How to Get More Women Sailing

The poster for the inspirational movie “Maiden”

Have you seen the movie Maiden? It’s currently showing at the Harken’s theater at Fashion Square and it’s a truly inspirational and entertaining documentary tracing the 1989-1990 all-women’s campaign in the Whitbread Around-the-World race.

A boatload of women challenged the men in this grueling event, not only finishing the race, but coming in second in their division.

How do we get more girls and women into sailing? Here are two efforts to do that.

The first is simple. Fill out a survey, whether you’re a man or woman. Here’s the link. The survey is being conducted by the World Sailing Trust and it aims to determine how both men and women are introduced to the sport.

As they put it, “Its aim is to allow us to understand more about the realities of women and girls in sailing: what attracts them, what puts them off, why they drop out, the perceived and real barriers to participation that they might face and how this varies across countries, ages, classes and competition and different elements of the sport – racing vs recreational vs officials and, how we can increase women and girls’ participation.”

The second is Debbie Huntsman’s National Women’s Sailing Association, which joining with Tumble Weed Sailing to put on a WOWZR regatta November 1-3 (the weekend after AYC’s Ruth Beals Cup Regatta). Their event includes seminars and coaching culminating in racing.