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Jun 30, 2008, 11:02 AM

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NEWS From BoatU.S.
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatU.S. News Room at

Press Contact: Scott Croft, 703-461-2864,


ALEXANDRIA, VA, June 30, 2008 -- Underscoring that volunteer race managers are the backbone of competitive sailing, Patricia Harvey Seidenspinner of St. Petersburg, FL, was honored with the annual Leadership in Women's Sailing Award at ceremonies capping the day-long Women's Sailing Conference held earlier this month at Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. Both the award and the conference are sponsored by BoatU.S. and the National Women's Sailing Association (NWSA). The award honors a male or female who has a record of achievement in giving something back to the sport of sailing as well as inspiring and educating women.

"Pat Seidenspinner has such an impressive list of 'firsts' in her sailing resume," said BoatU.S. Assistant Vice President Susan Shingledecker in presenting the award with NWSA President Valli Cook. "She has given an extraordinary amount of her time and expertise to grow the sport and inspire more women and girls to get involved in racing. Beyond the local level, she's also volunteered for national leadership positions to improve race management across the board," added Shingledecker.

Seidenspinner is a native of New York City who grew up in Rochester, NY, and enjoyed a career as a flight attendant with TWA. She and her husband sailed in their time off, but upon retirement to St. Petersburg, Seidenspinner became very active in race management and eventually managed many national and world sailing championships. She is a member of US SAILING's Race Management Committee and is the editor of its Race Management Handbook. She served as Chairman of the Race Administration Committee, and as a member of both the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Among some of her credits in sailing, she was:

1st female Principal Race Officer, Southern Ocean Racing Conference and many other championships at St. Petersburg Yacht Club
1st female appointed as International Race Officer by the International Sailing Federation
1st female Principal Race Officer at an Olympic Games
1st female Commodore of St. Petersburg Yacht Club

With near-perfect weather and a capacity crowd, the 7th annual Women's Sailing Conference filled the Corinthian Yacht Club with an energetic daylong series of hands-on classes and on-the-water clinics. The conference gives women sailors, from novices to experts, an opportunity to network with other women while learning new skills or brushing up on old ones. The conference is one of several women's events sponsored by BoatU.S. (Boat Owners Association of The United States). To find out more visit For BoatU.S. membership information go to or call 800-395-2628.