Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

World Sailing unveils Steering the Course, a groundbreaking plan to champion gender equity

by World Sailing 29 May 17:54 BST
World Sailing unveils Steering the Course © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

World Sailing, the global governing body for the sport of sailing, is proud to announce the launch of Steering the Course, its pioneering plan to encourage more women to participate in every part of the sport.

With just 60 days to go to Paris 2024 - which is set to make history as the first #GenderEqualOlympics with full male and female parity on the field of play - Steering the Course, World Sailing's plan to support women in sailing, reaffirms the federation's global commitment to fostering inclusivity, accessibility and equity at every level of sailing.

Steering the Course outlines a vision for how the sport will look by 2032 and encompasses a wide range of initiatives and objectives across seven priority areas - Coaches, Instructors and Team Leaders; Race Officials; Participation; Para Inclusive Sailing; Events; Media, and Governance.

Between now and 2028, World Sailing aims to:

  • Achieve a target of 30% for women registered as coaches and support staff at the World Sailing Championships in 2026/27 (up from 18% at The Hague 2023).
  • Reach 35% women registered as coaches or team leaders at the 2026 Youth Sailing World Championships (up from 18% at Buzios 2023).
  • Secure 50% women attending World Sailing Technical Courses for Coaches during the 2025-2028 quadrennial (currently 42%).
  • Attain 50% representation for female race officials at the 2026/27 World Sailing Championships and at the LA28 Olympic Games, as well as as well as achieving 25% of registered women International Race Officials.

David Graham, World Sailing Chief Executive Officer, said, "Steering the Course, World Sailing's plan to support women in sailing, marks a significant milestone in the organisation's ongoing efforts to promote diversity and empowerment across all aspects of the sport.

"Launching this plan in the countdown to the Olympics holds particular significance, as attention turns to our athletes competing at what will be the largest, gender equal sporting event in the world."

Paris 2024 will also be the first Olympic Games where two of the three Chief roles in the sailing events will be held by female officials.

"By championing gender equity and inclusivity, World Sailing aims to not only enhance the Olympic experience for all participants but also to point the way for a brighter, more diverse future for the whole sport and inspire lasting change for this and future generations throughout the sailing community and beyond," underlined Graham.

Fiona Kidd, World Sailing Head of International Development, added, "Steering the Course, World Sailing's plan to support women in sailing, embodies our unwavering dedication to promoting gender equity, accessibility, and empowerment within our sport. With a firm belief that gender should never be a barrier to participation or success, this plan aims to break down existing barriers and create a more inclusive environment where women and girls can thrive and excel."

Cat Duncan, World Sailing Development Manager is founder of the Steering the Course Festival, the federation's annual celebration of women in sailing which since 2021 has given opportunities to women in 45 countries to consider a pathway in sailing.

"We know from talking to women throughout the sailing community that World Sailing has a key role to play in setting the standards for gender equity in the sport," said Duncan.

"Now, Steering the Course - World Sailing's plan to support women in sailing - spells out what we, as the global governing body for the sport, are committed to achieving. However, making the sport more welcoming for more women is not something we can achieve on our own and we hope this document will encourage others in the sport to do similar."

World Sailing is also aiming to support the growth of female Board and Committee members by aiming for 50% female representation within the President and Vice President leadership group, currently at 37.5%, and 40% within World Sailing Committees and Commissions, which is currently at 33% and 35% respectively. These targets will be a key area of focus within the 2025-2028 term for World Sailing elected officials.

All of the targets set by World Sailing align with the recently published World Sailing Olympic Vision strategy and have been guided by the IWG Women & Sport Brighton and Helsinki Declaration, IOC Guidelines on Equality and Inclusion, and UN Women Sport for Generation Equality.

The World Sailing Women in Sailing Strategy is available to view and download on the World Sailing website.

Related Articles

World Sailing invites passionate sailors
To shape the future of the sport World Sailing is seeking people with a passion for sailing to help shape the future of the sport by applying to be members of its commissions and committees. Posted on 21 Jun
"Truly inclusive" landmark Para Inclusive Strategy
World Sailing is targeting a return to the Paralympic Games World Sailing is targeting a return to the Paralympic Games after publishing its first Para Inclusive Strategy which will guide the growth of the sport through to 2029. Posted on 18 Jun
World Sailing marks World Oceans Day
By publishing first annual Sustainability Report World Sailing has published its first annual Sustainability Report to provide a comprehensive progress update on all 56 of the federation's Sustainability Agenda 2030 targets. Posted on 7 Jun
2026-27 World Sailing Championships host announced
Valencia in Spain and Gdynia in Poland host new format split event World Sailing has selected the cities of Valencia in Spain and Gdynia in Poland to host the 2026-2027 World Sailing Championships as the event moves to a split format for the first time. Posted on 6 Jun
Jeddah to host Youth & Women's Match Racing
Prominent venue in Saudi Arabia to host both World Championships World Sailing has selected the Jeddah Yacht Club & Marina in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to host the upcoming 2024 Youth Match Racing World Championship, and the 2024 Women's Match Racing World Championship beginning immediately afterwards. Posted on 23 May
World Sailing Transgender Participation Policy
The World Sailing Council has voted to adopt new eligibility rules for transgender athletes World Sailing Council has voted to adopt new eligibility rules for transgender athletes at the federation's 2024 Mid Year Meeting. Posted on 18 May
Steering the Course 2024
Shining the spotlight on pathways to the Olympics for women in sailing This year's Steering the Course, World Sailing's global women's sailing festival, kicks off today with the spotlight firmly focused on the Olympic pathways available in coaching, officiating and sports administration. Posted on 17 May
FRA, GER, GBR lead qualification numbers
For Paris 2024 Olympic Games The Paris 2024 Olympic Games will see at least 63 nations represented across 10 events this summer after qualifying concluded at the Last Chance Regatta in Hyères in the south of France. Posted on 29 Apr
World Sailing appoints Jim Morris CB DSO
As new Director of Events World Sailing is delighted to announce the appointment of Jim Morris CB DSO as its new Director of Events. Posted on 23 Apr
Formula Kite winner claims overall trophy in Palma
Breiana Whitehead top competitor at the 53 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca Australian kiteboarder Breiana Whitehead has been awarded the trophy for overall winner of the 53 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca by Iberostar at the World Cup Series event in Palma. Posted on 6 Apr