Meet the Team!
Charleston Community Sailing and our Women on the Water program has been granted the “women’s” berth for the 2019 J/24 World Championship. Women on the Water is a program that started at Charleston Community Sailing four years ago. This program is designed to give women of all ages and from all walks of life the opportunity to experience sailing in both a racing and non-racing capacity.
We are honored that we have been selected for this prestigious event and have selected a team that is dedicated in supporting WOW, train leading up to event and compete at a high level. In October of 2019, 80 boats and over 400 sailors from around the world will converge in Miami, Florida for the J/24 World Championship. The team is USA1829 and is comprised of six female sailors from Charleston, SC who are actively involved in participating in and promoting local nonprofit Charleston Community Sailing’s Women on the Water Program. Follow us on Facebook!
From Chicago IL, Gina has always had a quest for adventure and a need to challenge herself. In the early 2000’s she earned her pilots license shortly after moving to Charleston SC where she now resides with her husband. Her desire to learn to sail emerged from her love of boating where she enjoyed watching the college students racing in the harbor from her boat slip. After an early retirement a few years ago, she began taking lessons. She heard about an all women sailing program through Charleston Community Sailing called WOW (Women on the Water). WOW is where she found an amazing group of instructors and mentors and her love of the sport grew. She’s currently an active member of WOW and sails routinely with them. She also crews regularly on the WOW J/24 in the weekly races in the beautiful Charleston Harbor. She’s excited to sail at the J/24 Worlds at a higher level than ever before with a team of exceptionally skilled women in a sport she loves.
Amy Woodard – Helm
From Sheboygan, WI, Amy grew up sailing on the shores of Lake Michigan and began competitively racing in the J/24 and Lightning classes as a teen. She has continued to focus on one design racing in both keelboat and dinghy fleets and is a 3 times J/24 Worlds tactician and 2011 Thistle Women’s National Champion. She has organized and participated in several women’s sailing campaigns over the years for fleet and match racing events. Amy enjoys sailing on her home waters of Charleston Harbor and encouraging other women to get out on the water and race.
An “army brat,” Mary grew up on land and started sailing as an adult in her adopted home of Charleston in 2000. She started racing on PHRF boats with Charleston Ocean Racing Association and continued with a variety of dinghies and one-design keelboats. Mary enjoys offshore racing and deliveries as well as buoy racing. She has competed on several all-female teams and leads Charleston Community Sailing’s Women on the Water development keelboat program. Mary is most at home on the bow or on the tiller. When she’s not sailing, Mary enjoys volunteering in the community, particularly with CCS, and serving in the Coast Guard Reserves, keeping our waterways safe. She loves to mentor newcomers to the sport and is thrilled to be a member of CCS’s Women on the Water J/24 Worlds team.
Katie began sailing in Charleston, SC as a young adult, frequently cruising and racing inshore and offshore on the East Coast. A background in competitive team sports alongside a passion for sailing ignited her love of racing, and you can often find her sailing in Charleston Harbor several days of the week. Katie enjoys harbor and ocean racing, as well as mentoring women new to the sport of sailing through Charleston Community Sailing’s Women on the Water program. While she has sailed boats of various types and sizes, Katie found that her true passion lies in trimming on the J/24.
Margaux began sailing in summer camps in her hometown of Charleston, SC as a kid. She sailed with her high school team, then the college club team she helped re-start at the University of South Carolina. She spent summers teaching as a sailing instructor and racing mainly 420s, lightnings, thistles, and J/24s. Her focus has always been on sharing the sport with as many people as possible, and she has been an active member of Charleston Community Sailing. Her college thesis focused on skills that youth develop through sailing. She has received the Charleston Women’s Award, the Hanvey Trophy, and the Merrythought trophy for her sportsmanship and dedication to sailing in Charleston. She has since moved to Miami for graduate school and is sailing Snipes.
Wendy McKenzie – Mast
Wendy grew up in New York, on the water, and in the shadow of the Manhattan skyline. After college she sought another humid place on the water to live and chose Charleston, where she has lived since the early 90’s. Since then she has pursued a career in healthcare and dedicated her life to raising three amazing boys.
At some point in this whirlwind she discovered sailing and became involved in Women on the Water through Charleston Community Sailing Sailing and fell in love with the sport. For the last four years she has sailed and mentored other sailors and completed her US Sailing Level 1 certification. She sails competitively on the J/24 and Yflyer and finds sailing an opportunity to participate in something competitive and fun, but mostly fun.