In honor of Women's History Month, let's look at some amazing women sailors. First up is Kirsten Neuschafer, pictured above, sailing her 36' Ocean Race boat Minehaha. Kirsten is a 40-year-old South African who is currently in the lead in the 2022-23 Golden Globe Race.
This edition of the Golden Globe marks the 50th anniversary of the first Solo, Non-Stop, Around the World Race. Current participants must use yachts and equipment that were available fifty years ago, and must sail on boats between 32 and 36 feet in length, designed prior to 1988. Also sailors must navigate with traditional celestial navigation which was used 50 years ago (and many years before that) and may not use modern technology, Which means no satellite-based navigation aids!
Kirsten has consulted Ocean Passages of the World with its 200-year-old weather routing charts, historical weather and suggested routes from the original clipper sailing ships. Following that advice is now paying strong dividends. As Kirsten nears the end of this lengthy race, which began on on September 2, 2022 with 16 sailors, she is now ahead of the rest of the fleet and heading towards the finish.
Only four sailors remain in this incredible race, as twelve participants have had to withdraw or drop down to the Chichester Class due to various equipment failures and the like. The four remaining competitors have sailed around the world via the five Great Capes and will finish in Les Sables-d'Olonne, France, probably in April - May, 2023.
What an amazing woman! Learn more Kirsten by click on the button below.
Closer to home, we have many more inspiring women sailors. Pictured below is racing sailor Dawn Riley. As CEO and captain of America True, Dawn Riley was the first woman to manage an America’s Cup sailing team. She has raced on four America’s Cup and two Whitbread (now The Ocean Race) teams. She is the former president of the Woman’s Sports Foundation, served on the board of US Sailing, and is an advisor to several public service organizations.
Dawn is now Executive Director of Oakcliff Sailing, in Oyster Bay, New York, an organization founded in 2010 to raise the caliber of sailing in the United States. Oakcliff Sailing has grown tremendously and offers a variety of amazing programs. From two week summer intensives (the Acorn Program) to longer, apprenticeship-type programs (the Sapling Program), to weekend clinics and regattas, Oakcliff has training options for everyone.
Recent Oakcliff graduates include Mark Towill and Charlie Enright, principals of 11th Hour Racing, who are currently competing (in second place) in The Ocean Race, a crewed Race Around-The-World, which started in January 2023 and will continue through the finish in July 2023. You can follow the team here.
Dawn is an extremely generous supporter of all sailors, and she was a Keynote speaker for our Riverport Women's Sailing Conference in 2021. Click on the button to read more about Oakcliff and Dawn's amazing programs.
Even closer to home, in the Hudson Valley, we have a number of inspiring women sailors. One notable person is Stefany Coulter, pictured below. She is the founder of Sail Hope, a not-for-profit organization located in Catskill, New York. Sail Hope takes people who normally would not have access to the water out sailing at no cost to them. Stefany will be our Keynote Speaker at the Riverport Women's Sailing Conference on March 24, 2023.
Click here for more information about Sail Hope.
Sixth Annual Riverport Women's Sailing Conference
For the opportunity to learn from and network with other inspiring female mariners, join us for the Sixth Annual Riverport Women's Sailing Conference on March 25.
Staff and volunteers of the Hudson River Maritime Museum's Wooden Boat School and Sailing & Rowing School.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
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