Sisterhood and Sailing Celebrated at the 2024 Rainbow Regatta, April 10-11

The Giving Coast

Pictured: Florida Women's Sailing Association (FWSA) members showcase their skills, adventure and decades-long friendships as they celebrate their 50th anniversary with the Rainbow Regatta. Photo by Jennifer Joy Walker.

The Florida Women’s Sailing Association, a nonprofit organization promoting and encouraging the growth of women's sailing groups in the state, is celebrating their 50th anniversary with the Rainbow Regatta. Taking place April 10-11 at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron (SSS), a community sailing club located on City Island near Ken Thompson Park, the event will feature approximately 100 female racers, ages 25-80+ years old from 11 clubs statewide competing for prizes and showcasing their sailing skills. A totally self-supported club, the Rainbow Regatta is one source of fundraising for The Florida Women’s Sailing Association.

Competitors will single-handedly rig and race Sunfish, Pram’s and International Opti dinghy boats on the beautiful waters of Sarasota Bay. Members of the SSS’s Luffing Lassies and the Venice Bitter Ends will host the FWSA Rainbow Regatta with up to six races over two days. 

Linda Tiffan, who has been with the Luffing Lassies for 16 years, is co-chairing the organizing committee for the Rainbow Regatta along with fellow Lassie, Penny Durham. Nearly every Thursday morning, for 51 years, Luffing Lassie members continue the group’s mission of learning to sail, competing and honoring the late Lily Kaighin’s philosophy of motivation, organization, involvement and good sportsmanship.

“This is the 50th anniversary of the FWSA and it's a major celebration of women sailing,” says Tiffan. “It’s also a chance for great camaraderie, socializing and competition amongst the 11 clubs across the state.”

A fun and competitive event, the Rainbow Regatta is open to all sailors of the Florida Women’s Sailing Association with newest members encouraged to come out and sail along with those who are more experienced. “We offer a two-week learn to sail class and learn to race class every fall and so this is the culmination for those who just graduated from the class in the fall to participate on a big time level–you can really see how far they've come in just a few months in terms of their skills,” shares Tiffin. “There are different categories of prizes so our newest sailors are not necessarily competing against our more experienced sailors–they're competing against one another and we give several awards based on experience, based on age and based on the type of boat.”

The event on April 10 starts in the afternoon with the first gun of the first race at 12:55pm and the last gun no later than 3:30pm. On April 11, there will be morning races with the first gun likely at 10am and last gun at 1pm. Racing is always weather dependent with the race committee making the final weather call. Registration for the event ends April 5.

Pictured: Florida Women's Sailing Association (FWSA) members showcase their skills, adventure and decades-long friendships as they celebrate their 50th anniversary with the Rainbow Regatta. Photo by Jennifer Joy Walker.

To register click here.

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