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Steering the Course

1033593 orig
Published 10:37 on 26 May 2022

Banbury Sailing Club celebrated the Steering The Course Women's Sailing Festival last Sunday - 22nd May - with an unprecedented turnout of ladies for club racing; over a third of the competitors were women.

The event was underpinned by the Club's Ladies Sailing group. Several of the group have been building their skills and learning to race at their regular Friday sessions. They answered the #SteeringtheCourse call-to-action and put their learning into practice, with a number of them joining Sunday's club racing for the very first time. The day also saw an experienced racer borrowing a member's Lark so that he could introduce his wife to crewing in her first race.

The occasion coincided with one of the Club's personal handicap pursuit race days, which provided a fun and less intimidating format for the newcomers. It also allowed the race officer to allocate the rookies a personal start time, giving them an appropriate head start over the more experienced racers. There were three one-hour races scheduled, so plenty of opportunity to tweak the personal handicaps between races. This resulted in the line honours being distributed across the fleet, including the prizes for first lady helm in each race.

The day was a huge success, enjoyed by regulars and newcomers alike, with many asking "When's the next one?". Commenting on the success of the day, the Ladies Sailing coordinator, Sue, said "One of the primary objectives is to help our ladies build confidence on the water, so that we feel more able to join in with the wider activities of the Club. The Steering The Course festival gave us the nudge we needed to venture beyond the comfort of our Friday sessions! It was ideal that the festival coincided with the Club's scheduled pursuit races and, with the weather playing ball, we couldn't have wished for a better opportunity or a better outcome."

Photo: Steering the Course at Banbury Sailing Club.  © Neil Firth

Last updated 17:40 on 7 February 2024

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