For more than thirty-five years Ann Irish Wilderom dedicated her summers to teaching young people about sailing and life. Through her work with Little Traverse Sailors Ann inspired generations of young people to become lifelong sailors — or simply to go out and give it a try. Many of her students have gone on to sail at the very highest levels of the sport, including collegiate all-americans, world champions, and America’s Cup sailors. But even more importantly, there are literally thousands in Harbor Springs and elsewhere who had the good fortune to experience the joy of sailing a small boat in our beautiful harbor — because of Ann.
One of the iconic images of summertime for those of us who were LTS sailors during her long tenure is of Ann leaning over the console of a 17ft Whaler (a boat that LTS still has, by the way), smiling as she explained that no, flying gybes are not recommended. Or Ann speeding up, eyes flashing, to stand by watchfully as a group of wet and cold students righted a capsized boat. Ann idling slowly, blowing whistles to count down to the start of yet another tension-filled Mercury race.
Inspired by these indelible memories, as well as Ann’s leadership, a group of her friends and former students are banding together to dedicate a new coach boat for Little Traverse Sailors. The current LTS Director, Dan Thompson, has identified the ideal coach boat for Harbor Springs: a 17ft Zodiac PRO 550 coach-rigged RIB with a 60hp Yamaha outboard. We will put Ann’s name on the console of boat. The new “Ann Wilderom” is as sleek and modern as the real Ann is ‘old school’ — but we know that with this gift in her honor, future generations of young sailors will continue to have the memory of a beloved coach, teacher, and friend zooming up to ignite a lifelong passion for sailing.
Click here to donate to honor Ann Wilderom’s legacy of service
to young sailors and the Harbor Springs sailing community.
Contact the LTS President, Polk Wagner (President@LittleTraverseSailors.org) with any questions or comments.
Thanks for your support of junior sailing!