KISS is back for 2023

Queenscliff Cruising Yacht Club is excited to announce the second running of their successful “Keelboat Introduction to Sailing Savvy” (KISS) program is back for 2023. Buoyed by positive feedback from the graduates of the inaugural class of 2022 and with a wait list for those who missed the cap of 25 participants last year, preparation for the program is well underway with roll out from 16 May through to 26 August.

The KISS program, created by women for women, provides an introductory level of information and experience through a series of social, learning and practical activities for female sailors to progress competently and confidently from passenger to active passionate participant. Women from all clubs are invited to join the program.

QCYC Commodore Lee Renfree, who was the driver behind the KISS program, is thrilled with the enthusiasm for a repeat program. ”The idea for the KISS program was born from the observation that many of our female club members, some of whom already had access to boats, were not being actively engaged in sailing activities due to fears of lack of knowledge or confidence to be a valuable crew member. KISS has empowered them to pursue their own voyage of discovery. At a club level, with inclusion a high priority for the club’s future direction, the buzz created by the enthusiasm of our KISS participants for the program, has elevated the profile of our club beyond our island paradise, introduced more sailors to experience the unique nature of QCYC on Sand Island and contributed to an increase in membership over the last year”.

The class of 2022 started as a diverse group representing 11 different clubs, with a range of experience and skills. Zooming into Knowledge webinars and undertaking practical sessions under the guidance of mentors into teams of 3-4 women working together on a boat, they stepped up to lead roles to undertake the passage event from Altona to Queenscliff.

The KISS sailors feedback on their experience –

“Great networking and new sailing opportunities, learned heaps about navigation and preparing a boat for sailing”.

“The delivery of webinars by experienced female sailors was an inspiration and highly valued”

“The program motivated me to learn more, gain experience and step up.” The KISS program also partnered with the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria(ORCV) for their training expertise on the more technical aspects and provision of a hands-on workshop. ORCV Immediate Past Commodore Grant Dunoon summed up his observations – “The KISS program demystifies and provides the fundamental understanding of safely operating a sailing boat and brings participants to a level that they can participate in being a crew member with confidence on the boat”. KISS is delighted for the continued support from ORCV’s current Commodore Cyrus Allen as the KISS 2023 program rolls out.

What’s new for 2023? The program has been extended to 14 weeks, allowing more time between webinar sessions for participants to absorb and navigate their way through the new knowledge.

In response to a request for more on water training from the 2022 sailors, the KISS committee are working with keelboat clubs to provide optional single day skills training on small keelboats for up to five women per boat.This will be a separate additional cost to the KISS program registration fee.

So if you are a female sailor wanting to take the opportunity to set your own course, come and join us. The KISS 2023 Program Launch kicks off at Royal Yacht Club of Victoria on 16 May 2023, a much anticipated in-person event this year, with a panel discussion on “Facing Your Fears”. Led by QCYC Commodore Lee Renfree with three panel members from our 2022 graduates, along with female boat owners and an excited novice this is a great start to meeting your sailing sisters, course presenters,your assigned boat mentor and meet your team of 3-4 KISS sailors. Our new sponsor Andrew Nielsen from Boating Central offering chandlery services in both Geelong and Williamstown, will also be attending with a display and expert advice on all things nautical.

For the practical experiences, you will undertake a safety audit on your assigned boat and learn to use the equipment safely and effectively. The single day hands-on workshop run by the ORCV provides “live” VHF radio training, Man Overboard training and Transport Safety

Victoria Maritime will also attend and present a flare demonstration and how to self service your own inflatable life jackets.

The program concludes with a real journey, with you and your boat team planning and stepping up to roles of helmsperson, navigator and radio operator for the KISS Rally, a passage from Altona to Queenscliff, with a celebration dinner and overnight stay at Sand Island, the home of the iconic Queenscliff Cruising Yacht Club. Registration for KISS 2023 is now open. As participant numbers are again capped at 25 women, don’t miss the boat! Jump on board now and register for your journey of a lifetime. Further information is available on the QCYC website news page and KISS page or email

KISS 2023 Program

Session Day & Date Event Details Location

1 Tue 16 May Launch KISS 2023 Panel Discussion “Facing Your Fears” Royal Yacht Club of Victoria

2 Tue 30 May Personal and Boat Preparation Zoom 1900-2030hrs

3 Tue 20 June Navigation Zoom 1900-2030hrs

4 Tue 4 July Weather and Tides Port Phillip Zoom 1900-2030hrs

5 Sun 6 August Hands On Workshop ORCV – VHF radio, MOB ORCV Albert Park Transport Safety Victoria Maritime – safety, lifejackets, flare demonstration

6 Tue 15 August Passage Planning for KISS Rally Zoom 1900-2030hrs

7 Thur 24 August KISS Rally Briefing Zoom 1900-2000hrs

8 Sat 26 August KISS Passage Rally Altona to QCYC Queenscliff Cruising Yacht Club QCYC Celebration Dinner QCYC. Overnight stay


Rosie Colahan 0409 865 283

KISS Media

JPK August 2023
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