WSA-OC The Whistle
November 2015
Chatting With The Commodore
Valerie Rhodes, 
 WSA-OC Commodore
At our November general meeting, a prospective member came up to me during the break and asked for more information about the purpose of WSA-OC. I shared that our mission was to support women sailors, help them build skills and confidence on the water, and offer opportunities to sail through networking with other women sailors. 

I struggled a bit to explain what was meant by "networking" during our conversation, but during the Member Announcements part of our meeting, the networking opportunities provided by WSA-OC were immediately evident. One member stood up and volunteered to give interested members lessons aboard her sailboat at no charge. Another member stood up to share information about the Cal 20 fleet available through the Shoreline Yacht Club Foundation. A third member shared information about the not-to-be-missed Women's Sailing Convention coming up early next year. All opportunities to connect with other women sailors, make new friends, build skills and network!

We are already hard at work planning activities for 2016 to connect our members to sailing opportunities both within WSA-OC and beyond. Please follow us on our
Facebook page  to get the latest updates on our on-the-water events and upcoming meetings.
Let's Party!
In lieu of our December general meeting, on December 1st, WSA-OC will be kicking off the Holiday Season island style! We will serve up a fun night of Carribean cuisine, specialty rum drinks, games, live music, silent auction, raffles and more!

There is limited capacity and half our tickets have already been sold. Bring a guest or come alone, but be sure to attend wearing your Island Attire!  Tickets are $35 per person, when you buy online now through November 15th. After the 15th the price will increase to $40. The Holiday party will be held at Aventura Sailing Association.
November Meeting Recap
Building storm clouds, in Dana Point, prior to our monthly meeting.
The November meeting began with a bang, literally, thanks to the thunderstorm. The primary order of business was to elect the Board of Directors for the 2016 calendar year. Since all of the positions were uncontested, Commodore Valerie Rhodes proposed that the membership vote via acclamation.
The following members were voted in unanimously as the 2016 WSA-OC Board of Directors: 
Commodore, Valerie Rhodes; Vice Commodore, Kathleen Brown; Rear Commodore Gabi Schwaiger; Treasurer, Wayne Wallace; Secretary, Brenda Highley; Membership Director, Shannon Harshman; Director (Racing) Karen Pacella; and Director (Programs) Melanie Green. 
We would like to thank outgoing WSA-OC Director and former WORSA Commodore, Bonnie Gibson for her contribution to the 2015 board as well as her years of hard work and dedication to the women's sailing community. 
Our November meeting sure was an exciting one. It was like we custom-made and planned the weather just to suit our featured speaker, Meteorologist Alex Tardy of NOAA in San Diego. For those of you not in attendance, Alex's presentation topic was about the effects of El Niño in SoCal. We were treated to the musical sounds of an honest-to-goodness thunderstorm and a backdrop of lightening charging through the sky all during Alex's presentation. 
Alex provided a great deal of information about weather in general and specifically about El Niño. The main takeaway is that, while El Niño patterns are not unusual, this El Niño, combined with the mass of unprecedented warm ocean water, is creating a storm system that has never before been seen and is literally off-the-charts for NOAA's weather modeling systems. Interesting stuff indeed!

Photo Credit Susan Carle
The Cal 37s at the start on Sunday, October 18th. Photo credit: Susan Carle.
Our WSA-OC Race Team, the OSeas recently competed in the Linda Elias Memorial Women's One Design (LEMWOD), on October 17th and 18th. It was clear from the first race on the first day, the OSeas were there to be competitors and compete they did! The first day saw winds from 12 - 15 knots. Rails in the water much of the afternoon and lines under heavy load, our ladies proved this team was meant to be there. 

The second day saw light winds. It was the kind of day patience and skill are needed to sail and maneuver. The race committee delayed both the 1st and 2nd starts and cancelled the 3rd race all together. Gybes were difficult, yet the downwind sailing was still strong, only to be outdone by the upwind sailing. 
LEMWOD Shirt & Participation Trophy
The team shirt and participation trophy.

The highly competitive event was complimented by the camaraderie, fun, food, pictures and the wish that the event wouldn't have ended at all. So now the OSeas are on the move: more practices, more races, more fun!

Do you want to become a part of the OSeas race team? Why not think about joining us at some of our practices. Contact Karen Pacella at Stay tuned to our upcoming practice schedule and races. 
Check out more photos of the OSeas from LEMWOD. 
Ship Store Is Open
Thank  you  all for your patience  whilst  we got the Ship Store up and running with WSA-OC logo merchandise. Currently, we are offering women's and men's Polo style shirts, in white and baseball caps in two colors; white and pink and our WSA-OC burgee. 
One size, adjustable
Available sizes: M, L, XL
Additional items will be forthcoming. However, we'd really like to hear what you'd like us to stock. Send your suggestions to
Racing 101: Training Regatta Recap
Our Racing 101:Training Regatta was the bookend to our September meeting, which featured local racer and boat owner, the late Sue Senescu who talked about how to break into the world of racing. This on-the-water follow up was designed to give the non-racing or inexperienced sailors the opportunity to experience an actual regatta in a casual environment.   
(L-R) Event organizer Wayne Wallace, Laura McCaleb, Penny King, Skipper Rich Bennett Autumn Moon and Lisa Cullinane.
The 14 participants and three boat owner/ skippers received an official "Notice of Event" and official "Sailing Instructions." Everyone was required to participate in the pre-race skippers meeting where the "rules of the road" were explained, the course described, boat assignments determined and lunch served. 
After all of the built-up excitement of the pre-race meeting, the participants were greeted by endless blue skies, flat water and NO WIND.
Event organizer Wayne Wallace isn't too happy about his knotmeter reading
However, that didn't stop the regatta from 
proceeding or dampen anyone's enthusiasm. Instead of the two to three planned races they were able to complete one. 
Our training regatta had it all, a race committee boat, start line, specified race course and finish line. Afterwards, the participants gathered for a post-race debrief and trophy presentation. The regatta results: 1st Place Rich Bennett, Autumn Moon, "Tenacity To Finish" award went to Susie Campbell, Campbell's Sloop and an Honorable
Beer Can mention was given to Wayne Wallace, Wind Dancer. 
All of the activities were designed to simulate a traditional regatta so participants would end the day with the confidence and skills to participate in an actual sailing regatta. Due to the success and positive feedback of the Racing 101:Training Regatta  we plan to repeat this event sometime in 2016.  Additional event photos can be found here.

Upcoming WSA-OC Events
WSA-OC has several events* planned through the end of 2015 and early 2016. Of course you can always look at our online Calendar of Events. As each event gets closer more details will be provided via the various WSA-OC online outlets. 
November 26th ~ ~ Happy Thanksgiving
December 1st ~ ~ Holiday Party at Aventura
January 5th ~ ~ General Meeting
February 1st ~ ~ General Meeting (tentative)
February 6th ~ ~ Women's Sailing Convention

*Subject to change

Fun & Philanthropy
The OSeas Race Director, Karen Pacella, is giving the team a break during the Holiday Season. However, the team will have monthly practices on the Catalina 37s beginning in January 2016. Karen plans to have the OSeas participate in the Mayor's Cup in April and Long Beach Race Week, June 24-26, on the Cat 37s. At the moment, the team is on the wait list for LBRW, but this can change. If you are interested in joining the team contact  Karen at

The Ocean Awareness Challenge - a WSA-OC philanthropic endeavor - planning committee is moving forward and making arrangements for the September 2016 inaugural event. However, there is much to be done. Committees and sub-committees have been formed, but more assistance is needed. Come join the OAC team and help to heal the "Blue Heart of the Earth!" For more information or to volunteer email 

Photo of the Month
Photo Credit Susan Carle
The WSA-OC race team, the OSeas, flying the kelly green spinnaker aboard Catalina 37 boat #3.
Photo credit, Susan Carle.

2016 Membership
Renew or Join
You can now renew your WSA-OC membership or join WSA-OC for 2016. The pricing tiers are as follows:

Early Bird Special ~ $50.00!!! 
Existing members can renew for 2016 for only $50 if paid by December 1, 2015

$60.00 - Existing members who renew after the December 1st deadline.

Special Offer!

Holiday Gift Giving Idea
For Your Favorite Sailor

Aventura Sailing Association  
will waive their $575 initial membership fee for WSA-OC sailors who pass a sailing test and will discount monthly dues to only $50 a month. Aventura offers classes for all level of sailors from novice to advanced.
This offer is only good through the end of the year so act now to charter a boat in time for the annual Christmas Boat Parade! 
Save Harbor Park
Your Help Is Needed

There is significant community concern about the future existence of one of Dana Point Harbor's most well known and utilized landmarks, Orange County Sailing and Events Center.
OCSEC is a community center that is home to various non-profit and low-profit organizations that provide recreational and educational opportunities to the community. The Orange County Dana Point Harbor Office  (OCDPH) has issued a request to privatize this location by bringing in a private company to take over management of this area.
Most of us are familiar with the popular programs run in the Harbor Park area including Sea Scouts, Westwind Sailing, Dana Point Outriggers or one of the many other organizations that serve the community at OCSEC. To learn more about the efforts to "Save Harbor Park" you can go to their Facebook page or sign the petition.
Sail On
WSA-OC would like to offer our condolences to the families of the Margie Oldfield, Sue Senescu and John Keith. All were an integral part of growing the sport of women's sailboat racing and mentors to many WSA-OC members. They will be greatly missed by all who knew them.
In The News
In case you missed it, the Orange County Register ran a piece about WSA-OC in their Sunday Sports Section on 10/25  
WSA-OC Website
Be sure to view our website from time-to-time. Webmaster Kathleen Brown is continually adding new content. 

Ahoy Matey
Do you have some news you'd like to have featured in The Whistle? Don't be shy. Let us know by sending an email to Don't forget to include a photo, they help to tell the story. 

Welcome Aboard
WSA-OC continues to grow, thanks to all of you for being WSA ambassadors. 
Welcome to our newest members:

Jennifer Bopp, Wendy Childs, Lorna Driscoll, Sylvia Stevenson, Jane Thomas and Casey Valk. 

Happy Sailing!

Looking For Adventure?
WSA-OC member, licensed captain and sailing instructor, Diane Berol is preparing for an off shore cruising adventure of a lifetime and is looking to share it with you. She is preparing her boat,  Celtic Song a Pacific Seacraft 40, for an around-the-world trip beginning, most likely, in 2017. 
Celtic Song in the Pacific Northwest.

In order to embark on a trip such as this she requires experienced crew. To ensure she has an experienced crew Diane is offering offshore cruising instruction to any interested sailor, at no charge.

Diane has several training sessions scheduled (participating does not commit you to the around-the-world trip).  You must RSVP to in order to attend a training 
session and receive additional information. Participation will be on a first come first served basis. Bring your own lunch. 

November: 15th and 28th 
December: 5th, 13th and 19th. 
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  
SVI Recap
WSA-OC was pleased to partner with American Legion Yacht Club for the 26th Annual Sail for the Visually Impaired.

Click here to view photo gallery of day's events

Quick Links
Board of Directors
Board of Directors

Valerie Rhodes

Vice Commodore
Gabi Schwaiger

Wayne Wallace

Brenda Highley

Membership Director
Shannon Harshman

Kathleen Brown

Bonnie Gibson
Newsletter Editor
Tracy Gallucci

Mission Statement
Stay Connected

 P.O. Box 937 
Dana Point, CA 92629