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Global women's sailing festival 'Steering the Course' launched for 2021

by World Sailing 12 Oct 2020 01:21 PDT 21-30 May & 1-10 October 2021
Female sailors at the 2019 Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships © Robert Hajduk

World Sailing are proud to launch Steering the Course, a women's sailing festival to be held worldwide in 2021.

Supported by the IOC Development Fund, Steering the Course aims to introduce women and girls across the globe to the sport of sailing, as well as encourage alternative pathways for those already within the sport, such as coaching or officiating.

Held over a 10-day period across two separate events - one in the Northern and the other in the Southern Hemisphere - the festival will bring together sailing communities from all backgrounds, with events taking place in multiple countries at the same time.

From dinghies to keelboats and windsurfing to kiteboarding, all disciplines are welcome to be part of the festival.

World Sailing Member National Authorities are invited to sign up to Steering the Course and then engage their sailing clubs and centres to take part.

World Sailing will provide support to each MNA with various resources, which include session plans, electronic resources such as designs for banners and t-shirts, and social media promotion and support throughout the festival.

The dates for Steering the Course are as follows:

Northern Hemisphere
Friday 21 - Sunday 30 May 2021

Southern Hemisphere
Friday 1 - Sunday 10 October 2021

Rob Holden, World Sailing Training Delivery Manager, said, "Steering the Course will provide opportunities for women and girls all around the world to access sailing.

"We want to attract new people of all ages of all abilities into sailing, one of the most inclusive sports there is, and it is important that in what can often be a male-dominated sport, we can help create these opportunities for women and girls.

"The events and activities arranged through Steering the Course will provide a fun and safe introduction to sailing, as well as educate and inform about alternative routes into the sport.

"We also want to reiterate that sailing doesn't have to necessarily be about racing or competing - it is about enjoying yourself and making friends, and we would like to encourage the recreational aspect of the sport with this worldwide festival."

David Graham, World Sailing CEO, said, "Steering the Course is a fantastic initiative and we are grateful for the support provided to us by the IOC Development Fund to get this up and running.

"Growing female participation in sailing is a key part of delivering against the IOC's Agenda 2020, and we are committed to ensuring women and girls around the world have sufficient access to our sport.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the exciting events and activities held by sailing clubs all over the world next year."

Any MNAs who would like to take part in Steering the Course should email Rob Holden and Catherine Duncan on and to register their interest.

Sailing clubs and centres can get in touch with their MNA in advance to raise their interest and encourage their MNA to participate.

Download the promotional booklet for more information here.

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