Creating a better culture for women

Published on April 25th, 2023

The report, Dear Men of the Sailing World, has provoked significant commentary on Facebook and online, with this response coming from the International Governing Committee of the International Etchells Class Association which condemns the reported behavior, stands in support of the author, and issued the following statement:

The International Etchells Class Association leadership is dismayed to learn of the experience of our competitor at and following the 2023 Etchells World Championship awards party and condemns the behavior reported.

This type of conduct is not unique to the Etchells class, sailing, or sport. Women face such behavior in all aspects of their lives. We applaud the courageousness of the author for speaking out. Indeed, these types of actions need to be called out, discussed, and eliminated. This is incumbent on all of us, not just the victims.

We, as a class, remain committed to making the sport accessible to, and enjoyed by, all sailors. Increasing women’s participation is important to us and we do not condone any conduct that makes women feel uncomfortable or objectified in any way.

We will do our part to work with our fleets and sailors to put a stop to such behavior and call on other classes and sailors around the globe to join us.

The author said it best herself:

“If you really cared about increasing women’s participation in sailing, then you would actually respect us. As people. Not just as sailors. And I truly appreciate all the men who do respect us and support us — you are thankfully the majority. To the good guys — please help us put the creeps in their places.”

The International Governing Committee of the Etchells Class is meeting to address this situation and establish processes for creating a better culture of inclusion and accountability going forward.

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