We're helping celebrate role of women on the water

As the sailing world champions the activity of women on the water, Dell Quay SC is ensuring Chichester Harbour joins in the celebrations.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 9:30 am
Aimee and Lucie Morley, whose training at Dell Quay encouraged them to race in the regatta / Picture: Becki Dicker

On every day of the international festival Steering the Course – Women in Sailing (May 21-31) the club are publishing on their website stories from female members, and they will also present a women’s prize at their National Solo open meeting on May 29.

“At Dell Quay we have many other amazing women and girls who keep our club and sport alive and well,” said club secretary Anita Fulton.

“We hope their stories will inspire others to become more involved in this wonderful sport.”

A very early sailing experience for Nikki Buchanan, former DQSC membership secretary and a keen Solo racer

There are members who describe themselves as ‘water babies’, others who didn’t become involved until their 50s, some who took up sailing almost by accident, several who returned to dinghy racing after bringing up children. They have raced and cruised, been taught and taught others, taken on vital roles in their own club or joined the team running the Harbour Race Week. Two became DQSC commodores.

Their accounts make entertaining and encouraging reading. “My sister and I were pushed off with the advice not to hit anything,’ writes one, of her first sail in a Mirror dinghy built by her father. “The maiden voyage was a success.” She went on to compete in much faster dinghies. A newer recruit tells of Tall Ships and trans-Atlantic races. Others were bitten by the windsurfing bug.

There is drama: a member on a family sailing holiday was chased by a Spanish gunboat seeking drug-runners. A victim of a bad capsize was rescued by ‘gorgeous lifeboat hunks’. One 17-year-old, a dinghy instructor, advises girls not to be nervous: “The boys are probably as scared as you are.”

Years back, training was non-existent and safety rudimentary. “Anything I learned was by osmosis.” “We had no life jackets for racing until l was 16.” In contrast, there’s a qualified instructor has now ‘lost count of the number of youngsters I have taught to sail’. There’s one common theme: the contributors all made lifelong friends at Dell Quay – one tells how her helm asked her to marry him and share his Firefly.

Beryl Dyton (left) and Jane Matthews, with other DQSC volunteers at Chichester Harbour Race Week

Find out more at the club website – go to www.dellquaysc.co.uk