American Sailing Association Celebrates Women on the Water!

Local Sailing Community Starts “Women Wake Up Zone”
New Crusade to Encourage More Women to Sail

While U.S. businesses, politics and the entertainment industry revolutionize to include more women, the sailing industry now wants to ride the wave of equality as well. Just in time for International Women’s Day (March 8), The American Sailing Association, the world’s largest sailing organization, and America’s sail education authority, is energizing women to set sail with the announcement of its new crusade and education campaign called “Women Wake Up Zone.”

When people hear sailing, they often think of stuffy, 60-year-old men behind the wheel while women watch, but we are leading the diversity of our industry with this education campaign, and it starts with more women sailors,” says Cindy Shabes, president of the American Sailing Association. “Many of our instructors and high-level instructor evaluators are now women, and many of our schools are now owned or managed by women. Fully one-third of our new students last year were women. With this education campaign, we want to erase the stereotypes and eliminate the fear some women have that sailing is too expensive and physically demanding. As we see more women take the wheel and thrive on our waterways, we want others to follow in their wake!

American Sailing Association “Women Wake Up Zone” Campaign

The new “Women Wake Up Zone” education campaign is based on ASA courses that teach how to:

  • Tie The Knot

    Knots can be tricky and intimidating, but women can be better at tying knots because their hands are often nimbler.

  • Raise A Sail

    Heavy sails that used to require major upper body strength have been replaced with lighter synthetic sails. In fact, men who often try to “muscle” the lines are at a disadvantage because now you can use more efficient mechanisms and techniques.

  • Work The Winch

    Maneuver a modern two-speed winch (the device on a boat to pull in or let out wind).

  • Take The Helm

    Use fingertip precision to steer and sail the course.

  • Save Someone

    Learn the procedure if someone falls off the boat.

With the advances in technology, sailing has truly become a gender-neutral sport,” says Shabes.
We just need more women to get involved and spread the word!

Consider this:
  • A recent market research study shows men outnumber women 7 to 1 as registered boat owners.
  • In the ferry, cruise, and cargo ship industry, the International Workers Federation (ITF) estimates only 1 to 2 percent of the workforce is women. More women in the industry will encourage more women to consider sailing.

  • On a positive note, in 2018 one-third of all new students at the American Sailing Association schools nationwide were women, and the organization expects that by the year 2020, at least half of all new students will be women.

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