MWSC logo
5th Annual --- May 16th, 2015  
2015 Registration Form and Brochure will be posted here as soon as available.  


2015 Conference is

coming soon!

A new list of classes will be posted!!

Some new, some favorites.

Email us now to get on the Advance Notice List for 2015! Click Here

Start planning now for the 5th Annual MWSC in 2015 !

The 5th Midwest Women's Sailing Conference will be

May 16th 2015

One Day Only !!

Attendence and class selection will be

First Come / First Choice

Strictly Sail will be amazing !

We will fill up quickly, so as soon as the registration is available, we recommend that you sign up ASAP to assure your spot and to get your choice of all of the classes.

Our New Schedule of classes and updates will be posted as soon as available for viewing. The old 2014 registration form is still available for viewing, to give you ideas of what classes may be coming.

Each year, we grow and offer more opportunities. Many new classes and some old favorites return. Katie Pettibone will open the conference this year with a introductory "class" and presentation for everyone, before we go into the smaller individual classes. We are offering a longer reception in the evening, to get better acquainted and make even more new friends. This has been a very popular part of the event, with a chance to meet so many of the other women with our shared passion.

It was wonderful introducing ourselves to so many women at the Strictly Sail Show last year and we enjoy seeing so many of you there every year.

There will be info on all of the new classes and instructors on those pages! More class details will come, and if you have any questions, please just email us.

We are making special arrangements with a Downtown Milwaukee hotel, close to the Conference, with a group rate for attendees. All of the details will be on the "2015 Host Hotel" page linked in the left hand column.

We are archiving the 2012, 2013 and 2014 info for now, to give new students an idea of what happened in previous conferences, and what they can look forward to this year.

We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, run totally by volunteers and instructors who donate their time and energy for the love of the sport. We do this to support women sailors ...... and the sport of sailing safely.



A Few of the Many Things that I Learned at MWSC ...

by Eliz Greene
(and why I was the first person to sign up for 2012)

Spring Lines Are Your Friends
and other tips .....
Last May I joined more than 100 other women at the First Annual Midwest Women’s Sailing Conference. The day-long conference featured 24 different classes from dock line handling and spinnaker setting to diesel engine maintenance and safety at sea. From salty racers with years of experience to novices who may have once thought sailing is really more “his thing,” all were welcomed and appreciated at the conference. There was something for everyone. The 2011 sailing season was a particularly rewarding one for me, in large part because of the lessons I learned at the conference. Here are a few of my top takeaways:

Spring Lines Are Your Friends:

Jan Guthrie and Phyllis McDonald rose to the challenge of teaching a dock line handling course inside! Their trick of backing onto a spring line running from the stern cleat of the boat to a wrap around a dock cleat at the beam, then back to the boat, made us look like rockstars as we left the fuel dock all season long! We also now have a carefully measured “stopping line” for our boat. A spring line attached to our midship cleat is always ready to be tossed over a cleat on the dock as we approach. It works like a charm! Once the line is attached, the boat can be controlled with a small amount of forward throttle to sit alongside the dock as you secure the rest of the lines. No jumping - no danger. Brilliant.

Dress For The Weather:

There is no shame in packing the extra jacket. “Dress for the weather” advised the confirmation email from the 2011 Midwest Women’s Sailing Conference. These were perhaps the four most important words to the success of the event! Certainly none of my 98 fellow attendees or the more than 40 instructors and volunteers could have predicted 40 knot gusts and rain falling sideways in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - on May 14th! Having foul weather gear easily accessible on our boat allowed us more confidence in less than perfect conditions. The foulie overalls with the drop-seat are a must have!

Check the Batteries First:

In our Diesel Engine Maintenance class, Phyllis McDonald counseled that when you lose power, check your batteries first. Great advice I wish I’d remembered a little sooner when our instruments started flickering on and off this summer. We checked the connections in the pod, behind the main panel, and were about to go “zebra hunting” (as in the saying, “when you hear hooves behind you, your first guess shouldn’t be zebras”) when all the electronics - and all the electrical power - zapped out after a tack to starboard. Hmmm.... could it be? Yes, indeed. A loose connection at the battery. Problem solved with a quick turn of the wrench. Again, a good lesson to remember sooner rather than later!

Register Early:

I can’t wait for this year’s conference. Space is limited to just 100 women, so my registration went in when the first email arrived. It promises to be another information-packed day featuring more individual classes and keynote speaker Nancy Erley, who has circumnavigated twice - with all female crews! It will be a great day - of course we are all hoping for better weather so we can put some of this great instruction to use on the water!


Eliz Greene, her husband Clay, their 11-year-old twin daughters and their two corgi dogs are planning a three-week cruise of Lake Michigan this summer aboard their 1989 Catalina 34

Sign up on the website for email updates and the chance to be the first to register next year (yes, we are already planning. . Don’t get stuck on our waiting list, be one of the first to find out the details.


Thanks to all our great sponsors: West Marine,Pugh Marina, Forespar, North Sails, Harken, US Sailing, North U., SailTime, Jan Guthrie Yacht Brokerage, Nielsen Sails, and many others etc. (Sponsors page is HERE)). We could not have done it without them.

Classes and meals are included in the $135 Fee.  Attendance is limited to approximately 80, 18 years of age and older.

For further information contact

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (414) 530-6528 and talk to one of our volunteers.




2015 speakerThe 2015 Speaker will be .....

Katie Pettibone!
Katie's full bio and more pictures are on our instructors page!
Katie sailing


The 2014 Featured Speaker was .....

Pam Wall !

Pam's website and story ....... here

Pam at the helm


Our 2013 Featured Speaker was

Betsy Alison

Full Bio here ..

Betsy Alison

Betsy is the only female sailor currently represented in the National Sailing Hall of Fame having been inducted in the 2011 inaugural class. She is a 5 time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year,

Group photo

Women from all over the Midwest, the US and even from Europe came together for a day of learning and camraderie.


Spinnaker class

On the boat, at the dock .... spinnaker class shows all of nuances of flying and dousing.

Taught by a female sailmaker, and experienced racer.