Luffing Lassies sail the seas of camaraderie

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Posted: Friday, August 22, 2014 3:00 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Every week a group of female sailors race across Sarasota Bay in tiny sail boats. They're called the Luffing Lassies....an amazing group of women.

The lassies have been sailing Sarasota waters since 1972.

Lorrie Kaighin is the daughter-in-law of founder Lilly Kaighin. “We are the leading force of women...inspire women sailors throughout our state."

"The purpose of the Luffing Lassies is to teach and empower women, to be their own captain, to be the captain of their own ship…learn how to sail. It's all about camaraderie, friendship, and just having a great time on the water," says Capt. Penny Durham.

The women are from different backgrounds. "The women of the Luffing Lassies are very diverse, all ages and different professions…we have doctors, nurses, real estate agents, business owners."

That's what attracted Danielle Grit. "I thought I needed a new group of people outside the school, the playground, just something for me."

Women who'd like to learn to sail are invited to a training course starting August 25. "It's a week full of training, and by the end of the week they're able to go out and sail on their own and come back safely, and actually sail a triangle course."

Boats are provided. "The Luffing Lasses have training boats, pram Sunfish, those are training boats."

And this year they're adding Flying Scots. "That's a cruise boat. It'll be a skipper and two crew, and that will give them additional experience."

The Luffing Lassies race once a week. "We try to emphasis racing, because if you're out there flopping around in the bay, you're not learning any new skills. You just point and go. But the idea of racing you actually adapt skills to get around a course and improve every week."

And they say sailing gives you a feeling like nothing else.

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