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Setting out to do what she can do

Published on October 8th, 2020

While the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is renowned from the Newport Bermuda Race and the Bermuda Gold Cup match racing event, there’s another ‘royal’ toward the eastern end of Hamilton Harbour which is stepping forward this year. Story from The Royal Gazette:

Man after man has served as Commodore of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club since it was formed in 1882. This year, Elspeth Weisberg broke that tradition.

It was not her intention when she joined the private Pomander Road club but, having frequently been the only female in the boardroom, it was not an unusual spot for her to be in.

“I didn’t start out to be a pioneer or anything, but [my parents] set expectations that failure, or achieving less than you were capable of, was clearly an undesirable outcome,” said the former reinsurance broker who is now director of business development at Fergus Reinsurance.

“I was only the sixth woman to get a ticket to transact business on the floor of Lloyd’s.

“I didn’t set out to do it. I guess I was brought up with enlightened parents who never threw up obstacles and, certainly growing up here, no one ever told me there were things I couldn’t do.”

Her non-sailing parents, Tom and Sheila Gray, signed her up with Camp Juniper, a summer programme on Agar’s Island; lessons at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club helped her progress.

For her working parents it was a way to “get rid of me for the whole summer”, but she saw it as something more.

“I always loved it,” Ms Weisberg said. She sailed throughout her time at the University of Edinburgh where, on a Bermuda Government scholarship, she studied German and international law which “qualifies you to do basically nothing.” – Full story

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