It didn't take Elise Beavis long to notice a worrying feature at last weekend's Waszp national championships and she's looking to take action to address it.
Beavis was one of only two female sailors among the 27-strong fleet competing at the Wakatere Boating Club, which was down from the four who took part in 2020.
"I’d really like to see more girls in the class, however, I see the largest hurdle is answering the question, 'am I capable of sailing a Waszp?'” Beavis said. "With an appropriately set up boat, flat water and around 12 knots of wind, it is exceeding easy to foil in a straight line. The only way to prove to people that they can sail a Waszp is to have a go."
That's why Beavis is looking to run a number of Waszp have-a-go days for females in the near future and is asking for people to register their interest. You can do that here.
The Waszp caters for a wide range of sizes and ages and at that was highlighted at the nationals where competitors ranging from 12-60 competed.
For smaller sailors there's the option of using the smaller 6.9 rig rather than the more common 8.2, but 14-15 year-old boys and girls have successfully raced with the 8.2 rig through to the top of the wind range showing that the boats can be moded to suit the sailor's size.
At the other end, heavier sailors excel in stronger winds but struggle a bit in lighter winds.
"The Waszp is a single-handed foiling class, meaning it's easy to go out whenever it suits you as an individual," said Beavis, who has been involved in the design team at Emirates Team New Zealand for the last two America's Cups. "As a one-design class, it is significantly cheaper than development classes such as a Moth or A-Class and it's easy to get your hands on a wide range of spare parts.
"Personally, the Waszp has provided the speed and adrenaline I enjoy as well as the technical challenge of sailing a foiling boat. Ongoing maintenance costs are low and the single-handed nature means I can be spontaneous with my sailing and go out when I have free time and the weather suits."
- Photos: Live Sail Die