Supporting you to take the helm - on and off the water

The Irish Sailing Take the Helm Women in Sport programme aims to encourage women into positions of leadership, both on and off the water.

Women at the Helm Regatta was launched in 2019 as Ireland's first women-only helm event and was a fantastic success.

We are pleased to launch a series of opportunities for women to step up and Take the Helm as leaders in a number of ways. A combination of skills training, mentorship, leadership, events and talks are available to support women to stretch out to the next challenge in a way that suits their goals and include ...

  1. Take the Helm Training - a few places remain available
  2. Women in Sailing Mentorship - now closed
  3. Women in Sport Leadership - now closed

Any questions please email

Take the Helm Training

 Follow the success of the Take the Helm training programme launched in 2019, we are offering further bursaries to support to any Irish Sailing Club, Class or Centre to support their members or team to take or provide one of the following training options.

There is a maximum of 20 bursaries available. GO HERE to apply. Deadline 1st October 2021.

1. Developing Instructor Qualifications

€450 to support any woman / women to attend an Irish Sailing …

  • Keelboat Instructor Conversion
  • Advanced Sailing Instructor
  • Powerboat Instructor Conversion
  • Safety Boat Instructor
  • Advanced Powerboat Instructor
  • Senior Instructor
  • Take CPD Revalidation of any scheme
  • Irish Sailing Level 1 Club Coach Qualification

2. Powerboating Training

€450 towards running a dedicated …

  • Powerboat Training Course for women
  • Safety Boat Training Course for women

3. Women Helm Events

€450 towards the coordination of a regional women helming event or programme

4. Women's Coaching

Women’s coaching programme to prepare for regional or national events.

  • €450 towards the cost of an Irish Sailing qualified coach, or
  • €150 towards cost of an unqualified coach.


Women in Sailing Mentorship

 Irish Sailing are proud to announce the launch of a new Women in Sailing Mentorship Programme as part of our “Take the Helm” Women in Sport initiative.

We recognise that moving from fleet racing to offshore sailing or local to international events can be an unknown path and guidance from an experienced achiever can help tremendously.

For phase one of our Women in Sailing Mentorship we have linked up with Offshore Sailor and Round Ireland Record Holder, Pamela Lee, to provide a personal and group mentoring for women looking for some inspiration, guidance or direction to make the next step in their sailing career. Read about your mentor, Pamela Lee HERE.

We invite women aged 18 plus who want to develop their knowledge, skills or confidence to or make a move towards a career on or off the water, to become a mentee.

The programme will run for a full year and mentees will benefit from 8 mentoring sessions, which will be a combination of team sessions and one to ones, depending on the team needs and availability. All mentoring sessions will be provided digitally.

Phase one will be limited to three mentee spaces. There is a small commitment fee of €40.

Submit your application here. Applications must be received by 1st October 2021.


Women in Sport Leadership Programme

 Swim Ireland are running a second term of their Women in Sport Leadership programme. The programme is designed and delivered by consultants Lisa Clancy and Sarah O’Shea and is funded through the Sport Ireland Women in Sport programme. The Leadership programme has proved hugely successful thus far with over 100 participants from 28 sporting bodies taking part to develop their leadership skills.

The programme is specifically designed for female leaders (Volunteers, Athletes, Coaches, Officials, Staff etc) within your organisation. Those selected should already be in a leadership position or a female recognised by your organisation as having the potential to take on a leadership role in the near future.

The aim of the programme is to provide training, guidance, and expertise to support women to thrive in leadership positions in sport. The interactive practical classes allow each participant to work and focus on their own development, while learning from others in the sporting word as part of a team. There will be some group and individual exercises during the programme and each course size is limited to ensure everyone has the opportunity to fully engage and reach their full potential.

 Course Content

• The course modules include the following core topics:

• Leadership and Values

• Networking and Collaboration

• Handling Challenging Situations and Developing Resilience

• Crisis Management

• Influencing in leadership

• Communications and Developing Your Personal Brand

• Governance in Sport

• Change Management


Participants will also receive a one-on-one coaching session and support in producing their own Personal Development Plan. Guest speakers will also provide insight into their own personal leadership experiences.

We have managed to secure two places on the programme. The already subsidised fee is €750 and we are offering our two places for a commitment fee of €75. Candidates will need to be able to commit to the dates and times below and fully engage on the course.

Tuesday 12th October to Tuesday 7th December 2021 7pm-8.30pm

Eight-session course, taking place every Tuesday online via zoom

(No session for Mid Term on Tuesday 26th October)

If you are interested, or know someone you would like nominate for a place, GO HERE to enter by 1st October 2021.

Pamela Lee Mentor

Pamela Lee

 Pamela is a three times Round Ireland World Record holding Offshore Sailor. Her current sailing projects include racing in the Doublehanded Figaro 3 circuit in France. Her focus is on building her offshore sailing expertise by racing in this competitive fleet.

Pamela recently achieved the World Records for the fastest circumnavigation of Ireland in three categories (Under 40ft monohull, doublehanded & female). She achieved this within a remarkably short run time and naming the campaign Iarracht Maigeanta (ÉIRE) partnered with The Magenta Project in order to inspire young females in Ireland to take up offshore sailing. Pamela is a massive proponent of inclusion within sailing and is passionate about opening the sport up to the public and creating pathways for female sailors. Her ultimate dream is to race around the world, preferably in The Ocean Race.

With a background racing dinghies nationally and internationally in her youth, she graduated to yacht racing on moving to Sydney in 2013. She went on to podium finishes in the Blue Water Pointscore and Sydney-Hobart races, learning the ropes from sailing legends such as Roger Hickman. Pamela has built experience racing on everything from TP52s to Classic Fifes all around the world and has continuously been a part of successful inshore and offshore teams. She loves the grit and perseverance required for competing offshore most of all.

Pamela is also a skilled and experienced communications manager. With over 5 years experience working in high profile organisations, the not-for-profit sector and corporate companies in Europe and Australia. She has extensive experience in project management; client liaison; sales and artist resources. Pamela has initiated and lead communications strategies to support business objectives and build reputation and brand. Her skills include managing and leading teams; internal and external communications management; issues and crisis management; public relations, digital and social media strategies.