by Tom Wicks
On a breezy and beautiful Mother’s day afternoon, a full class of 16 women gathered at the Rappahannock River Yacht Club (RRYC) on Carter Creek for the start of the 2017 two-day Women’s Sailing Clinic led by Stephanie Chaufournier and Danielle Kuper.
The second day, May 21, brought perfect sailing conditions and the 16 took the helms of eight Cape Dory Typhoons along with their coaches to practice sail handling, helming, tacking and jibing out on the river before six boats took part in fun races.
The clinic was designed to help women learn or increase sailing skills and build confidence helming and crewing.
“I am used to just following orders from the captain (my husband). I want a chance to do it myself so that I can learn why,” said participant Leslie Damon.
The clinic, hosted by RRYC annually, is open to the public and to women of all sailing abilities.
“We were thrilled with the turnout this year—clearly there is a growing interest in sailing among women in the area,” said co-fleet commander Chaufournier.
After the group returned to the dock, beverages and snacks awaited them on the back porch of the yacht club where laughter and stories were heard late into the afternoon. To learn more about the women’s sailing program, visit rryc.org.
The club thanks Stephanie and Danielle for leading this program and also the other volunteers for their time and skills as coaches and organizers: Tom Armstrong, CJ Carter, Ned Crockett, Lance Franke, Gary Hooper, Marc Hudgins, Mikey Kennedy, George Kuper, Tom Linville, Greg Shivers, Sam van Saun and Harry Wells.