women, amazing competitive women on the water?! Yacht clubs are recognizing the intensity and interest increase in all-women race events, by adding categories, classes, and even entire races designed to host women.
As if that weren't enough, WSA-OC member, Terri Manok was instrumental in working with NOSA to create the first ever(!!!) Newport to Ensenada women's non-spinn class! So, now I ask you, who's in? Terri elicited much excitement, when she presented the topic at a recent meeting and immediately FOUR of our members committed to the race. 
It's wonderful to be a part of such a fantastic club where our members are dedicated to the advancement of women's sailing! Thank you to Terri. Now, let's get out there and practice! #SailLikeAGirl  

P.S. Congratulations to the 2016 WSA-OSeas Race Team for a great LEMWOD race. Click here to view some of the beautiful shots taken by Bronnie Daniels or purchase images at

Karen Pacella
Board Member, Race Chair

Ocean Awareness Challenge
One of our biggest accomplishments in 2016 was the development and launch of the Ocean Awareness Challenge event. Over 100 attendees enjoyed a 3-day event last September at beautiful Emerald Bay, Catalina Island. The goals of the event were to raise awareness of the conditions of the ocean and to raise funds to send kids from underserved communities to marine science camp to learn to be world-changers in their own community.

Thanks to the support of so many of you, we blew the doors off of our fundraising goals and will be cutting a check in the next few weeks which will fund 1-2 classrooms full of students to attend the Mountain & Sea Adventure Camp. We will share more information shortly about our donation.

The  overwhelming success of the 2016 OAC event was due to an amazing team of volunteers, donors and supporters and became a more complex event than was originally conceived.  As a result, the OAC will be spun off as its own organization dedicated exclusively to ocean awareness events to allow it to grow and pursue its mission and objectives most effectively.  Contact Susie Campbell  if you wish to be part of the 2017/2018 planning committee for OAC!

Mark Your Calendars Now! Upcoming 2017 WSA-OC Events*
WSA-OC events* have been tentatively planned for all of 2017. More details will be added as planning continues throughout the year. For more information, view our  All Events page on the website where you will be able to read more detail about each event, as well as additional events that aren't listed below. As each event gets closer, more details will be provided via the various WSA-OC online outlets and this space. 
January 3rd ~ ~ General Meeting: Cheers to the New Year 
February 4th ~ ~ Women's Sailing Convention (registration now open)**
February 7th ~ ~ No General Meeting
February 25th ~ ~ Whale of a Social Sail 
March 7th ~ ~ General Meeting - Spring Cleaning/Boat Inspections
April 4th ~ ~ General Meeting - Earth Day/Sail Green and Clean
April 22nd ~ ~ Earth Day on-the-water event
May 2nd ~ ~ General Meeting
June 6th ~ ~ General Meeting
June 24th ~ ~ Summer Sailstice on-the-water event
July 4th ~ ~ No General Meeting - Happy Independence Day!
August 1st ~ ~ General Meeting

*Subject to change
**Affiliate event

Photo of the Month

WSA-OSeas Race Team participating in the 25th annual LEMWOD Regatta on Sunday, October 16th. Everyone's eyes are where they're supposed to be ... up! Photo: Mike Gallucci
Join or Renew Your WSA-OC Membership Today!

Hopefully you didn't miss out on our early bird deals for new and renewing members! If you did, don't worry you can still renew* or join at any time.

If you do not wish to purchase your membership online, you may also mail a check to: 
P.O. Box 937
Dana Point, CA 92629 

*Renewing members MUST have been a member for the  previous year (2016), otherwise you are considered a new member.
Welcome Aboard
WSA-OC continues to grow! Thanks to all of you for being WSA ambassadors.  Welcome to our newest members and thank you to all of you who have renewed for 2017!:
Mary Arellano
Mary Bacon
Russell Brown
Tracey Brown
Cinda Carbone
Karen Campbell
Sandra Ching
Clare Lavino
Nina Lindsey
Carol Lloyd
Marie March
Susan Obermiller
Michele Peters
Kristianne Koch Riddle
Lynn Weiser
Marge Woodard

Happy Sailing!
A Big Thank You!
A big thank you to Aventura Sailing Association for their generous support of WSA-OC for the past two years. We are so grateful for the use of their beautiful facility and special offers they make available to our members.

Please consider Aventura Sailing if you're looking to charter a sailboat, take sailing classes or book a venue for a future event.

Nighttime Social Sail
Popular Event

The Super Moon as it rises above Dana Point on November 12th, 2016. 
 Photo: Susan Carle

Our first foray into a nighttime full moon social sail event was a popular one. Due to its popularity, (29 sailors on five boats!), we will be offering another full moon sail during the second half of 2017. 

Many, many thanks, as always, to our wonderfully generous boat owners; Wayne Wallace, Brenda Highley, Stan & Toni Flores, Lisa Cullinane and Karen Pacella without whom our on-the-water events would not be possible. 
SVI 2016 Recap
The 27th Annual Sail for the Blind & Visually Impaired was held under sunny skies and gentle breezes on October 18th at the American Legion Yacht Club, in Newport Harbor. WSA-OC helped sponsor a very fun day for 153 blind and visually impaired people on 33 sailboats. Click image below to view SVI slideshow.

WSA-OC members, Cheryl Case and Kat Wallace managing the registration table.  Photo:  Leidy Colopy

Again, a BIG thank you to all of our volunteers and boat owners! And a special kudos to Brenda Highley who donated her boat for the day and wasn't even there!

Mark your calendars now, SVI 2017 will be held on Saturday, October 7th.
This & That
Member News

Longtime WORSA/WSA-OC member, Bill McNamara, has joined the Newport Ocean Sailing Association Board of Directors. NOSA is the Organizing Authority for the 125nm Newport to Ensenada Race and other venerable yacht races. Congratulations Bill!


Have you recently received a sailing award or trophy? Did you get a new boat? Do you have a sailing or marine photo? If you said "yes" to any of these questions, let us know. Don't be shy! Email us at: .
Captain Berol's 
Sailing Classes
Training Opportunity

WSA-OC member, Captain Diane Berol, is once again graciously inviting our members to take her sailing classes at no charge aboard her 40' Pacific Seacraft  Celtic Song.   The following is her schedule through December.

14th Anchoring

Requirements for participation: 
  • Text book: Sailing Fundamentals, by Gary Jobson
  • Sailing gloves
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Bring your own lunch
All classes will be held from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

If you want to participate or would like more information, 
RSVP to Diane. Enrollment will be first come, first served.
Quick Links
2016 WSA-OC
Board of Directors

Valerie Rhodes

Vice Commodore
Kathleen Brown

Rear Commodore
Gabi Schwaiger

Wayne Wallace

Brenda Highley

Membership Director
Risa Scott

Director (Racing)
Karen Pacella

Director (Programs)
Melanie Green

Newsletter Editor
Tracy Gallucci

Mission Statement
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 P.O. Box 937 
Dana Point, CA 92629