May 31, 2021 – Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten – This past Sunday the Sint Maarten Yacht Club welcomed over 65 women of all ages for a sailing try out as part of the Steering the Course Women's Sailing Festival. This free event took place at Kim Sha Beach and gave women the opportunity to give sailing a chance. This event was part of World Sailing’s initiative “Steering the Course”, an international initiative by World Sailing that aims to introduce women and girls across the globe to the sport of sailing.
“The turnout for this event was amazing and it made us realize that there are many women that would like to learn how to sail. We live on an island, so being surrounded by beautiful turquoise water reminds us every day of what a stunning place we live in and what opportunities it offers us, like sailing. To be able to give over 65 women the opportunity to try sailing was simply fantastic, and we of course hope to see many of them back for lessons or other events in the future.” Said Saskia Revelman, head instructor for the Sint Maarten Yacht Club.
The day consisted out of free sailing try-outs between 1pm – 3pm. Women were taken sailing in Simpson Bay on RS Quests, larger sailing dinghies that can carry up to 4 people, by female assistant sailing instructors and coaches. From 3pm onwards the Rose Rally took place in which 6 teams consisting of 3 women competed against each other paddling out to a swim platform from which they sailed around a buoy, back to the swim platform to paddle back to shore. The prize for the winning teams was a bottle of rose sponsored by Caribbean Liquors and Tobacco.
Women were taking turns to sail, while waiting, or after sailing they got to enjoy time on the beach, while enjoying snacks, water and drinks provided by Divico. Lots of shade was provided by The Scuba Shop, using the very handy Neso tents. They also provided Sun Bum sunscreen to protect everyone against the strong sun.
“The purpose of the day was to introduce women to sailing, and it was wonderful to see such interest and happy faces as women came off the boats. Most also really took the time to enjoy themselves, there was lots of chatting, laughter and sunbathing going on besides sailing. Lots of women mentioned that they have been thinking about going sailing, but never had the time or saw an opportunity. This is such a common thing we hear often, so it was about time we organized something that gave them an opportunity in a fun and accessible way. Making it a female only event allowed us to highlight the talent in our Youth Sailing Program, as we requested experienced girls from the sailing program to come and volunteer their time sailing the boats. We are super proud of Veronica, Jordan, Emma, Skylar, Grace and Melina who introduced all these women to sailing!” Stated Michele Korteweg, General manager of the SMYC.
Organizers are looking to host a similar event in October and make it an annual occurrence. If businesses are interested to support this event please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org as the intention is to grow the event further.