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Last Ladies Who Launch for 2017

Last Ladies Who Launch for 2017

Throughout 2017 women club members of all ages have taken part in eight Saturday morning sessions aimed at getting them on the water with no pressure and no formal instruction.
“The idea behind the sessions is to offer something specially for the women in the club, many of them have spent years supporting partners and children who enjoy sailing. Now it’s their turn,” explained UYC Sailing Secretary Julie Archer.
There is no formal teaching, that is done by the club’s Ullswater Sailing School, the sailors, of all ages and levels of experience, enjoy getting together to give friendly support and encouragement. Some members own their own boats but those who don’t are able to use the range of boats, both single and multi-handed, owned by the Sailing School which is based at the club.

After their last on-the-water session run by instructor Phil Brooks, they got together for tea and cakes and the annual presentation of the Endeavour Trophy, a brass anchor donated by Julie and presented by Commodore Peter Lewis.

This year’s winner was Fiona Gibson who lives at Heads Nook, near Carlisle. Fiona learned to sail at the club four years ago and soon became ‘hooked’. Because of health problems in 2017 she has been unable to sail on her own as much as she used to but that has not stopped her getting on the water at every opportunity, or her passion and enthusiasm for sailing.

After the trophy presentation Fiona said: “I feel all the Ladies Who Launch should share it with me, as if it was not for them I would be still be debating about getting back on the water. 
“Having been plagued by further health problems since the end of last year I am restricted how much I can do. Luckily for me, with the help and support and encouragement from the group, I have been able to be on the water and have gradually got back into my sailing. I would like to thank the cruiser fleet too for taking me out with them. It is amazing how better you feel when you are out on the lake.

"Pam, Sean and Phil Brooks have done an amazing job at keeping LWL on track in 2017 when often the weather was against us....huge thanks to them. We look forward to welcoming lots more ladies to join us next season... Our new purple kit awaits you!" 

UYC Sailing Secretary Julie Archer has been a great supporter of Ladies Who Launch since it started five years ago. She has developed from being a cautious club sailor to being an enthusiastic traveller, this year taking part in events at clubs all over this country and in Europe. She is keen to encourage more women club sailors to take to the road.

She said: “I started with my previous boat, a Lightning 368 and went to my first open event about four years ago – anxious and unsure how it all works.  Class racing is so much fun – all the same boat, so much help advice and encouragement to improve your sailing – it’s in everyone’s interests to make it close racing and the socials that go with it are so much fun – I would recommend it to anyone.

“Having bought my Aero in 2015 the Class meets and the Northern circuit has gained me new friends, confidence and sailing insights that I could never have imagined. At the recent Nationals my best result was a 46th but the racing is so close throughout the fleet that a small mistake, like too wide at the mark, or losing your clean air, going 1:1 to battle with someone - all will lose you places. At Bala in Race one such was the competition that everyone had a stint at being last.  All of this is done in such a friendly atmosphere both on and off the water – there is lots of friendly off the water chat about how you lost and gained places and much humour whilst on on off the water.

“At the recent Annual RS Aero Awards I was delighted & proud to be awarded the RS AERO Lady of the year – recognition for contributing to the sport and that it’s not all about winning, it’s the taking part that matters. For any women out there thinking about giving it a go I would say, Give it a go, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, be it taking up sailing for the first time or going to your first open – “Just Do It – be the person you want your daughters to be!”

Members of Ladies Who Launch are looking forward to their next season on and off the water with eight sessions planned for 2018. And next year they will have their own special kit to wear – purple hoodies and T-shirts which were unveiled at the trophy presentation.

Posted on 23 September 2017 (Archive on 21 October 2017)
Posted by 51  Contributed by 51


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