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Catherine Chabaud: First woman to complete a solo navigation of the globe without any stops during the third edition of the Vendee Globe race in 1996 – 1997.

Great News...
Another serious Sailing Course, just for women:
RYA Watch-leader's certificate

Now starting from Sydney

Sydney to Southport 18th-25th November.
7 days for £715/$1265 AU

Starting with whale & turtle watching at lady Elliot Island!

Women getting more recognition as world-class skippers

Back in the early 1970s, it was literally unheard of for a woman to skipper a yacht in a world-class ocean race or to sail her own boat around the world. Thank goodness things have changed.

Following the examples of such great women as Naomi James, Clare Francis and Kay Cottee, more and more women have pushed there way up the ladder to become yachting legends in their own right. Skippers of successful round-the-world racing yachts - women like Tracy Edwards (Maiden), Catherine Chabaud (Whirlpool-Europe), Isabelle Autissier (Ecureuil Poitou Charantes) and Samantha Davies (Roxy) have proved, if proof was needed, that women are the equals of their male counterparts.

And then there's Dutch woman Laura Dekker who, at 16, became the youngest person of either sex to sail around the world alone or Jeanne Socrates (71) the oldest yachtswoman to sail alone and unassisted around the world. Dee Caffari became the first woman to sail non-stop around the world "the wrong way" (west-about) in 2006 and don't forget Jessica Watson, the 2011 Young Australian of the Year

But women are still under-represented

It's not all about racing, but, as a measure, how many line-honours winning yachts are skippered by women? Can you name any? I don't think I can.

So why are women under-represented in ocean sailing? It would be easy to say it's for the same reason that men get higher salaries: the decisions are made by other men. But, in truth, women are in the minority just because there are more men skippering yachts offshore. And this will remain the case until women are given better opportunities and more encouragement.

The RYA Watch-Leader's certificate is a great way to start your journey to becoming a woman skipper or working on a superyacht as a watch leader.

The RYA says to work on a superyacht "You may need an MCA Yacht Rating Certificate as a certain number of crew on board are required to be qualified. For this you should hold the RYA's Day Skipper or Watch Leader and Competent Crew certificates. You will also need additional STCW training in sea survival, fire fighting and prevention, first-aid, personal safety and social responsibilities."

RYA Watch-Leader's course just for women

The Ocean Sailing Club's first Watch-leader's Course for women only

In thirty years of training, I have found that men in any group tend to be more assertive than women. Originally that may have been a genetic thing, but it is no longer appropriate and it is very frustrating for a woman doing (what many men see as) a man's job - skippering a yacht.

Too often, women who have skippered yachts tell me that men instinctively look to other men for confirmation when given an order by a woman. That is just life, I am afraid, but you can take command of a yacht if you have a good working knowledge and reinforced leadership techniques.

A good working knowledge and reinforced leadership techniques.

Join us 18-25th November in the Whitsundays over 7 days for an RYA Watch-Leader's course and a voyage from the Whitsundays to Southport

The course will start include some intensive theory and practical lessons. The fact that this will happen on a sixty foot yacht in a tropical lagoon will make this very enjoyable as well as very useful.

Then we will leave the beautiful Whitsundays and set off on our 500 mile passage to Southport.

In that time you, in the company of five other women, you will have learned how to skipper the yacht and gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. In short you will have what it takes to join an elite group of women sailors

The cost of this course is 7 days for £715/$1265 AU

Join an elite group of women. Become an RYA certified Watch-Leader

On successful completion of the exam you will receive your "RYA Watch-Leader's Certificate" which is recognised world-wide.

Want to know more?

Peter Edington, who will be running this course, is the Training Coach at The Ocean Sailing Club. He is an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor with thousands of sea-miles of experience.

The yacht is set up for women to sail, not gorillas, and Peter has skippered it from Turkey to Gibraltar, from Africa to The Caribbean, from Panama to Australia and from New Zealand to Sydney - all with women-only working the boat with him.

He is married. His wife and three daughters have all crossed at least one ocean with him and they are all still great friends!

Do contact Peter with the email form below. We'd love to have you join this unique opportunity to become a great woman skipper.

Click for the

or maybe

The Southern Ocean to NZ
in October & November

Call Peter Edington now to chat.
+61 (0)405 430 525

Sail Training

Getting started...

RYA Start Yachting
1 live-aboard weekend

RYA Competent Crew
2 live-aboard weekends

Yachtmaster Practical
Exam Coaching live-aboard weekends

RYA Theory...

RYA Yachtmaster Theory
5 Saturdays 8-4pm

RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Theory
10 4-hr, standalone modules

Ocean Sailing...

RYA Watch-leader
8-day 800-mile passage Sydney-Hobart

Yachtmaster Ocean Qualifier
17 day 1800-mile Southern Ocean crossing Hobart-NZ

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* See pricing note at foot of page