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Women in sailing at Steering the Course

Published on May 19th, 2023

World Sailing kicked off the third edition of its global women’s sailing festival, Steering the Course, with clubs around the world showing the full range of opportunities for women in the sport.

Female-focused sessions and taster courses will be held in 2023 on May 19-28 including Antigua, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malta, South Africa, and St Vincent and the Grenadines, and many more.

The first event to take place will be the She Sails Friday Fun Race at Townsville Sailing Club in Queensland, Australia. This is followed by week-long women’s sailing events, including the Leo Wealth Steering the Course regatta in Hong Kong and Vincy Girls Rock De Boat on the island of St Vincent.

Yachting Malta Race Week gets underway on May 23 at the Royal Malta Yacht Club, and the Japanese Sailing Federation is hosting an Inclusive Sailing Event in Enoshima Harbour – venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing event – where participants will been encouraged to try sailing a Hansa.

The Japanese Sailing Federation is also hosting an eSailing event on May 25 to introduce women to experience and interact with eSailing.

Fir more information about all planned events, click here.

This year’s Steering the Course is also highlighting the pathways available to women in sailing with its series ‘Steering My Course’. Featuring Anne Charlotte Thomsen, Hannah Stodel, Zineb Hariss, Betsy Alison, Julia Castro, and Pia Lord, the series delves into their early careers, motivations and their achievements – all in their own words.

World Sailing is also funding a range of training courses for women in sailing, helping experienced sailors and those entering the sport to gain qualifications as coaches, sailing instructors, and race officials.

The first all-female Coaches Course took place earlier this year in Brazil where 15 female coaches from across the country met in Rio de Janeiro shared their experiences and learned from each other as they took the next steps in their careers on the water.

“This year’s Steering the Course showcases the depth of opportunity within the sport for women,” reports Catherine Duncan, Training & Development Executive. “There are several incredible events taking place all around the world to encourage women of all ages and levels of experience to find out more about sailing, try a new hobby or discover a new career on or off the water.

“While there is work to do to make our sport more inclusive, there are many fantastic female role models throughout the sport, and with more training clinics and resources available we aim to help sailors share their experiences in order to inspire the next generation.”

Koray Ezer, Head of International Development, added, “Sailing is a sport for all, and with the pathways on show this week we look forward to growing the sport in sailing communities around the world. The events planned highlight the possibilities for women in sailing. Diverse training clinics will allow talented and enthusiastic sailing coaches gain the qualifications required to take the next step in their careers and help more sailors reach their potential.

“Meanwhile, the taster sessions and female-led regattas offer a route into sailing in a fun and supportive environment. There are many more activities planned throughout the year, in many different countries, and we hope that this year’s Steering the Course will be the largest and most comprehensive to date.”

The next edition of Steering the Course will be held September 29-October 8, 2023.

To get involved during these weeks or at any time throughout the year, contact training@sailing.orginformation.

Two new eSailing challenges have been launched exclusively for this year’s Steering the Course. Starting on May 21 and running through May 24, female eSailors will be able to battle it out in Sydney Harbour using the J70. The second event will take place from July 21-24 in Cowes, UK, where the top five will also qualify for the Steering the Course Final.

The winner of the Steering the Course Final will qualify for the in-person eSailing World Championship Grand Final taking place in October 2023, while all competitors will earn double points in this season’s eSailing World Championship rankings.

The 2023 eSailing Steering the Course Challenge is open to everyone and available to play now on Virtual Regatta Inshore and to download for free on Desktop, iOS or Android.

Over the next 10 days, World Sailing’s social media channels will be sharing content from people, clubs, and countries taking part in Steering the Course, to elevate the fantastic efforts of those involved worldwide.

To share imagery and video content on social media, use the hashtag #SteeringTheCourse.

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