The Women Who Sail Australia (WWSA) group will be staging their third consecutive Gathering on the Bay as an entrée to Sail Port Stephens. It’s a chance for women sailors, and those interested in becoming one, to meet, network, share knowledge and learn.
Organiser Shelley Wright is expecting attendees from interstate and overseas as well as locally.
Starting Friday, April 6, there will be a session with Yoga4Yachties, followed by workshops on splicing and navigation. Discussion then turns to South Pacific cruising. Dinner will be at Nelson Bay Bowling Club from 6pm.
Guest speakers that night will be from Eyeglass Assist, a not-for-profit organisation that provides spectacles to people in remote communities who can’t afford or otherwise access them. Since 2008 it numbers almost 8000 glasses, as well as sunglasses, to villages in 13 different countries, throughout Asia, Oceania, the Pacific Ocean and Mexico. For many it’s a life-changing experience.
Saturday’s seminars kick off bright and early (7.30am) at Broughtons on the Bay, d’Albora Marina Nelson Bay, concluding at 4pm ahead of a 5.30pm wine tasting and official Gathering dinner. Seminar times for Sunday April 8 are 7.30am to 3.30pm, with feeder race crews then beginning to arrive.
An outstanding speaker list has been assembled for the Gathering, arguably highlighted by Lisa Blair who completed a 183-day circumnavigation of Antarctica aboard her 50-foot yacht Climate Action Now.
Blair was dismasted in gale-swept seas just 72 days in, and about 900 nautical miles from Cape Town, necessitating a Pan Pan call. After jury-rigging her boat, she continued on to Cape Town where she then spent eight weeks in port arranging repairs before returning to her point of dismasting to continue the circumnavigation.
Charlotte Kaufman, the US founder of Women Who Sail, is also presenting at the Gathering, along with compatriot Amy Alton who has sailed 30,000 nautical miles to Australia. New Zealander Viki Moore from Astrolabe Sailing, and a current director of Yachting New Zealand, will discuss cruising opportunities in her home waters.
Poppy Moore will reveal lessons from her circumnavigation of Australia aboard the East Coast 31 Scaramouch to highlight Parkinson’s disease, and Kristen Anderson will give insights into cruising from Patagonia to Australia.
The seminar line-up also includes:
- Roger Badham (weather)
- Adventures of a Sailor Girl’s Nic Douglass (media)
- Kerry Tait (provisioning for offshore sailing)
- Kate Nairn (marine debris)
- Sue Freeman (marine rescue)
- Andrea Mitchell (cruising for a purpose)
All women who are interested in boats are welcome to attend. Weekend seminar tickets are $65, with bookings online through stickytickets.com.au. The Saturday Gathering dinner is the same price and can also can be booked through StickyTickets.
Email address is email@example.com.
Sponsors include SisterShip magazine, Pantaenius, Soldiers Point Marina, Deckee, Grotty Yachty, Rocna Anchors, Gill, Down Under Rally and The Boat Works Gold Coast.