Catching up with the East Region's Inspirational Female Sailors

Back in early March, before the Coronavirus pandemic hit, the East Region celebrated International Women’s Day at the RYA East Instructor Training Day at the Royal Hospital School. On this day, we met some of the inspirational women sailors in the East, and heard about their achievements and aspirations for sailing.
04 Jun 20

On this day, we met some of the inspirational women sailors in the East, and heard about their achievements and aspirations for sailing.  They included:

Sarah Davies: Aldeburgh Yacht Club

Sarah learnt to sail on the Norfolk Broads in a dinghy and halfdecker, and loved all types of sailing. She sailed with the Ocean Youth Club when she was 14 with a grant from Colman’s Mustard, and had a fantastic time, sailing across the North Sea – which fuelled her love for offshore sailing. She joined the Navy and subsequently the Army and both their offshore racing teams. She then answered an advert in 1989 by Tracy Edwards looking for a female crew to sail in the Whitbread Round the World Race in Maiden, got a place on that, and sailed Leg 3, which the team won. Since then she has not had quite so much time to sail, but does enjoy instructing. She says that as she’s been able to do so much sailing and benefited from it so much, it’s fantastic to give back to other people, and to help foster an enjoyment of being on the water and the skills that people can learn from just being afloat. She particularly likes the scheme at Aldeburgh Yacht Club which teaches children – the School Sailing Trust - they took 185 children out last year for their first experience of sailing.

Carly Emms, Liz Faulkner & Helen Nash: Hertford County Yacht Club

Carly, Liz & Helen instruct at the Club, with Carly and Helen having qualified as Dinghy Instructors last year, and Liz having qualified as a Senior Instructor previously. Whilst enjoying tea and cake at the Club, they thought why not get together and do a “Ladies on the Lake”, inspired to do so by Hunts Sailing Club’s “Women on the Water” project. Ladies on the Lake sees women at the Club getting together to go for a sail, the windier the better, and enjoy some cake afterwards. In the future they aspire to get some of the younger members involved, who also enjoy capsizing – so are looking forward to a lot of fun all round!

Harriet Memory: East Anglian Sailing School

Having sailed since she was 10 years old, Harriet recently became a Senior Instructor, and was surprised to find that there were not many other females on the course. As a young instructor, she says that this can be outside of her comfort zone, particularly when she is managing teams of older and male instructors, but her confidence is growing and she enjoys this challenge. It also helps that she just loves sailing, being out on the water and finds instructing so rewarding.

For more information about how to get out on the water in the East Region once the current Coronavirus prevention restrictions are lifted, visit

Please note: At the time of going to print, and based on the Government’s advice and guidance on the developing Coronavirus situation, the RYA has suspended all RYA organised events until at least 30 June 2020 – this date will be regularly reviewed.