Start Sailing Now: Meet Patty and Bill Allman

Tell us, how did you get Into sailing?

As a child, I learned to sail a Sunfish at summer camp, and I have fond memories of it. Then last year, when a friend at the West River Sailing Club (WRSC) invited Bill to the flag raising ceremony, he saw that the club had a learn-to-sail program, so we decided to give each other lessons for our birthdays. 

The classes at WRSC were terrific. We learned on Albacores and Flying Scots, and the people at WRSC were very professional and very nice. We enjoyed the lessons so much that we decided to join the club. The club’s wonderful shared-boat program gave us a chance to test our skills on the water. Our maiden voyage after completing our class was wonderful. It was a beautiful day with good wind. 

Patty, at the tiller, and Bill Allman, front, with their West River SC friend, Terry,

Although most of our sailing has been on dinghies through the WRSC, we do have friends with keelboats who have taken us for a sail on the Chesapeake Bay. Bill’s first race was pretty exciting. He crewed for a WRSC member, and they won a second-place trophy.

The WRSC is close to Washington, DC, (only 40 minutes from our house in Chevy Chase, MD), and it’s fun to get out on the water in the summer. What we love about sailing is that we’re out in nature and powered by nature. It’s an amazing feeling to be transported by the elements in ways that humans have done for thousands of years. We suspected that we’d enjoy that feeling, and now that we’ve done it we love it even more. We have also been delighted to find a warm and welcoming community at WRSC. Between the people and the water, it’s a great escape from big city life. 

We just bought Rhapsody, a Flying Scot, which we keep at WRSC. We are looking forward to spending many weekends on the water, and we’re also hoping to explore the racing scene. It will be a fun challenge and something new to try to master. We’re excited!

If someone were interested in sailing, we’d tell them to go for it! Sailing is a great adventure at any age. And the WRSC is a wonderful place to get your feet wet, so to speak.

by Patty Allman