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Midwest Women's Sailing Conference Featured Workshops: two ways to hold the line

by Midwest Women's Sailing Conference 21 Apr 12:58 PDT May 15, 2021
Midwest Women's Sailing Conference © Midwest Women's Sailing Conference

Don't be left at the dock! The Midwest Women's Sailing Conference will be held on Saturday, May 15, 2021 as a hybrid event -- with options for in-person or virtual attendance.

The full schedule is available here. Don't be left at the dock, get onboard!

Morning workshop option:
Hold the line: Cleats inside and out

Cam, clam, and jam! Which cleat is which and why do you need to know? Ever wondered what is inside your cam cleat? Here's your chance! This example-filled session will cover use, installation, and maintenance of lots of different holding devices. And, when all else slips, a rolling hitch. In-person attendees will have their hands on our Harken and Schaffer gear. Online attendees are encouraged to beg, borrow, or Ebay a cam cleat, and also have at-hand two pieces of line (1/4 and 3/8 diameter) about two feet each, a screwdriver appropriate for your cleat, and a small adjustable wrench.

Phyllis McDonald started sailing in college and, in her first two years, made 9,300 miles of passages. Leaving the Great Lakes, she headed south on the Mississippi, transited the Gulf of Mexico followed by the SORC and Atlantic Seaboard deliveries offshore and on the Intracoastal Waterway. To complete the loop, she traveled the Welland and Erie Barge Canals... just 'cause. Her logged miles and broad experience earned her a USCG license.

Since the 1970s, Phyllis has worked in the marine industry and has extensive experience in boat maintenance. She had been part of MWSC since its inception. After four years as chair, she has returned to the workshops to share her expertise

Afternoon workshop option:
VHF radio: it's not just for mayday

Why so many channels? What are they all for? Why doesn't the hand-held reach the shore station? When is Mayday the right call? When is it not? Do you know what a DSC and an MMSI are? Or how to do a radio check? In this class we'll explore it all! We'll tame the VHF beast by learning how it works and how to get what you need when you need to use it. We'll also do some hands-on practice to get comfortable making calls. Over.

Born into a sailing family, Sarah Pederson's love of the sport started early. While growing up in Kenosha she learned to sail in Penguins and raced a Thistle with her family. She taught for Offshore Sailing School in Florida and Tortola, BVI. When she returned to the Midwest, Sarah taught children and adults in Kenosha and Racine through their yacht clubs.

She's been active in all types of racing from local championships, skippering a Mirage 24, J/24 (all woman crew) and a C&C 30, as well as long distance races such as the Chicago-Mac, Port Huron-Mac, and the HOOK. She is the recent recipient of the US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee: Arthur B Hanson Award (Survivor Liaison).

Full schedule includes:

  • Build Your Confidence on a Boat Whether It's Your First Sail or Your 15th! with Terri Schmidt and Teresa Coronado
  • Double Handed Racing with Whitney Kent
  • Hold the Line: Cleats Inside and Out with Phyllis McDonald
  • Mooring Made Easy(er) with Kristin Pratt
  • Taking the Stress Out of Cruising the Great Lakes with Eliz Greene
  • VHF Radio: It's Not Just for Mayday with Sarah Pederson


  • Boxed lunch and networking for in-person attendees
  • Attendee gift bag for all in-person participants and the first 65 virtual participants to register
  • Flotsam and Jetsam Team Trivia
  • Silent auction

Register Now

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