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Margaret Pommert honored with 2020 BoatUS/NWSA Leadership in Women's Sailing Award

by Scott Croft 21 May 07:01 PDT
2020 BoatUS/NWSA Leadership in Women's Sailing Award honoree Margaret Pommert (left, at helm) with crew competing in the 2016 Pacific Northwest One Design Regatta © Jan Anderson

Margaret Pommert of Seattle, Washington, has been named recipient of the 2020 BoatUS/National Women's Sailing Association (NWSA) Leadership in Women's Sailing Award. The award annually recognizes an individual with a record of achievement in inspiring, educating, and enriching the lives of women through sailing.

"Margaret has been called 'a force of nature' for her enthusiasm and effectiveness in getting more women on the water," said NWSA President Debbie Huntsman. "She encourages women to step up to new responsibilities and to expand their capabilities, confidence, and boating horizons."

Added Huntsman, "Margaret also has developed impressive, forward-thinking mentoring and online learning opportunities for bringing more women sailors forward as certified instructors and licensed mariners. In doing so, she has truly shown exceptional leadership in women's sailing and is most deserving of this award."

A Pacific Northwest native, Pommert is an American Sailing Association and US Sailing certified instructor and holds a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard Master Captain's License. For many years, she taught sailing in California on dinghies, keelboats, catamarans and monohulls, and she now teaches at a variety of locations in the Pacific Northwest as well as online. Pommert also works for the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, teaching new keelboat instructors. One of the nation's largest sailing schools named her 2019 Instructor of the Year.

Beyond instruction, Pommert skippered an all-woman J105 sailing team that twice won a fundraising regatta for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She was on the only all-woman U.S. team at the 2018 J22 International Midwinter Championship Regatta, co-led a flotilla up the Inside Passage to Alaska five times, sailed a Pacific Crossing, and explored many top cruising destinations. She also writes a monthly column for women sailors in Northwest Yachting magazine, created the free boating education website seattleonthewater.com, and serves on The Sailing Foundation's Executive Committee where she is the organization's Offshore Safety at Sea training organizer. Pommert has served as a member of the Washington State Boating Programs Advisory Committee, which provides recommendations on ways to enhance boating safety and evaluates grants on boating access infrastructure.

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