Florida woman given sailing leadership award

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Patricia Harvey Seidenspinner of St. Petersburg, Fla., was recently honored with the annual Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award at ceremonies capping the day-long Women’s Sailing Conference at Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass.

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,” Shingledecker added.

Seidenspinner grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and enjoyed a career as a flight attendant with TWA. She and her husband sailed in their free time, but upon retirement to St. Petersburg, Seidenspinner became active in race management and eventually managed many national and world sailing championships.

She is a member of U.S. 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:
• First female Principal Race Officer, Southern Ocean Racing Conference and many other championships at St. Petersburg Yacht Club
• First female appointed as International Race Officer by the International Sailing Federation
• First female Principal Race Officer at an Olympic Games
• First female Commodore of St. Petersburg Yacht Club

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.

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