Harken Derm's support in women's sailing.

We at Harken Derm have been very lucky to be part of some great events over the past twelve months. From the historic Queens Cup Race held in Milwaukee, to the 50th Transpacific Yacht Race covering 2,225 nautical miles - each event that Harken Derm has had the privilege to sponsor shares something special in the yachting community.  Throughout this past year, events we have had the honor to support are a little closer to the hearts of those who work at Harken Derm. 


Harken Derm is a women-majority owned company and we take pride in that. Edit our cofounder, Aliz our creative director, and Wendy our head of sales and sponsorship are the main drivers, who are committed to keeping or company constantly moving in the right direction. We have recently had the opportunity to sponsor some key all-women regattas, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Female engagement in the sport of sailing is on the rise, and it is adult women who are key role models here, both in the inshore and offshore arena which increase the number of women sailors in our sport, inspiring participation at every level, from Olympic and Ocean racing to evening and weekend events at local clubs.

At Harken Derm we receive invitations to sponsor regattas and events all over the world, and as we formulate our sponsorship program for the year, it is important that the event aligns with our company philosophy and sponsorship goals. Some key initiatives highlighting women focused events were presented to us this year, and as our belief is that female participation in sailing is vital to the broader success of the sport, we are very fortunate to be in position to support women at three of these events promoting women’s participation in the sport, and they were:

Balboa Yacht Club’s “Hen Rock Cruise” was held recently in California, and is the first of the all-women’s events to be kicked off for us this year.

Next was the Wayzata 2019 Women’s Midwest Championship on the 27th of September in Minnetonka. This event is intended for experienced and competitive female sailors, and for over fifty years, the Wayzata Yacht Club has been a strong proponent of women in sailing. Today, about one-third of their 172 members are active women racers.  The “Women at The Helm” Series originated here in 1987, and is today averaging 28 boats. They have sent numerous teams to the prestigious Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship, and in the past decade, two of their Commodores have been female - and through inviting all women to the 2nd annual Women’s Midwest Championship to be held on the beautiful waters of Lake Minnetonka, they are strong supporters of women in sailing.

And finally, the“Vixen Cruise”that will be held at the San Diego Yacht Club. This will be the first ever all female cruise to Catalina led by their Commodore, Jerelyn Biehl. This philanthropic event will begin with yoga on the beach, followed by a relay regatta and evening entertainment.

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The Hawaii Sailing Foundation was also the recipient of Harken Derm Scholarship, awarding $1,500 to assist Rudy Gordon, Marcy Olivia Lowthian, Caroline Oyster, Adeline Ruiz, and Noelani Velasco. This donation to the Hawaii Sailing Foundation supports five young women as they learn the sport of sailing, master the principals of sportsmanship, and gain greater experience and exposure by traveling to race clinics and regatta on the mainland, which they could not otherwise afford. Supporting this initiative makes a direct impact on the ability and experience of these young women, and with such positive outcomes it is our intention to continue this scholarship moving forwards.

We would also like to give a special thanks to our own Wendy Olsen, skipper and Harken Derm Sales Director, who offered a fun and educational course this summer for Women titled, ‘LADY’S TELL TALES’. Sponsored by Harken Derm, Tell Tales are little strings or thin strips of fabric stuck to the sail that help sailors read the wind. Telling Tales was also the main activity post-lesson, to learn from each other’s experiences, plus keeping ourselves safe on the water with PFD's, crew-overboard drills and to protect our skin from the three elements of sailing - Wind, Water, and Sun - with Harken Derm sunscreen and after-sun.

A key goal of the class was to feel more confident in maneuvering a large sailboat both on and off the dock, to understand the principles of wind, and how wind can help and hinder - or even hurt you.

The team at Harken Derm are deeply grateful to be in a position to assist in the advancing of womens involvement in the sport of sailing, and we look forward to the continued rise of women skippers, crew and commodores across the country and throughout the world. It is a pleasure to highlight and support these events and we wish you all fair winds and fast sailing. YOU GO GIRL! 

Your Harken Derm Family ☺

Photo Credit : Shelly Castellano

Photo Credit : Shelly Castellano

Aliz Savay