World Sailing has announced that the 2023 edition of its annual women’s sailing festival, Steering the Course, will aim to introduce female sailors to the sport by highlighting the many different pathways and careers available in sailing.

The announcement comes as the first ever all-female Coaches Course, taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, got under way with 15 female coaches taking the next steps in their careers on the water.

Now in its third year, Steering the Course has proved to be hugely popular around the world with 32 national federations, clubs, classes and sailing centres around taking part during Northern and Southern Hemisphere events, as well as throughout the year.

After the success of the past two editions, Steering the Course 2023 will look to organise even more taster sessions, Learn to Sail courses for female sailors of all ages, Women’s Race Days, inspirational talks from female role models in the sport, and a special eSailing Challenge, among other activities.

This year’s event once again sees two festivals scheduled but without the geographical focus to welcome clubs to take part whenever suits their schedule.

  • Festival 1 – Friday 19–Sunday 28 May 2023
  • Festival 2 – Friday 29 September–Sunday 8 October 2023

Catherine Duncan, Training & Development Executive at World Sailing, said, “We are really excited to announce the direction of Steering the Course 2023. We had such fantastic participation from across the world last year and we really hope to build on this momentum. Seeing the impact that the diverse range of activities have had to encourage increased participation from women and girls has been great in the last two years and alongside this we hope to encourage more female officials, coaches, instructors and volunteers to discover the sport or gain new skills.”

Koray Ezer, World Sailing’s Head of International Development, said, “Our focus this year is on shaping a pathway for women in sailing. We want to highlight the opportunities in different areas of the sport as well as calling out the challenges we know exist in accessing these pathways. We are thrilled our first all-women coaching course in now taking place in Brazil, led by a female coach developer, and can’t wait to see the outcome for the coaches. This is the first of many courses of this kind we hope to offer throughout the year.”

The build-up to this year’s event also ties into International Women’s Day, held on 8 March under the theme of #EmbraceEquity. Sailing has shown that it is a sport for all, regardless of gender, experience and ability, and this year’s Steering the Course will once again prove there are opportunities for everyone.

Any activity that promotes Sailing as a sport or recreational activity to new participants, or invites existing participants to try new roles, is welcome and case studies detailing existing projects that work to engage, support or empower women in the sport of sailing can be shared throughout the sailing community.

In 2021, World Sailing profiled four major success stories for women in the sport – including Sail Africa, winner of the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award in 2021.

Sailing Clubs, Class Associations and Member National Authorities are encouraged to sign up for the event here.

More information will be shared in the coming months with details about how to nominate female role models, session activity packs, branding information and an online calendar to help plan events. Content from the events and activities can be sent to to be shared on World Sailing’s social media channels.