Southern California women’s sailing organization relaunches

Published on February 27th, 2015

Dana Point, CA (February 27, 2015) – The Women’s Ocean Racing Sailing Association (WORSA) has recently reorganized and elected a full slate of new officers to serve for 2015 after a 3 year hiatus.

Newly elected officers include Commodore Valerie Rhodes, Vice Commodore Gabi Schwaiger, Treasurer Wayne Wallace, Secretary Brenda Highley, Membership Shannon Harshman, Director Kathleen Brown and Director Bonnie Gibson.

Outgoing Commodore Annette Cook said, “WORSA has been a fixture in the Southern California women’s sailing community for 35 years. I am so happy to see new leadership taking the helm and bringing new energy and ideas to this great organization.” Newly elected Commodore Valerie Rhodes added, ”I am really excited to be a part of resurrecting this great sailing organization for women in Orange County. WORSA provides so many opportunities for growth and adventure for women sailors whether they are novices or already licensed captains.”

WORSA was launched in 1979 as a vehicle for Orange County women to participate more actively in the sport of sailboat racing in Dana Point and Newport Harbors. At the time, there were few opportunities for women to learn to sail or skipper their own boats in PHRF regattas. For the past 35 years, WORSA has provided women sailors an opportunity to sail competitively regardless of yacht club affiliation. WORSA is now recognized as an active, voting member of the Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) and is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Since that time, WORSA’s mission has expanded from supporting women racers to encouraging & training women sailors in all capacities including racers, cruisers, day sailors and novices. WORSA members enjoy a long history of giving back to the local community through charity regattas and other philanthropic efforts.

WORSA membership is open to both women and men.

The public is invited to attend the next general meeting on Tuesday, March 10th at Aventura Sailing Association in Dana Point Harbor. Visit or or email to learn more.


(L-R) Gabi Schwaiger, Valerie Rhodes, Kathleen Brown, Bonnie Gibson, Brenda Highley, Wayne Wallace (not pictured Shannon Harshman)


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