Female sailors take the helm in the LEMWOD Challenge

The all-women races take place Oct. 14 and 15 in Long Beach.

LONG BEACH ― The Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design Challenge, otherwise known as LEMWOD, returns to Long Beach with two days of women racing Catalina 37s, Oct. 14-15.

The all-women’s regatta not only brings awareness for women’s success in sailing but also raises scholarship funds to benefit those who aspire to be better sailors.

Long Beach Yacht Club organizes the event along with Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association (LB/LA WSA).

LB/LA WSA started this event 26 years ago as a way to encourage women to compete in sailing. Women’s One Design Challenge was the original name.

Linda Elias Memorial was added to the name to honor a member of Long Beach’s Women’s Sailing Association who died from cancer in 2003. Linda Elias battled ovarian cancer for nine years. She and her crew won the Women’s One Design Challenge three times and participated in the Transpac race four different years. Elias also received the Peggy Slater “Yachtswoman of the Year Award.”

A $1,000 Linda Elias Sailing Scholarship will be awarded to this year’s LEMWOD winner.

The skippers chartering the sailboats in the race are required to be members of the Southern California Yachting Association or equivalent. Each boat is also required to have a minimum crew of seven women.

The race fee is $250 for early registration by Sept. 9. The fee to register after Sept. 9 is $300.

A pre-race practice and dock party sponsored by LB/LA WSA take place on Oct. 13. The competition starts on Oct. 14 with four races followed by a pool party and silent auction. Sailing teams will compete in four more races on Oct. 15 with a trophy presentation immediately following the final race.

Spectators can view the races from the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier starting at noon on both Oct. 14 and 15. The courses will be inside the Long Beach Breakwater.

Long Beach YC is located at 6201 Appian Way in Long Beach. More information is available on the yacht club’s website at or at

Rick Roberts photo

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