US Sailing Honors Leader of Baltimore Sailing Program

The executive director of Baltimore’s Downtown Sailing Center, Lynn Handy has been nationally recognized for her work to make sailing accessible to everyone.

Handy received the Virginia Long Sail Training Service and Support Award from US Sailing. According to the organization, this award “honors individuals who, through their efforts, unselfishly assist and enable a sailing program or sailing instruction in a supportive role but do not necessarily teach themselves.”

Handy has been at the helm of the Downtown Sailing Center since 2013, but she actually first aligned herself with the center 20 years earlier, as a camper in the same program she now leads.

Handy has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Classroom Teaching, and puts it to good use training sailing instructors. The staff she leads brings sailing education to kids and adults from all backgrounds, ethnicities, and ability levels. She makes that mission possible through her efforts in fundraising, developing programs, and managing Center operations. Her work in the organization has allowed more than 1,000 Baltimore-area youth and more than 500 adults with disabilities to experience its renowned sailing programs.

Handy tells Bay Bulletin, “The greatest part of our programming is the opportunity to share the joy of sailing through an ever expanding level inclusiveness. Including our work with the US Sailing REACH program has allowed us to serve hundreds of under-served youth in Baltimore through innovative STEM programs.”

Handy says that the national recognition of her and the Center shows that people are changing the way they think about sailing not just in Baltimore, but across America.

One of Handy’s several award nominations reads, “She understands the importance of making sure sailing education is fun, consistent in approach and methodology, and open and inviting to a large constituent group. She is on the ground floor of making sailing, through education, accessible to all.”