A women’s sailing network recently celebrated 20 years of existence. The motley crew of WSN belonging to Northeast Florida has celebrated such an achievement recently as it has been 20 years since they first devised a purpose statement for their club.
Neena Guidi, fellow sailor Terry Osman from Croatia Bareboat charter and others initially started this organization that was loosely formed to promote racing series for women sailors. Located on St John’s River, it is an organization that helps to educate women on sailing, safety and competitive sailing.
Guidi has been a long time member of the network who is also owner of Keep the Faith and member of Epping Forest Yacht and Country Club. She states that it is a network as there is no secretary or president as is usually related to a club framework. The purpose statement of the network is to help women who might or might not have sailing experience. The aim is to help women to gain experience on how to participate in races that are held in river waters. Guidi and Osman are the original spark plugs of the group. There are others who have later on joined in and helped to strengthen the network, many belonging to other clubs as well.
The network has many supportive male members also, many who have helped to get resources like boats and to assist in training, provide advice and hold workshops. Before WSN was formed there were two competitions that used to be held on the St John’s River. There is a NFCC’s hand at the helm race that WSN holds to act as a fundraiser event. The early days the network focused on racing as well as providing education on sailing. Several yacht clubs in the vicinity help the network to host regattas, once in spring and another in fall.