Getting more women into the sport and industry of sailing is the goal of a new mentorship program spearheaded by Antigua Sailing Week (ASW), the Antigua and Barbuda Sailing Association (ABSA) and the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association (ABMA). It’s a program right on-trend and follows the continued focus from global organizations on promoting gender equality.
“The program focuses on performance sailing and although eventually we would love to see more women in racing, we decided that our program needed to be broadened to include recreational sailing and additionally to invite women into the industry,” says Alison Sly-Adams, ASW president. So first, we will determine individually what the women are interested in and then we will design the program around that. The key thing is that we will be using our contacts and network to open doors for the women. That may well be literally learning to sail which would take place at the National Sailing Academy, or if one of the women aspires to be a pilot in St John’s Harbour, we would build links with the port and the department of marine services and merchant shipping so she can understand the requirements.”
Eight mentees from ages 16 to 30 will participate in the program’s first edition. Over the next year, these women will have four one-to-one sessions with a mentor and two team days with mentors and mentees together as part of ASW.
Mentors for this first year are Eloise Green, Super Yacht Services professional; Rana Jamila-Lewis, lifelong recreational sailor, day skipper and Events and Marketing Manager of ASW; Paola Vittoria, lifelong sailor and organizer of the World Optimist Championship held in Antigua in 2019; Elizabeth Jordan, founder of the National Sailing Academy; Junella King, sailing instructor, dockmaster and day skipper; Samara ‘Nicky’ Emmanuel one of Team Antigua Island Girls and a freelance skipper and delivery and race crew; Susan Elliott-Beatty, Class Secretary of the International Optimist Dinghy Association and secretary of ABSA; and Sly-Adams, who is also president of the Caribbean Sailing Association and General Manager of the National Sailing Academy. www.sailingweek.com/mentorship