Combining Cruising and Racing
The Pathfinder Women at the Helm Regatta provided sailing challenges and fun for all sailing preferences to join in and "Take the Helm" on the race course and through cruising.
There are many Irish sailors that enjoy the competition of racing a club series or travelling to regional events with their class. And there are many Irish sailors that like to cruise the coast or lakes at a leisurely pace, heading where the wind takes them and anchoring up for a dip or paddle ashore to explore many boreens and hills of Ireland. And there are many that do both.
Whatever type of sailing you choose there is always something new to learn and plenty of adventure, camaraderie, adrenalin and much more to experience.
So when the idea of the Pathfinder Women at the Helm event was being developed we wanted to make sure that it was an inclusive event for all levels and styles of sailing and asked the Cruising Association of Ireland (CAI) if they would like to come on board.
They were delighted to be asked to be part of the event and members signed up to volunteer their time and yachts for a day sail "Cruise in Company" with invites for interested women crew with them for the day and get a chance to take the helm.
Ex Commodore of CAI, Clifford Brown, told us “The opportunity to cruise as opposed to racing is very important for this event. Recreational sailing can be just as exciting as racing and even more enjoyable as there is time to take in the environment, wildlife and weather without having to concentrate on boat speed, tactics etc. Also the skills of navigation and passage planning can be shown to those new to cruising. I'm sure CAI will assist in promoting the opportunity to cruise as part of any future events.”
A visiting yacht from New York was given such a warm Irish welcome by CAI and the National Yacht Club that they joined the he cruise and invited local new sailors on board to help crew.
So could this be a new idea for large events? Let the racing sailors race and have a parallel event for a more relaxed option for visitors to join the local cruising sailors out on the water for the day.
A MASSIVE thanks has to go out to the CAI skippers for making the day such a success. Lets hope this is the beginning of something new.