The 2nd Annual Women’s Day at the Vancouver Boat Show – A Total Success!

On Saturday, February 9th, 2019 the Vancouver Boat Show hosted the 2nd Annual Women’s Day.  This year Susan Pickrell, Regional Supervisor Maritime Search and Rescue,  was our keynote speaker and she captivated the audience.  I met Susan years ago on a training exercise with the hovercraft,  I was on a crew with the, then, Coast Guard Auxiliary now RCM-SAR.  It was a horrible, rainy night and she was such a calming force, I have always remembered her.  She started her presentation with the story of finding a 13 metre Taiwanese-built Hans Christian ketch on Ebay and the five years she and her family spent restoring the boat followed by the 16 months spent sailing to New Zealand and back.

But the most inspiring part of her presentation was her work with search and rescue.  Susan put a real face to what, for many boaters, can be an intimidating radio call.  And her encouragement to contact rescue centre before a situation escalates put us all at ease. She explained the process and the information required from Rescue Centre’s point of view and reiterated the importance of situational awareness and taking the “search” out of search and rescue.  Her real world examples resonated with the group.

After the keynote presentation, attendees had the opportunity to select from a number of different presentations.  A big thank you to all of our speakers for volunteering their time.  Jeff Cote (Electrical), Gina de Vere (Landlubber to Life at Sea),  Anne (Laurence) Yeadon-Jones (Dreamspeaker Westcoast Destinations), Joanne Maurice (Electronics), Melissa Curtis (Towing), Tammy Anstett (Building Confidence), Desiree Miller (Boating with Kids), Christie Burdon (Marine Insurance), and Katy Campbell (Yacht Racing).

Helly Hansen provided a motivational video from Sarah Douglas, Member of the Canadian Sailing Team, that started off lunch and the fashion show.  There were a few more presentations in the afternoon followed by a cocktail reception and some amazing prizes.

This event could not have happened without the generous support of Canadian Boat Shows, Boating BC, Pacific Yacht Systems, Milltown Marine, Mercury Marine, Pacific Yachting Magazine, and Navis Marine Insurance.  A big thank you to our coffee sponsors, C-Tow, Cloverdale Paint, and Lions Gate Marina.  As well as a number of generous local businesses who donated prizes and giveaways.

Also, a big shout out to our volunteer organizing committee, Sue Mattice, Desiree Miller, Christie Burdon, Karin Kosarzova and Iva Zima.  And to our volunteers in the blue shirts who had to get up really early on Saturday, Andree Stovell, Jessica Chen, Lauralei Thomas, Jane Matsuchita, and Sarah Unwin.

If you are interested in becoming involved or would like to recommend a topic or speaker, we are already planning for next year!  Visit our Facebook page @womensdayvibs or

See you on the water!

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