“Encouraging more women sailing”by 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.
Catherine North on the bow of Sanya, Clipper Round the World Ocean Race. Photography Minghao Zhang