Bayview Yacht Club Will Host The Women On Water (WOW) Clinic and Regatta for the Natalie J. O’Neil Trophy on August 13-15


DETROIT, MI – Some 200 women sailors from around the country will race sailboats in the 7th annual “Women on Water” regatta and clinic, sponsored by the historic Bayview Yacht Club from August 13-15, 2010 in the Detroit River, it was announced today.

“We have intermediate women sailors as well as former Olympic and national champions who come to Detroit for this sailing regatta,” said regatta Co-Chair Lauren Knoles. “Regardless of a woman’s sailing level and experience, this regatta is a wonderful event for sharpening one’s racing sailing skills and having fun. We welcome women sailors and all sailing fans to join us for this public event on the beautiful Detroit River.”

This event (formally known as the BYC Women’s Invitational) began in 2004 as a way to increase women’s participation in sailing and to showcase women as equal competitors in a traditionally male-oriented sport. The event has grown to some 30 boats competing in as many as five classes and attracting participants from around the world. A clinic was added in 2006 to offer sailors of all levels an opportunity to improve their skills.

“The Women On Water Regatta competes with top amateur women’s regattas across the United States,” said Co-Chair Barb Somes. “BYC has hosted women Olympic Champions in the past and this year’s WOW regatta is expected to be a major stop on the world sailing circuit for both leading women sailors and those seeking to be at the top of their game.”

“New this year is the Coach’s Review where racing skippers and their crew are invited to bring their own boat to the clinic for a day of skill building,” said Somes “Working with the team, one of our world-class coaches will develop drills that target any challenges to optimum performance and fix them. This is an awesome opportunity to elevate your team performance to the next level!”

America’s Cup leader and Michigan resident Dawn Riley will conduct the Friday racing clinic along with three other highly successful and experienced women sailors including 2012 Olympic team member and sister, Dana Riley, America’s Cup women’s team leader of America3, Annie Nelson Gardner, and International Umpire and Senior Judge, Debi Schoenherr. Dawn is the first American — man or woman — to sail in three America’s Cups and two Whitbread Round the World races. She is the first woman ever to manage an entire America’s Cup syndicate.

Bayview to host WOW regatta in August 2010

Strength in numbers is the concept as regatta organizers say they desire to provide a more personal level of sailing instruction and coaching with an array of world-class instructors.  Intermediate to advanced sailing instruction in on the water training will be followed by debrief sessions.

The two days of racing will feature five different classes of some 30 sailboats ranging in size from 20 to 44 feet.  Regatta days, Saturday and Sunday, will include U20, One Design, and PHRF fleets. PHRF fleet races Sunday only. All fleets race for the Natalie J. O’Niel Trophy which is awarded to the first place winners of each fleet at the Awards Party Sunday afternoon.

Aboard each boat will be crews numbering from four to six sailors. Typically sailboat races are held on Lake St. Clair  near the Bayview Yacht Club but are often inaccessible for public viewing. Race organizers are planning for several races to be held on the Detroit River in front of Bayview Yacht Club for more accessible viewing to the public. Charge cards are accepted and Bayview has a full kitchen and bar service available.

Information on how to register for the clinic and regatta can be obtained through the Bayview website at or by calling the club at 313-822-1853. The Women On Water event will take women’s racing to the next level and provide incredible competition for women sailors, said Co-Chair Barb Somes.  She added that the winner of the regatta will receive the Natalie J. O’Niel Trophy named for a deceased Bayview member who was active in supporting women in racing sailing. The O’Niel family, along with several other supporters, sponsored the trophy to honor dedicated wife, mother and friend. Her son, Dr. Phil O’Niel, and his crew aboard his Trans-Pac 52 sailboat Natalie J, won overall honors in the 86th Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race held July 17, 2010.

Bayview Yacht Club, recognized as the premier sailing club in Michigan and one of the most storied and historical club’s in the world, has promoted women and junior sailing for several years. Bayview is proud of its racing sailing heritage and is encouraging juniors and women sailors to enter into the sport of sailboat racing.

For more information on the Women on Water Regatta and clinic, please contact Co-Chairs Barb Somes or Lauren Knoles at For more information on Bayview Yacht Club, please visit For media inquiries please contact Bruce Babiarz, BAB Associates, LLC, (248) 890-5030.

Please see attached biographical information on the four clinic coaches. Photos of the coaches and the regatta are available on request.