Announcing the Women of the Arizona Yacht Club Committee

New Committee to facilitate more events, education, and engagement for women in sailing.

By Catherine Napoli, WAYC Communications Lead
Featured photo: Mike Ferring

How exciting and inspiring was the talk by Dawn Riley at our January meeting? The number of women in racing and sailing is growing all the time. Isn’t it time for the Arizona Yacht Club to have a women’s committee?

In fact, as inspiring as Dawn is, the planning for the Women of the Arizona Yacht Club committee has been in the works for some time. It’s time to let the rest of the members know all about the newest committee! And perhaps encourage some of you to join us.

The Arizona Yacht Club was founded in 1958 by the first sailboat dealer in Arizona, Ruth Beals. A woman sailboat dealer founded a yacht club in the desert. Ponder that for a moment! Sixty-five years later, the Women of the Arizona Yacht Club (WAYC) has taken form.

Fay Powell will chair the committee, whose mission is to encourage more women to take the tiller. The committee will achieve this through events, education, and socialization. Supporting this effort, the committee leadership consists of Jen Lee Moffitt, Vice Chairwoman, Secretary Olivia Jackman, and Communications Lead Catherine Napoli. Here are a few of the initiatives currently in scope for WAYC:

  • WAYC will organize our annual Ruth Beals Cup with the intent of increasing participation and up-scaling the overall event.
  • WAYC will also schedule women’s sailing clinics, providing an environment where women teach women how to sail and fostering more competitive female sailors in our club racing. The first clinic is scheduled for April 1 at TTL – watch for the announcement in the next couple of days.
  • The Committee will coordinate with women of the ASU Sailing Team to ensure future generations of female sailors have a solid, approachable connection to the Arizona Yacht Club.

Watch for additional women sailing content coming to the AYC website soon.

We need help getting started. Do you have a skill set you want to bring to the committee or want to help get this going? To get engaged, call Fay Powell at 480-848-6580 or email

Many hands make the load lighter!

Comments by Bob Naylor: Today is International Women’s Day, and AYC is honored to announce a new Committee focused entirely on Arizona women in sailing. A year after Jen Lee Moffitt became the first woman in our club’s 65-year history to claim the Club Championship, AYC still has much more to do. Only 8% of our Spring Series skippers are women; of those, two-thirds are in just one fleet (Sunfish). I ask every member to fully support this important new Committee. Thank you, Fay Powell, Jen Moffit, Olivia Jackman, and Catherine Napoli, for your leadership and innovation in organizing WAYC.