Catherine North on the bow Encouraging more women sailingby Catherine North

After a 40,000nm round the world ocean race onboard the winning yacht in the 2017/18 Clipper race, the ORCV Winter Series and Women Skipper and Navigator Race and encouraging more women sailing onboard her beloved “Duckmobile” is up next for Catherine North.

I’d heard during the Clipper race that the yacht that I’d learnt to sail on and loved “Duckmobile” was for sale but didn’t know if and how we could afford to buy her. Since returning to Australia, Michael and I found a way to buy Duckmobile and have been preparing the boat with the view that I’d really like to do my part to encourage more women to come sailing. Duckmobile is a 36’ X-Yacht and whilst we plan to do some cruising mainly short-handed, we will race her I hope, fully crewed.

I’ve always enjoyed longer passage races which is why I’m excited and have chosen the ORCV Winter series as our first race. Longer races give you time to work as a crew, trim, get the boat setup and plan your journey. A 30nm or slightly longer race after the long legs of the Clipper race is just perfect to get us back out on the water again as we look towards getting as much experience as we can. I’m also looking forward to competing in not only the ORCV winter series but the ORCV Women Skipper and Navigator Blairgowrie - Melbourne. Longer term I’d like to then do some ocean passages both racing and cruising around Tasmania.

Before leaving for the Clipper race, I did several courses to gain knowledge including keelboat courses, a radio operator’s course before taking on the Ocean Racing Club (ORCV) “Beyond the Bay” course. I really enjoyed the ORCV “Beyond the Bay” course as it gave a great insight into what I needed to consider and know prior to leaving. I’m keen to be more involved with the ORCV not only as a competitor but also supporting their work as a volunteer. I’ve really enjoyed the people that I’ve met through the ORCV who have been so willing to share their knowledge with me. My inspiration to sail came from my father, the fictional character Captain Horatio Hornblower and various crew members on the Clipper race.

I’m now looking forward to now using my knowledge and experiences and sharing this with other women who have a passion to embrace sailing, both longer passage races and offshore and do my part to get more women sailing.

I’ve been very fortunate with the people that have supported my sailing dream. The previous owner of Duckmobile welcomed me onto his yacht and was very supportive of women and sailing. I must say I learnt a lot from David and would now like to do the same for other women and support them into sailing. I’m looking for women who are passionate and keen to learn sailing joining the Duckmobile crew.

If you’re interested joining me sailing, please send an email via the ORCV office on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Catherine North on the bow of Sanya, Clipper Round the World Ocean Race.  Photography Minghao Zhang











ORCV Novice Race from Geelong
15 Aug 2019 08:24

ORCV Novice Race from Geelong 1st September 2019

ORCV Novice Skipper Race is the return race from Geelong on Sunday 1st September. Check out the Notice of Race to see if you qualify which defines a Novice as "A first-time boat owner who has competed, as boat owner or in any other capacity, in less than 10 yacht or dinghy races in the past 10 years; OR A crew member who has no prior experience a [ ... ]

2019 ORCV Women’s Skipper & Navigator Race require...
10 Jul 2019 02:16

2019 ORCV Women’s Skipper & Navigator Race required light wind sailing plans. Winning skipper of Xenia, Edel Doyle revealed their successful plan. “We consulted multiple weather sources; Meteye, BOM and watched the ORCV Weather forecast provided Friday evening, and decided that the winds would be towards the middle of the bay on Sunday, so we stuck to our plan and sailed in that direction [ ... ]

ORCV Winter Series Race 2 to Blairgowrie, another ...
10 Jul 2019 01:23

Patriot crew photography credit Bruno Cocozza  ORCV Winter Series Race 2 to Blairgowrie, another “Winter Wonder” The second race of the ORCV Winter Series brought with it a sunny day with a light northerly wind. The day started at 9 am with 246 crew onboard 42 yachts who made their way out to the start line for the annual flare shoot on a very reflective bay. The forecasted 10-15 knot [ ... ]

Thank you to Blairgowrie Yacht Club
02 Jul 2019 11:21Thank you to Blairgowrie Yacht Club

Thank you goes to Blairgowrie Yacht Club for welcoming and accommodating the growing 40 plus yachts and crews participating in the ORCV Winter Series Race 2. If your boat hasn't confirmed your intention for a free of charge berth or numbers for dinner, please do so tonight. Allocated berths will be posted soon. Gourmet Buffet Dinner and Dessert is $35 per person and includes a glass or wine [ ... ]

Other Articles