Steering the Course 2024 shines the spotlight on pathways to the Olympics for women in sailing

This year’s Steering the Course, World Sailing’s global women’s sailing festival, kicks off today with the spotlight firmly focused on the Olympic pathways available in coaching, officiating and sports administration.

Running from 17 – 26 May, events are planned in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America, alongside World Sailing’s Technical Course for Coaches levels 1, 2 and 3. Technical Courses for Coaches were awarded to Algeria, Barbados and Bolivia to help train more female coaches and instructors.

With the focus of this year’s Steering the Course being on the pathway to the Olympic Games, World Sailing will feature a social media campaign, Steering My Olympic Course, including role models Sophia Papamichalopoulous of Cyprus and Mina Stankovic of Serbia who will show the possibilities within the sport.

Fiona Kidd, World Sailing’s Head of International Development, said, “In such an exciting year for sailing, we are delighted to launch Steering the Course with a focus on the opportunities available at the Olympic Games. This will be the first Games with equal representation, and it is our intention to progress towards parity with officials in future editions with more women gaining World Sailing qualifications in coaching, officiating and administration. The courses also have the potential to boost sailing at a local level and inspire women of all ages and levels of experience to take the next step in the sport.

“We are also very pleased to see sailing clubs around the world organising regattas, taster sessions and forums to engage with female sailors and help drive the growth of the sport in their region.”

Just some of the activities taking place include:

She Sails in Townsville, Australia, where participants have embarked upon a six-week Level 1 Dinghy Sailing Course at Townsville Sailing Club, and the Ladies Start 2 Sail at WSKLum Vilvoorde, Belgium on 5 May.

The third edition of Regata D’Elas in Brazil on 11 May which featured 190 women sailing on keepboats ranging from solings, 23ft to 40ft boats.

A week of events gets underway on Saturday 18 May with the Midwest Women’s Sailing Conference in Milwaukee, USA, where a sold-out programme will feature guest speaker Betsy Allison.

The conference speakers will offer their joy, expertise, and passion for sharing our sport with all women who bring a desire to learn and connect.

On Saturday 25 May, Women First, St Vincent is being held at Coconut Grove Beach Club in Ribishi, St Vincent & Grenadines. This fun event will put women first on and off the water.

The Hebe Haven Yacht Club in Hong Kong, China, has also arranged daily events to promote women’s sailing, beginning with the Women’s Forum on 21 May and ending with the Leo Wealth Hong Kong Championship Regatta on 25 May and a taster day for water sports and sailing on 26 May.

May’s events end with a Girls On Board session at the Zeil-En Surfclub Broechem in Belgium, before continuing a week later with a Women On The Water day at the Anemos BeachClub in Belgium.

The following week, the Japanese Sailing Federation’s Women’s Committee has organised a full day of activities in Enoshima Harbour, the venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Steering the Course returns later in the year when the action returns for Festival 2 from 27 September until 6 October.

More information about Steering the Course 2024 can be found on the World Sailing website.

Get involved and share your story
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. Please feel free to share imagery and video content from your country or sailing club on social media.

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