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About Us

Venice Women’s Sailing Squadron
“The Bitter Ends”

Meeting location is Venice Yacht Club VYBA Pram Shed at 1330 Tarpon Center Drive Venice, Florida 34285

The Venice Women’s Sailing Squadron (VWSS) started in September of 1976.  It was organized by Nancy Herron and began with twelve members. Since that time over 200 women have joined and raced on Roberts Bay in Optimist Prams, International Optimist Dinghies (Optis) and Sunfish. 


The VWSS is a member of the Florida Women’s Sailing Association (FWSA) with the nickname of The Bitter Ends. The FWSA was founded in 1973 and is made up of ten member squadrons. Each squadron has a fun, nautical nickname.  We, the Bitter Ends, are proud to say we’ll stick together until the bitter end!  The FWSA promotes and encourages the growth of women’s sailing up and down the west coast of Florida and gives us the opportunity to race at the other clubs’ venues and to host their clubs here on Roberts Bay. 


In 2019, the VWSS became a Sunfish racing club.  Squadron members own or lease Sunfish that are either stored in the boatyard of the Venice Youth Boating Association (VYBA) or trailered to Higel Marine Park.  On Wednesday mornings from September through May, the Sunfish fleet races on Roberts Bay using various types of race courses set up by a committee boat.  On rainy days or when there is just too much wind, we conduct educational sessions on racing rules, tactics, sail trim, nautical terms and boat handling. Squadron members form lasting friendships, bonding together to celebrate times of joy and sorrow, supporting each other to the “bitter end.”


Club members range in age from the early 50’s to the 90’s.  A full club sailing member can become an Anchor member (non sailing) after racing with the club for two years.  Club membership for the 2020-2021 season is $150/year, Anchor membership is $35/year.  Boat rental and storage fees are determined annually. The club’s primary focus is sailing but social events and summer activities are also offered. Come feel the sea breeze blowing while you challenge the elements and make some lifelong friendships.


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This site page was last updated 07/19/20