Women’s sailing in Southern Hemisphere

Published on November 9th, 2021

World Sailing’s global women’s sailing festival, Steering the Course, was inaugurated in 2021 to activate countries, classes, and sailing clubs across the world to hold special events aimed at introducing more women and girls to sailing and providing information on different pathways available in the sport.

Following the Northern Hemisphere event on May 21-30, women’s sailing in the Southern Hemisphere got its turn on October 1-10 when nine nations hosted sailing sessions, online conferences, and released video series to inspire women and girls to take up the sport.

Events took place in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Greece, New Zealand, South Africa, St Kitts and Nevis, and Uruguay, with sailing sessions across a wide range of levels and classes – from dinghies to keelboats, to windsurfing and kiteboarding – and across a vast range of roles.

Supported by the IOC Development Fund, Steering the Course aims to introduce women and girls across the globe to the sport of sailing, as well as encourage alternative pathways for those already within the sport, such as coaching or officiating.

“Growing female participation is a major focus for World Sailing, and Steering the Course is proving there is a clear international appetite for sailing amongst women and girls,” said Rob Holden, World Sailing Training Delivery Manager.

“This has been an amazing first year for Steering the Course – in May we had events running across Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and USA for the Northern Hemisphere edition.”

Steering the Course Southern Hemisphere highlights:

• The inaugural National SheSails Leadership Conference held by Australian Sailing to empower women and girls to reach their sailing potential attracted over 200 guests.

• On the dual-island nation of St Kitts and Nevis, the Minister for Health and Gender Affairs joined 40 women in sailing taster sessions and expressed her determination to continue partnering with World Sailing to support women and girls in sailing.

• South African Sailing released a video series highlighting prominent sailing role models – including Lungelo Myeza, recently selected as Commodore of KZN Yacht Club.

• The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron was joined by current New Zealand Women’s Match Racing Champion Samantha Norman and Olympic coach Sara Winther as part of a busy Steering the Course schedule (click here).

• World Sailing hosted its second Leading Women in Sailing Panel discussion with speakers across officiating, coaching, administration, and sailors, to share their journeys (click here).

• Steering the Course eSailing Offshore Challenge attracted a total of 28,373 players with Pascale Grobéty of Switzerland the first female sailor to cross the finish line.

• World Sailing released four global video stories as a blueprint for creating more opportunities for women in sailing (click here).

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