Though almost surrounded by water, many New Orleanians do not swim, and even fewer can sail a boat. But on Saturday, Sept. 12, the Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association is creating the opportunity for 20 individuals 18 or older to learn the basics of sailing a Flying Scot during a half-day workshop and sailing experience.

“Scots & Yachts” features a dockside orientation, on-the-water instruction in handling a boat or, for the less motivated, just a relaxing boat ride.

A suggested minimum donation of $75 covers the nautical event and a ticket to the 11th annual Pink Ribbon Regatta on Oct. 10, benefiting the Louisiana Breast and Cervical Health Program. Advance registration is required.

A Hot Pink Upgrade with a suggested minimum donation of $100 merits sailing with a notable Flying Scot skipper aboard a yacht, a Pink Ribbon Regatta T-shirt, door prize entry ticket and VIP toast aboard the Pink Ribbon Regatta spectator boat.

“The Scot sailors are extraordinarily generous. Doesn’t matter who you are, they welcome you,” said Debbie Huntsman, regatta chair.

Over the past decade, sailing association has been a top donor to LBCHP, raising more than $100,000 to fund breast and cancer screenings at no cost to uninsured, underinsured and low-income women. Louisiana has the nation’s second-highest breast cancer death rate and fourth-highest cervical cancer rate, according to Nannozi Ssenkoloto, LBCHP program manager.

At last year’s winter meeting, Commodore Margie Offan presented Ssenkoloto a $13,000 check, surpassing the association’s fundraising goal.

“The greatest thing has been the enthusiasm of the women to make this happen,” Ssenkoloto said. “The funds that the Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association donates to the Louisiana Breast and Cervical Health Program help these low-income women get breast and cervical cancer screenings that they otherwise are not able to afford.”

LPWSA consists of women, men and juniors who want to help women learn more about sailing. Member Dottie Daniels had wanted to learn how to sail ever since she vacationed in Cancun, Mexico, in 1978. Sailing in the Caribbean was “too cool,” she said. In the past three years, she’s learned about wind currents, how they affect the sails and how to rig a boat.

“I would like to hang out with LPWSA until I feel comfortable taking a Flying Scot out as a captain,” Daniels said.

“Flying Scot is a great little boat for learning. On a small boat, you learn a lot really fast,” Huntsman said.

Larry Taggart, past president of the Flying Scot Sailing Association, helped the members rebuild a hurricane-damaged sailboat and showed them how to put up the rigging and sail it. Now, the boat, appropriately named Femme Fatale, is taken to Scot events along the Gulf Coast. The association holds monthly educational sessions and sponsors match racing clinics.

Through new relationships, LPWSA has put more sailors on the water as crew members. LPWSA members participate in the 71-nautical mile Gulf Yachting Association Women’s Championship Regatta from New Orleans to Biloxi, Miss., Fleur de Lis Regatta, and Wednesday and Friday twilight races.

For information about LPWSA , Scots & Yachts or Pink Ribbon Regatta, visit or find it on Facebook.