Global women’s sailing festival

Published on September 30th, 2022

The Southern Hemisphere edition of Steering the Course, World Sailing’s global women’s sailing festival kicked off 10 days of activities September 30, bringing together sailing clubs, class associations and community initiatives to promote the opportunities available to women in the sport.

Events are planned in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, as clubs around the world join in to support sailing locally.

Earlier in the year, the Northern Hemisphere edition saw over 20 MNAs take part in activities over a ten-day period, as well as kickstarting a year-long Women on Water project that has continued through the European summer with events in Germany, Poland, Sweden, and Denmark.

More nations are expected to host events in the coming weeks as countries unite to promote women’s sailing across all classes from dinghies to keelboats and windsurfing to kiteboarding.

“Sailing has taken great strides in promoting equality, diversity and opportunities for all,” said Koray Ezer, Head of International Development at World Sailing. “Steering the Course to date has been hugely successful in encouraging women around the world to find out what is available in their region and try the sport, with so many clubs reporting that participants have returned and become regulars.

“This is great to see and shows the potential of sailing to teach, inspire and be fun for all as we move towards fulfilling our commitment to gender parity and inclusivity in all areas of the sport.”

Cat Duncan, Training and Development Executive at World Sailing, added, “The variety of events being held all over the world as part of Steering the Courses is really encouraging for the future of women’s sailing.

“Each event has shown that there are opportunities at all levels of the sport, from sailing as a hobby to training to compete, coaching, supervising and running youth programs. There is so many options for women in sailing and the success stories we have seen in every region show that the passion is there to really grow the sport.”

Australian Sailing is hosting the second National SheSails Leadership Conference on October 5 featuring SheSails Ambassador Jessica Watson OAM and Australian Olympic sailor Nina Curtis, as well as sharing success stories from clubs around Australia and New Zealand.

Steering the Course – Race Officials Pathways and Development Panel discussion will be held October 5 and streamed live on YouTube. The panel will consist of World Sailing Vice-President Tomasz Chamera, Paris 2024 Principal Race Officer & Chair of Development and Regions Committee Pınar Coşkuner Genç, International Judge Rosemary Collins, International Measurer Dina Kowalyshyn, International Race Officer Elena Papazoglou, EUROSAF Vice President Timo Haß, and International Umpire and Judge Chris Lindsay. The panel will discuss the experiences of the female officials in getting to their roles and the programs available to support the development of officials.

A full calendar of events is available online.

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