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Steering the Course Great Escape

Steering the Course Female Sailing Events 2022

Yachting New Zealand wishes to improve the opportunities, visibility and value for women and girls within our sport of sailing.

Celebrating the annual World Sailing Steering the Course Women's Festival, this page highlights just some of the sailing opportunities provided by Yachting New Zealand affiliated yacht clubs or commercial members for women and girls to try sailing, improve their skills or learn something new.

The World Sailing Steering the Course Women's Festival runs 30th September to 9th October 2022. 

Participants of all abilities are always welcome!

Updated 20th Septmber 2022

Pleasant Point Yacht Club - 1st & 2nd October 2022

Pleasant Point Yacht Club, Ōtautahi | Christchurch, is organizing their first 'Wāhine on the Water' (WOTW) event on 1 & 2 October 2022.

Day 1 (1st of October 2022) 'Have a go' day, where 40 women and girls will have a go at sailing in various dinghies. The majority of our coaches are women. This day is oversubscribed with a waiting list. Spectators are welcome.

Day 2 (2nd of October 2022) is an 'Open Trophy Race' for women and girls only. The race officer is one of our female club members. Spectators are welcome.

Feel free to click on the following links for more information:

Wakatere Boating Club - Thursday Social Sailing

Wakatere is inviting ladies to join the club's Women's Social Sailing group this season for regular sailing on Thursday afternoons. Sailing is followed by drinks and nibbles - all very social.

Great Escape Sailing with the Opua Cruising Club                 

"Have a Go" Sailing Days or Learn to Sail programmes. We have awesome women instructors and Great Escape keelboats ready. Women can join us for a fun day on the water, have a go at helming, and all the different crew positions in a safe all-women environment. 

Steering the Course Great Escape 21

You can find more information about Great Escape here and Opua Cruising Club here.  




Nelson Yacht Club 

Learn to sail at Nelson Yacht Club and you will find a variety of options for women and girls. 

Junior learn to sail programmes are run in holidays, evenings and weekends in term time in a variety of yachts from single-handed dinghies to double-handed dinghies to windsurfing.

Adult learn to sail courses are run throughout the summer season and Mondays are wahine only.

Have a go days for girls and women are run from time to time, contact the club for details.

Hamilton Yacht Club

Waikato Women on Water Wednesdays

Experienced or novice women, come enjoy sailing with women on our gentle fun Quest yachts. Lots of laughter and learning with women coaches. Bring your daughters too (10yrs +).
5:30pm registration + 6pm Briefing/instructions for sailing.

Find more information and register here

Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club

WOW Tauranga

Women on Water 

Established in 2001, the concept of taking complete beginners out sailing on the Tauranga harbour now attracts 80-100 women each WOW night during the summer season.

The WOW Summer Series comprises 9 sails each summer. Registration Evening for the 2021/22 season. Find more information here.


Royal Akarana Yacht Club - Learn to sail and Women's racing 

The Akarana Sailing Academy was established in 2001 and since then has produced local, national and world champions through the comprehensive courses provided to sailors from the age of 8 to 80. The fun yet knowledgeable coaching approach encourages learning in an exciting and safe environment for all.

Graduates of adult learn to sail programmes are also invited to continue to hone their skills sailing with friends in some fun racing on the club's Quest yachts. Social get-together at the club after sailing. For more information contact Maria here.

Naval Point Club Lyttleton

NPCL Elliott 6

Women's Sailing Experience

NPCL in Christchurch has sailing experiences available for women and girls to try sailing.

The club has a small fleet of Elliot 6m yachts which are sailed with 3-4 people. 

For more information contact the club's Youth & Development Coordinator Amanda here


Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron

Sailing School - In 2015 the RNZYS launched its first adult beginner level 1 programme to establish a training ground for members and to introduce people to the sport of sailing at any age.

Ladies Summer Racing Series

The club also hosts the New Zealand Women's Match Racing and Keelboat National Championships events each year. 

Auckland Women's 50 50 regatta This is an open event sailing Elliot 7's, for members of any yacht club, the skipper/helm of each boat must be a woman. Mixed crews of 4 must have no more than two (2) males in the team, all-female crews may have 4 or 5 members.

Ponsonby Cruising Club 

Women's spring + summer series

 This year, to give women more opportunity to learn the ropes, the Notice of Race states:  6.1. All boats may sail with a maximum of half male crew members. i.e. with an uneven crew number, including the helms woman, male crew member numbers will be the lesser. 6.2.  A woman must helm at all times.

For more information contact the club here:

Ponsonby Cruising Club Sailing School 

The Ponsonby CC sailing school is designed for children from 9 years old to adults. The Optimist, Splash and Far East 11 sailing dinghies are great for learning in. For many years the Ponsonby Sailing School has introduced Kiwis to sailing and has a number of graduates who are well known for their various yachting exploits. 

Waikawa Boating Club 

 Evolution Sails Women's Regatta  A two-day keelboat regatta for women held in the Marlborough Sounds. 

Other Women's Sailing Events 

World Sailing Steering the Course Women's Sailing Festival

Northern Hemisphere May 2022 and Southern Hemisphere October 2022

In 2021 World Sailing encouraged countries around the world to be a part of the first Steering the Course Women's Sailing Festival. The festival aimed 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.

The first Northern Hemisphere-based first edition of the Women's Sailing Festival ran between 21 - 30 May 2021. A review of the May 2021 event can be found here

For the Southern Hemisphere edition, Yachting New Zealand's Female Club Network members are arranging a variety of events to encourage women and girls sailing throughout New Zealand. Please see the events listed below for ideas of engagement in your area throughout the month of October. 

For more information on Steering the Course Women's Sailing Festival or the Yachting New Zealand Female Club Network, please contact Raynor

Manly Sailing Club - Dinner at the beach

Manly Sailing Club looked to run an event during the steering the course festival in 2021 that was targeted at all females who are engaged with the club. The plan was to do a beach clean-up/walk, followed by dinner and games. The evening was targeting female sailors, mums and any siblings or friends. The goal: to get the women and girls from the club excited about the season to come. If you would like to be involved in an event like this you can find more information here.

Bluff Yacht Club - Women's quiz night 


Bluff Yacht Club held a quiz evening down at the clubrooms for all women in sailing in October 2021 (it was still too cold to go sailing!). It was a great get-together preseason catch-up, chance to explore the clubrooms, meet others interested in the sport and have a bit of a fun quiz and some snacks.

If you would be interested in meeting some Bluff Yacht Club members please get in touch via their Facebook page, Bluff Yacht Club, New Zealand. 


Not sure what sailing opportunities there are near you?

You can find your local yacht club here

Or email with any specific questions about getting into sailing in your local area.