About Women's Racing on the Ottawa River
Women's Racing on the Ottawa River is an interclub event involving members of the Nepean Sailing Club and the Britannia Yacht Club, and it is supported by an informal group of local women sailors. There is also an increasing number of women sailors from Club de Voile Grande-Rivière. For lack of a better name, we call ourselves the Ottawa River Women’s Interclub Fleet Committee.
Monday night races
Women's PHRF racing takes place on Monday evenings throughout the summer on the part of the Ottawa River known as Lac Deschenes in the west end of the National Capital Region. Series I races usually take place from late May to mid-July, and Series II usually runs from mid-July to the end of September. In recent years, Women's Race Night regularly attracts a dozen or more boats at the starting line.
Women and Wind Workshops
In addition to scheduling and promoting the regular Monday evening races, we also attempt to get more women involved in the sport of sailboat racing. To this end, our Committee organizes the CYA sponsored "Women and Wind" workshops every spring. These workshops are based on women showing women the ins-and-outs of sailboats racing. The Women and Wind workshops are very inexpensive to attend, usually take place over an entire weekend, involve both on-the-water and off-the-water sessions, and are aimed at both novice and experienced racers.
Want to get involved in Women's Racing?
Because of the informal nature of our group, we don't have an official way to get involved in women's racing on the Ottawa River. If you're a complete novice, the easiest to way get involved is to sign up for the Women and Wind Workshop in spring, learn all you can, and ask lots of questions about racing your own boat, or crewing on someone else's. Inquiring about what courses are available at local sailing schools is another possibility.
For many women, asking around about the possibility of crewing on a boat is a practical way of getting involved in racing. Skippers are often willing to sign up someone with little or no experience if they are eager, willing to learn, and above all else, are willing to make a commitment to make it to most of the races on Monday evenings (5:15 to 8:30 pm).
If you have your own boat, are a co-owner of a boat, or otherwise have access to a boat at NSC or BYC, you may wish to consider putting a crew together and start racing on Monday evenings. This may seem like a daunting undertaking for the uninitiated, but this is how many of us started racing. Unless you have lots of experience, you may want to contact us about meeting other women racers so you'll be able to learn more about what's involved in racing your own boat.
To learn more about Women's Racing on the Ottawa River and the local Women and Wind Workshops, contact one of the people below.