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These Four Women Are Making Waves in the Sailing Community


Post by Jackie Au - Published on 3/8/22 8:30 AM

Sailing, especially competitive sailing, has long been a mostly male-dominated sport. Still, for the past few decades, more and more women have not only joined the arena but are absolutely commanding it. This statement could not be more true for the following four women, who’ve not just made waves, but tsunamis in the competitive sailing community.Canva Design DAE589JlAr4

This March, in celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we’d like to highlight them. These women have refused to simply take a seat. Instead, they’re taking the helm and carving out pathways for those who succeed them.

Wendy Tuck

Australian native Wendy Tuck is a trailblazer. Tuck, an experienced sailor, has competed in 13 “Sydney Hobart Yacht Races” and two “Clipper Round the World Races,” a circumnavigation tournament, becoming the first woman to sail back-to-back Clipper races. 

Following her first Clipper race in 2015, where she suffered broken ribs and a head injury after battling rough seas in the Pacific Ocean, Tuck rallied and finished 2nd for the North Pacific Leg in the 2017-2018 race a year later. Tuck then made history, becoming the first woman to win the Clipper Round the World Race when she sailed over 40,000 nautical miles across six oceans at the helm of Sanya Serenity Coast. Tuck, known affectionately as “Wendo,” is also an avid surfer and lover of the ocean. 

Photo sourced from Yachting World
“I am very proud. If one little girl sees this can be done and has a go, that will be what matters.” -Tuck on her record breaking voyage.

Amy Sinclair

It is Amy Sinclair’s mission to make sailing more inclusive. Sinclair, a sailor, and advocate for inclusivity in the sailing community, started sailing as an adult. After her introduction to the sport in 2014, Sinclair fell in love with sailing and competed in races worldwide. 

Sinclair was a Sweet Caroline J109 race team member in Hempstead Harbor, NY. She’s served as the Vice President of the National Women’s Sailing Association and as captain of the first all-female Kenyan sailing team to compete in the annual Dhow Race Festival in Lamu. In 2019, Sinclair organized the sailing community in welcoming climate activist Greta Thunberg to the New York Harbor. 

In addition, she’s served as a spokesperson for the United Nations Sustainable Development Group. Sinclair is currently the CEO of Women Who Sail, an online community for women, women-identifying, non-binary sailors, and the founder of #SailingNoire, which further emphasizes the need to break down stereotypes and get more POCs out on the water.

Photo sourced from Just an Outdoor Gal

“Sailing changed my life in so many different ways, and I want to share it.” -Sinclair on sailing.

Francesca Clapcich

In 1999, Clapcich began sailing in her hometown of Trieste, Italy. Since then, Clapcich has become an accomplished competitive sailor, competing in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. In 2015, she won the European and World Championships in 49er FX. She has also finished in the top five of the World Championships in 2013, 2014, and 2016.

As an openly lesbian sailor, Clapcich has broken down barriers for both women in sailing and members of the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to her achievements in competition, Clapcich is also an advocate for inclusivity in sailing and is the co-founder of Equal Sailing, an organization committed to creating an environment where sailors are treated equally based on their skills and experience.

Photo sourced from Yacht Sandy Yachting

“As professional LGBTQ+ athletes, it is important that we bring attention to these issues and keep fighting for the next generation of athletes and those who need our voices most.”- Francesca Clapcich on advocating for the LGBT+ community.

Captain Marie Rogers

Captain Marie Rogers has broken down many barriers in sailing. Rogers was the second woman in over 118 years and the first Black woman to serve as the commodore of the Los Angeles Yacht Club. She is also a 50-T Master Captain, a certified sailing instructor, and an advocate for spreading sailing in her community. 

Rogers is an avid racer and competed in the 50th Transpacific Yacht Race. She was most recently honored as the 2021 BoatUS/NWSA Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award Honoree for her generosity and dedication to inclusion in the sport of sailing. Rogers currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Sailing Association, an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of women and girls through education and access to the sport of sailing.

Photo sourced from Boat Us

“Sailing is lovely because it’s sharing, it’s a group, it’s relying on one another. It is about team building and being open minded. Sailing is an amazing metaphor of how to get along.” - Captain Marie Rogers

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Post by Jackie Au

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