National Finalists Announced for the Coveted SheSails Award

Published Mon 09 Oct 2023

The SheSails Award was introduced in 2018 and recognises an individual, group, class or club that makes an outstanding contribution, promotion and/or administration of female participation in sailing. Three incredible finalists have been selected from amongst the state awards winners for the national SheSails Award, with the winner to be announced at the Australian Sailing Awards on Friday November 3.

Journalist Nicole Douglass (Jervis Bay Sailing Club/Canberra Yacht Club, NSW) was a mentor with the 2022/2023 Magenta Project Mentoring Program, facilitated by UK-based charity The Magenta Project.

Douglass was paired with Maddie Lyons from Tweed Valley Sailing Club in October 2022 and completed monthly mentoring sessions and in person meetings. Douglass mentored Lyons to achieve her inshore and offshore sailing goals, with a strong focus on increasing female participation in the sport.

During the mentoring program, Nicole contributed to a webinar event titled “Inclusion Pathways Around the World”, coordinated by Lyons and other mentees in the program. Nicole represented the Australia region and presented on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives such as Australian Sailing SheSails.

Beyond the mentoring program, Nicole is an inspiring representative for women in sailing through her media company Adventures of a Sailor Girl.

Nicole Douglass

Hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of SA (CYCSA), in a unique partnership with the Royal SA Yacht Squadron (RSAYS) and the Port Adelaide Sailing Club (PASC), the inaugural all-women South Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta (SAWKR) was held over the 2022 October long weekend.

The Regatta exceeded expectations, with 118 women from around Australia, aged between 16-78 years, competing in the six-race regatta in a mixed fleet of 21 boats.

Victorian-based PRO, Lou Hutton, ably assisted by Mark Moore (PASC), successfully ran a tight program enabling all 6 races to be conducted, with all boats finishing every race.

In addition, a formal survey of competitors post regatta showed that 100% of participants would recommend the event to others – indicating overwhelmingly that the sense of place, welcoming connection, and purpose that it sought to create, was achieved.

South Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta

The Women’s Racing and Mentorship Program (RAMP) at Fremantle Sailing Club has been extraordinarily successful in contributing toward the coordination, promotion and administration of female participation in sailing in Western Australia.

A member’s led initiative, RAMP, was created by five women who aimed to not only improve their own racing performance but to mentor and encourage women’s participation at a grass roots level.

The RAMP Committee are self-administered and have raised approximately $10,000 through fundraising, club-raffles and sponsorship. They have gathered 74 expressions of interest with 32 of those becoming regular, active participants thus far.

As well as standing on the podium at each WA State Keelboat regatta since 2019, RAMP run regular social activities and coaching sessions, and have recently funded two members to gain their Australian Sailing coaching accreditation so the development squad can continue to improve, grow and keep up with demand.

The Women’s Racing and Mentorship Program

The winner of the SheSails category will be announced at the 2023 Australian Sailing Awards in Sydney on November 3. For more information on the National Awards as well as ticket availability, click here.