The second Women on Water festival had been planned at Carrickfergus Sailing Club but due to Covid-19 it was moved online.
festival brings together like-minded women who have been involved in sailing
from a young age or as part of the recent Women on Water programmes. The low
cost programme runs each year in clubs right across Northern Ireland and is
open to women of all abilities. A four-week programme, it teaches the basics of
sailing and there are lots of social opportunities.
Northern Ireland’s Active Clubs co-ordinator, Lisa McCaffrey explained: “Women
on Water is a fantastic programme and this year was to be the second year of
our Festival. Our plans had to change but we were still able to hold a very
enjoyable online festival and it was a lovely opportunity for everyone to catch
up and share insights and information, as well as having a good chat in what
has been difficult times for many.”
the online festival, RYA Northern Ireland’s Development Officer, Mary Martin,
delivered an interactive workshop. This included a discussion on the Women on
Water programme and how it could be developed going forward.
Northern Ireland also provided valuable information on RYA qualifications,
including instructor and official qualifications. The participants were able to
find out about the benefits of the qualifications, such as delivering sessions
at their local club which would allow more people to learn to sail, developing
their own boating knowledge and also the potential career opportunities.
Women on Water Leadership Group then hosted a quiz, with Jennifer Bryce, a
graduate from the very first Women on Water programme in 2016, winning a free
ticket to next year’s festival which will take place at Carrickfergus Sailing
after the festival, Jennifer commented: “The talk was very
informative and has encouraged me to work towards the Dinghy Instructor
qualification. It would be wonderful to be able to teach other women, as I
started with the Women on Water course a
couple of years ago and have been slightly obsessed with sailing ever since!
“Just before lockdown I bought a GP14, with the exciting
plans to compete in the GP14 Worlds event in the summer but that has been
postponed. My crew, Lara Sunday, also completed the Women on Water course last
summer and we got to know each other at the first festival. I can’t wait to
take my boat out on the water as I haven’t even sailed it yet. This time last
year I was out sailing four or five times a week, I am getting serious
Northern Ireland reminds all sailors to Be Considerate, Be Conservative and
Stay Safe when taking to the water. More information and guidance is available