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Publisher honored for leadership in women’s sailing

Sally Helme, publisher of Bonnier Corp.’s Cruising World and Sailing World magazines, was honored with the 2015 Leadership in Women's Sailing Award.
Sally Helme (second from left) received the 2015 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award at the annual conference of the National Women’s Sailing Association. She is shown with Scottie Robinson, conference co-chairwoman (left); Linda Newland, president of the NWSA; and conference co-chairwoman Joan Thayer.

Sally Helme (second from left) received the 2015 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award at the annual conference of the National Women’s Sailing Association. She is shown with Scottie Robinson, conference co-chairwoman (left); Linda Newland, president of the NWSA; and conference co-chairwoman Joan Thayer. PHOTO CREDIT: Susan Ogan.

Sally Helme, publisher of Bonnier Corp.’s Cruising World and Sailing World magazines, was honored with the 2015 Leadership in Women's Sailing Award.

Presented by the National Women’s Sailing Association and BoatUS, the honor recognizes a person with a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women through sailing.

The award was presented last weekend at the NWSA Annual Conference in Marblehead, Mass.

“Sally is a widely recognized leader in the sailing industry, and she has effectively supported women in all aspects of sailing throughout her life,” NWSA president Linda Newland said in a statement. “She has made a significant impact on the business of sailing and how the roles of women in sailing are viewed. We are pleased to recognize her commitment to women in sailing with this award.”

“As a young woman, Sally sailed for her college team and subsequently began to get more involved, eventually earning seats on several boards and committees that support and promote sailing, particularly for women,” Newland added.

Helme also worked with Offshore Sailing School CEO Doris Colgate to create and sponsor the NWSA’s Take the Helm series of women’s educational and networking events.

“I have always believed that women can have a significant impact on our industry, and it’s been my goal to spread that idea and encourage more efforts to meet the needs of this very important market,” Helme said. “I have also always valued what sailing can bring to our lives — providing a wonderful escape, instilling a sense of confidence and self-reliance and simply offering cherished time on the water with friends and family.”

Helme was the first female publisher in the sailing industry. She advocated for positive depictions of women in the magazines, showing them in leadership roles on boats, on boards, in competitions and in photos and articles to inspire and illustrate the many challenging aspects of sailing.

Helme is a past president of Sail America, the trade association for the U.S. sailing industry. She has served on the boards of Sail Newport and US Sailing, and is a vice president of the Marine Marketers of America.

Helme was also a founding member of International Women in Boating, a marine industry professional-development organization for women.

In 2011 she was honored with the Sail Magazine Industry Leadership Award, and in 2014 she received the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association Anchor Award.

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