People that make a difference
Published on May 30th, 2022
Without volunteers, the sport of competitive sailing would collapse, and given the heightened training now to deliver good events, helping has never been harder. Thankfully there are people as committed to contributing as there are people focused on competing. Here’s one of them:
Edith Collins is one of those people who is the first to jump in and help where needed. For all she does for the sailing world she was honored as the recipient of the H. Willard Davis Service Award from the South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association (SAYRA) this past winter.
In January of 1986, this award was established and dedicated it to Dr. H. Willard Davis to honor individuals who make significant and outstanding contributions in service to the SAYRA and their fellow yachtsmen. Edith, humble as ever, said, “needless to say I have no idea why I got it.”
Edith did not sail much as a kid, other than spending time cruising with her uncle, an active racer, aboard his Pearson Trident during summer vacations to her grandparent’s house on Perdido Bay in Alabama.
However, she has been actively sailing and racing ever since her first date in 1982 with her husband Jim racing on his Cal 2-27 out of University Yacht Club on Lake Lanier, GA. She continued to crew on his boat after that, and a couple years later purchased her own Santana 20. She and Jim raced her out of Lake Lanier Sailing Club for many years, eventually adding a third boat to the fleet. They still sail out of University Yacht Club today.
Her love of race officiating began while working race committee at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. She was introduced to Means Davis, a long time Regional, National, and International US Sailing Race Official.
Edith says that she was blessed that he took her under his wing encouraging her to start judging and continuing to challenge her to become the best Judge she could possibly be. She was initially certified as a Judge by US Sailing in 2001 and became a National Judge in 2010.
She tries to follow in Means Davis’ example by mentoring new judges. Through the years, Edith has traveled throughout region teaching basic rules, race management, and judge seminars, all while making lifelong friends.
Source: US Sailing/Judie McCann, Race Administration Coordinator