Building The Female Base In Sailing

Ian Walker, who is the Racing Director  of the Royal Yachting Association and also the winning skipper of Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-15, talks sailing, the way, rule of mixed team and he hopes to enhance the participation as well as the standard of women’s sailing.

Some part of his interview is here

Ian Walker

  • How do envisage the pathway for women in sailing?

At the junior level, it is great with ample amount of opportunities, but I believe the challenge for women and men is how they get beyond that age range. At the end, there is a big fall of the youth in sailing and before they move ahead to the next stage, whether it is the offshore races, Olympic sailing or the club racing in the keelboats

  • How do you believe that the pathway of sailing has changed?

If you move back 30 years, most of the people used to trade while doing their sailing. Probably, they are the sail maker or a master builder. These people trade and sail both, however, these days sailing has become professional and people now are sailing full-time, also they do not sail for trade as well.

The world of professional sailing has been shrinking. It appears that, the professional sailing is increasing because of more number of events, but in practice it is not. For e.g. the Volvo event has now only a few people to take part, similarly, in the America’s Cup there is hardly any sailors present who take part in any event now, there are no Admirals Cup.

So, I believe it is hard to get up for women and men, and especially women who are hard. Now, we all have to think about opportunities that are present in the industry for both women and men.