Women at Ripon
Sailing Club have been inspired to become more active on the water after taking
part in a ladies-only Powerboat Level 2 course.
Testing conditions made
for an initially steep learning curve in high winds, with lighter winds then providing
a different challenge for developing their boat handling skills.
Andy Hague, who is one
of the club's team of Powerboat Instructors, had volunteered to run the course
and was rewarded with lots of smiles as the group grew in confidence.
Kirstin Wood, Nicky Kerslake and Gail Jackson all successfully gained their Powerboat Level 2
certificates, enabling them to participate more in club duties and activities.
Jennie Clark, Ripon
SC's Membership Secretary, said: "The club recognised that some of our
female members were keen to learn to drive the powerboats to be able to
help out on the duty roster, but that they felt they would prefer to learn
the skills with other female members, and so 'This Girl Can' came about.
"We hope that
Gail, Nicky and Kirstin's experience will encourage more of our female
members to sign up for powerboat training and get involved in supporting club
activities on the water."
Pathway to powerboat instructor
course, Nicky is now keen to continue her development by gaining experience
through duties on race days and by supporting junior training at the club, with
the goal of becoming a Powerboat Instructor.
Nicky said while the
course was designed to empower ladies to get on the water by learning PB2 skills
in a female-friendly way: "That doesn't mean we wanted an easy ride and we
certainly weren't given one!
"Day one was seriously windy, with other clubs nearby
cancelling their open events. But Andy was fantastic at getting us out there
and teaching us how to use the wind to our advantage. Before we knew it we were
practising manoeuvres such as man overboard, figure of 8s and reversing whilst
cheering each other on.
"Day two had
much steadier wind, handling the boats soon came back to us, and there were big
smiles as we went over our learning, beginning to build confidence in our
capabilities. We found that having a bit less wind needed more thought and
distance to stop.
"As well as on-the-water techniques, Andy tested our line-throwing
and knot skills. Once again laughter and encouragement was the feel of the day,
with Andy getting the best out of us all. He really showed us ladies that we
can do it if we want to!
encourages everyone onto the water and I hope that by females being visible as
powerboat operators it will inspire other ladies at the club to take the plunge
and become more active on the water themselves. I also think it is important
for young females coming into the sport to have role models within the club and
to feel empowered to explore all aspects of the sailing arena without gender