'Sisters Under Sail' Founder given Leadership in Women's Sailing Award

by BoatUS 
Tall ship Unicorn - the only all-female crewed tall ship in the world
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Dawn Santamaria
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Dawn Santamaria, founder of the organisation that operates the only all-female crewed tall ship in the world, the 110-Foot, square topsail, gaff-rigged schooner STV Unicorn, has been awarded the 2011 Leadership in Women's Sailing Award at the USA's 10th Women's Sailing Conference. The award is sponsored by BoatUS and the National Women's Sailing Association (NWSA).

Dawn Santamaria is the Founder and Executive Director of Sisters Under Sail, and the ceremony was held this week at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA.

The Leadership In Women's Sailing Award honors an individual with a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women through sailing.

Santamaria founded the non-profit organization Sisters Under Sail in 2005 to build confidence, enhance self-esteem, develop social conscience and teach the value of working together through sail training. The schooner STV Unicorn sails New England and Great Lakes waters.

Sisters under Sail
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Santamaria said, 'We are truly honored and thank BoatUS and the National Women's Sailing Association for the recognition of the work that we are doing with Sisters Under Sail. I personally want to thank my family for providing the inspiration behind the Sisters' mission. After all, it is because of our family's story and our beautiful tall ship that Sisters Under Sail actually 'found' me.'

Santamaria purchased the ship with her husband, Jay, and the couple's four daughters have become intricate parts of the training and business.

'As a family, we are proud that Sisters Under Sail has put aboard nearly 200 women and 400 teenage girls. Nearly half of the teens were able to come aboard Unicorn due to sponsorship dollars,' added Santamaria.

(When Dawn and her husband Jay purchased their tall ship, she witnessed first hand how their four young daughters enjoyed learning how to sail the ship while gaining confidence and leadership skills. She wanted other young girls to have the opportunity to have the same experiences so she developed a program and created the non-profit organization, Sisters Under Sail, in 2005.)