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Women on Water weekend 'fostering greater female engagement'

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Over 130 women on 22 boats took to the waters for another successful Evolution Sails Women on Water Weekend (WOWW) hosted by Gulf Harbour Yacht Club.

The three-day event focuses on encouraging women to take up the sport of keelboat sailing in an environment where they feel supported and able to meet fellow female sailors keen to share their knowledge and experience.  

This year the event featured sailors from 15 to 78 and included a team from Australia who skippered a boat from local member Peter Strathdee.

The Aussie crew is keen to replicate the WOWW model over the ditch, providing opportunities for women to enjoy a weekend on the water, meet new people and learn a new skill.

Warm hospitality and close racing in challenging conditions made the Gulf Harbour Yacht Club’s Women on Water Weekend well worth the trip from Sydney. Special thanks to the sponsors and volunteers,”  said Lyn Evans from Balmain Yacht Club in Sydney.

Friday allowed all crews to meet each other and boat owners, many of whom had little or limited sailing experience.

Then on Saturday, the challenging weather provided an exhilarating three races managed by Red Beach-based race officer Celia Carson.

Sunday however witnessed the boats sitting like ducks in the water as no wind equated to no racing. Instead, the crews took to the water for a dip before returning to the clubhouse for final prize giving.


The crew from Division B winner Korora. 

Raynor Haagh, national sport development director from Yachting New Zealand, attended the prize giving.

"Initiatives such as the Women on Water Weekend play a crucial role in fostering greater female engagement in our sport and it is encouraging to see that these events are not only gaining in popularity domestically but are also being recognised in other countries," Haagh said.

Organisers thanked the local sponsors who made this event happen - Auckland Yacht & Boating Association, Baldry & Sanford, Bay Marine Insurance, Burnsco Marine, Chains Ropes & Anchors, Hibiscus Marine Coatings, Live Sail Die, PredictWind & South Pacific Marine.

Full results here.

For pictures from the event, click here.