Latest News

It’s Boat Parade Time

Boogie on down! The annual Marina del Rey boat parade is Saturday, December 9.

Please help us create another award-winning float by signing up to help create decorations and costumes for this year’s float. The theme is “Let’s Dance”, and while our float riding/dancer opportunities have been filled, we still need help putting it all together. No special skills are required, just a willingness to paint, glue, cut, wire tie and have fun with your fellow WSA members and friends.

There are two days and times that help is needed. Please indicate which days you want to participate by emailing Vice Commodore Mary Jo O’Neill at

Saturday, December 2, from 9:00 am till ? – Decorating at Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club

Saturday, December 9, from 9:00 am till ? – Boat decorating at Chekkerrs located at 13505 Bali Way. Gate 1800. Makeup artists needed. If you’d like to help apply makeup to our dancers in the late afternoon, please let Mary Jo know.

Saturday, December 9, after the parade – Tear down decorations and clean up the boat and lift a glass to our victory!

November Meeting Speaker – Charles-Etienne Devanneaux

Our speaker this month will be Charles-Etienne Devanneaux, winner of ASMBYC’s 2016 Sportsman of the Year Award. He is a renowned international sailor and racer who has sailed his entire life and raced ever since his father taught him how to hold a tiller and trim a sheet. As a kid, he began collecting Beneteau brochures as new models were released. He sold his first Beneteau sailboat at the age of 18 and was hooked.

“Charly” loves to optimize his sailboats and talk about sailing and what he’s learned in his many experiences. And there are many: First place in the 2011 Newport-Cabo race and second in that year’s Transpac, sailing a Beneteau First 40; first place in the double-handed division of the 2012 Pacific Cup (San Francisco to Hawaii) aboard a Beneteau First 30; third in his class at the 2012 ARC (Canaries to the Caribbean) and first in the class to finish without using the engine on a Lagoon 400; second in the 2017 Pacific Cup’s North Sails Doublehanded division, sailing most of the race with only GPS and compass, and no auto-pilot.

Charles-Etienne graduated from the Executive Program at UCLA Anderson School in 2009 after many years as an international manager in a leading marine engine company company. In 2009, he founded Naos Yachts and was awarded the Beneteau and Lagoon territories in Southern California.

October Meeting Speakers – Melody Kanschat & Hans Kosten

Junior Staff Commodore Melody Kanschat and WSA member Hans Kosten will be speaking at the WSA’s October General Meeting. Melody skippered Harmony and Hans skippered New Moon in 2016’s Baja HaHa rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. They will be discussing their preparations, provisioning, crew assembly and adventures associated with the HaHa.

September Meeting Speaker – Gina Dartt

Our speaker for September is Gina Dartt. Gina is the Development Manager for Membership and Annual Giving at the Catalina Island Conservancy. Previously, Gina worked at the Los Angeles Zoo for more than 10 years where she built a strong connection and appreciation for conservation of plants and wildlife that she continues to apply to her current role with the Conservancy. She is thrilled to be a dedicated part of the Conservancy team, with a long-standing appreciation for the beauty and ecological diversity that is unique to Catalina Island. Gina grew up sailing to the Island as a child and ran the Catalina Island Marathon as an adult, with many adventures in-between, and many still to come.
The mission of the Catalina Island Conservancy is to be a responsible steward of our lands through a balance of conservation, education, and recreation. Catalina is home to more than 60 plant, animal, and insect species found nowhere else in the world. Come learn about some of these, plus the Catalina Island Fox and a heard of American bison. Find out what it takes to keep these special animals safe, as well as recreation opportunities on the Island.

August Meeting Speaker – Karyn Jones

WSA’s own skipper and Staff Commodore Karyn Jones will be the presenter at the August general meeting. Karyn has been a member of WSA since 1999 and has been racing on the Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design (LEMWOD) WSA sponsored team since 2001. She started on the foredeck, and has been skippering a team of 10 to 14 women since 2010. Karyn will talk about the history of the race and her experiences over these past years representing WSA both as crew and skipper on the Catalina 37s in LBYC’s LEMWOD.

Annual Summer Party @ PMYC

WSA members and a guest are welcome to join WSASMB for our Annual Summer Party and BBQ on Tuesday, July 11 starting at 6:00 p.m. This year’s event will be held at Pacific Mariners Yacht Club at 13915 Panay Way, Marina del Rey.
There will be lots of food fun and festivities including games and prizes.
Please RSVP by Monday, July 10 by emailing

June Meeting Speaker – “Ash”

June’s meeting speaker is our own Elbert “Ash” Ashbaugh. Ash has taught sailing professionally for over 25 years in Europe, the Caribbean, Asia and the South Pacific as well as the United States. He is currently managing the education and school programs for a worldwide sailing education company.
Ash’s presentation will take a fun look at sailing history and what it has meant to “learn to sail.” It will include a quick view of the current international social and economic trends effecting sailing and sailing education. There will also be demonstrations of the latest media/classroom tools, on-line modules and social sailing applications, and the latest integration of education and game theories. Are you playing? Or learning? Or both?

May Meeting Speaker – Margie Woods

Margie Woods will be speaking at our May General Meeting. In 2016, Margie was the only woman on the Single-handed Transpac which she accomplished aboard her Catalina 34 Haunani. She will share about her emotional and physical experience, along with her ten months of preparation and planning prior to the race. Although she had sailed her whole life and was an experienced single-hander, she had no offshore or overnight sailing experience. Her father, who had taught her to sail, had done many crossings, but Margie had not accompanied him, so the Transpac seemed like a great way to finally make the crossing, having the support of the other sailors and race organizers.

Margie is planning to do the race again in 2018 and is recruiting other women to join her with the hope of having a record number of women participate in the race. Afterwards, she plans to make a documentary feature about these women and the woman who came before them, and explore why there aren’t more women taking part in these sailing challenges. She will also share what she has learned about boat prep, maintenance and rigging through the process.

Be sure to join us for what promises to be a fun, informative and challenging presentation.