Women On Water Festival: Participants rave about the fun of sailing and boating

RYA Northern Ireland’s Women On Water Festival a huge success as participants fall in love with sailing and boating
14 May 24
wow festival

Participants of RYA northern Ireland’s Women On Water Festival were buzzing following a fantastic day of sailing and boating on 12 May.

Hosted by Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, it gave women the opportunity to get out on the water and try a range of activities from powerboating to dinghy sailing or yachting.

The Women On Water Festival is just one part of a wider Women On Water initiative from RYA Northern Ireland. Supported by funding from Sport Northern Ireland, Women On Water programmes help to encourage more women and girls into sailing and they have been hugely successful in doing so over the last several years.

Part of RYA Northern Ireland’s five-year strategy, Navigating The Future, is to promote diversity, so it was great to see a group of 43 women getting involved in the day and trying new experiences.

Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive.

One participant, Sorcha Matthews, said: “It was really well organised from the start. I was a bit nervous, but when you turn up and there’s a full team making you feel really welcome.

“Today made everyone feel at ease. Everyone realised it was very much a beginners session and made people welcome from all levels- it was really accessible

“I’d love to get out and learn more on the water and do more structured learning.”

Fellow participant Aram Mohammadr built on Sorcha’s thoughts by saying: “You can’t think about anything else but just sailing. It’s relaxing, but you need to have full concentration- I really hope I can do this more.

“To begin with I was a little bit scared, but the way they explained to us made me think I could do it and made me realise it’s not too late for me (to learn).”

Aside from the opportunities to try sailing and boating, the day was a major opportunity to socialise and meet new friends off the water.

Socialising in beautiful sunshine on the lawn at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, many women began the day knowing no one, but left having formed strong friendships and bonds with the others involved.

If you would like to learn more about future Women On Water initiatives near you, get in touch with RYA Northern Ireland Active Clubs Coordinator, Lisa McCaffrey. Just email, Lisa.mccaffrey@rya.org.uk.