Steering the Course returns with a focus on empowering female coaches in sailing

The second Steering the Course global women’s sailing festival of 2023 officially gets underway on Friday 29 September as sailing clubs, Member National Authorities (MNAs) and volunteers around the world showcase the range of opportunities within the sport. 

Kicking off the festival of women’s sailing ahead of the official launch was a Steering the Course Race Management Clinic in Nassau, the Bahamas, on 25 and 26 September. The island nation currently runs a very successful Junior Sailing Program with the help of parent volunteers with race management experience from the Optimist North American Championships – held in Nassau in 2019 and 2022 – and the National Championships.  

To allow the program to grow, World Sailing Race Management Instructors worked with coaches and volunteers from Abaco, Freeport and Exuma in Nassau to provide the opportunity to learn new skills and encourage as many as possible to consider certification as a National Race Officer or International Race Officer with the goal of improving the standard of Race Management in the Bahamas. 

Two more Race Management Clinics are scheduled in the Caribbean as part of Steering the Course. First in St Vincent and the Grenadines from 30 September-1 October where 12 participants will learn the skills required to organise inter-island races with neighbouring nations. Grenada will also host a Race Management Clinic from 3-4 October with 15 women registered. The clinic aims to equip female officials with the skills required to run racing events ranging from the larger international Grenada Sailing Week to regular Junior Sailing Regattas. 

Further clinics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 28-29 September and Hayama Harbour, Kanagawa, Japan, from 11-12 November will enhance the skills of race management officials in each country with a view to growing the sport and encouraging greater female participation. 

The program of Ladies Only Learn to Sail Weekends is already underway in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, organised by SA Sailing. Starting in George Lakes and Theewaterskloof Sports Club then heading to Zeekoevlei and Mossel Bay. A Women Helming cruise and pursuit race also took place at the Vogelvlei Yacht Club. 

Second Star Sailing will also be hosting Women At The Helm Sailing Courses in Jolly Harbour, Antigua, from 1 November as a way of increasing female participation and teaching vital skills to skipper boats of all sizes. 

Following the first edition of Steering the Course earlier in the year, World Sailing awarded funding to Yacht Club Uruguayo, Seychelles Yachting Association and Pusat Latihan Pelayaran UMT in Malaysia to host Technical Course for Coaches Level 1. The first of which is scheduled in Uruguay from 10-16 October and will include 15 instructors. 

Elsewhere, a Women’s Regatta has been organised as part of the 55th anniversary of the Barcolana Regatta. Being held on Friday 6 October, the all-female event is part of the regatta’s ‘Women in Sailing’ exhibition which tells the story of female sailors, scientists and those with a deep passion for the sea. This will be followed by the Generali Women Leadership Forum to highlight the role talented women in sailing play in developing the sport. 

The full calendar of events is available here and for more information about Steering the Course please visit the World Sailing website.

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