Charlie Arms

Charlie Arms

Position: Secretary

Term: 2021-2024

Hometown: Annapolis, MD

Education: Cottey College, A.A., Cal State Long Beach, B.A., Recreation & Leisure, San Francisco State Univ. M.S. Recreation, Parks & Tourism, magna cum laude

An Interview with Charlie Arms

  1. How can community sailing centers, yacht clubs and other sailing organizations collaborate with each other more on key initiatives to grow sailing? Communication. Be willing to share what is working and figure out why things didn’t work well. Appreciate that there is room in our sport for everyone.
  2. How can these organizations and other sailing industries integrate with their local communities to provide more awareness for prospective new sailors?   Think outside of the traditional program structure. Get creative and provide access.
  3. What can US Sailing do to help facilitate these partnerships? US Sailing can help connect groups. Staff members can work to get to know key principles of the organizations so that they can be a resource.
  4. How has US Sailing’s programs and services impacted your overall sailing experience? I grew up in the Navy Sailing program and in Girl Scouts. My first experience with US Sailing was getting my Red Cross certification when I was 20. Once I became certified and later got my Basic Keelboat and Level 1 Small boat, I realized how important safety is in instruction. I learned about professionalism in the education program. As a racer, participating in the US Sailing championship was a big goal.
  5. Is it important for sailors to be members of US Sailing? As someone who listened to Public Radio for a long time before joining, I appreciate that many sailors don’t understand how important it is for them to join our organization.   Someone else is paying for it so why do I need to?   We could improve their sailing experience if we had a stronger organization through training of race officials, improved educational offerings, administration of the rules through development and appeals, improving access to sailing, and having a successful Olympic team.


Charlie was born in Newport, RI into a Navy family that moved often.  The family moved to San Diego where Charlie learned to sail and began racing. After college Charlie returned to San Diego.  She became an active member of the Women’s Yacht Racing Fleet.  Charlie has worked in the sailing industry as an instructor, charter & delivery captain, rigger and in a sail loft.  She retired at the Director of Sailing for the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, CA after 16 years which included 2 College National Offshore Championships leading to racing in the Student World Yachting Cup.  Settling in Annapolis MD, she works as the Executive Director of the Brendan Sailing Program, building self-confidence in children with Learning Differences through sailing.  She also teaches Instructor Training courses in Keelboat, Powerboat and Small Boat.  Charlie is an International Umpire and enjoys giving back to the sport umpiring, judging and through race management.



  • US Sailing Women’s Double Handed Championship, 1st Place
  • Adam’s Cup, 5th Place
  • Area J Adam’s Cup Qualifier, 1st Place
  • Women’s Match Race Invitational, 1st Place
  • US Sailing Women’s Match Race Championship, 4th Place
  • Umpire team for America’s Cup 35, Women’s Match Race Worlds 2016, World Match Race Tour World Championship 2020, Chief Umpire US Women’s Match Race Championship 2021 & 2015, Chief Umpire US Team Race Championship 2016, Chief Judge for US Sailing Adult Championship 2019


  • Exec Dir, Brendan Sailing
  • Waterfront Director, Annapolis Yacht Club
  • Sailing Director, California Maritime Academy
  • Office Manager, Sobstad Sails, San Diego
  • Rigger, Rigworks, San Diego
  • Assistant Manager, Hosteling International, San Diego
  • Director, Leeway Sailing Center, Long Beach
  • Boating Educator of the Year California, 2011 National Association of State Boating Law Administrators
  • Marty Luray Award, 2007 for outstanding service in public access sailing by US SAILING
  • John N. Rumsey Award 2000 for distinguished service in the national & international sailing community by the San Diego Association of Yacht Clubs
  • Yachtswoman of the Year, 1998 San Diego Association of Yacht Clubs Yachtswoman Excellence Award, 1998 Southern California Yacht Racing Union

Statement from Charlie Arms

As a long-time volunteer on US Sailing several committees from education to race officials, I bring the unique perspective of someone who has served in the trenches within our organization. I have had the privilege to travel the US and internationally for teaching instructor courses, serving as an umpire or judge. This has given me the opportunity to learn from our constituents and from our colleagues in other countries. My hope is to share information and be an advocate for our volunteers in the strategic work of the Board.

Contact Charlie Arms