BODA Hosts WOW Sailing Clinic, Awards $1500 Scholarship

The Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association (BODA) hosted the Women On the Water Girls Sailing Clinic on Sunday, October 16th at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club.  A group of 39 local girls aged 6-13 participated in an all-day clinic that included land and on-the-water training.  The land drills included a yoga warm-up and some circuit training. On the water, the girls were split into skill level groups to practice sailing and racing drills. An all-female team of coaches and sailing experts was on hand to guide and inspire the girls. 

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  • Yoga Warmup

  • Icebreaker Game

  • Circuit Training

  • Coach Session

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  • Rsz Rigging Up

  • On The Water

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The international Optimist governing body, IODA, recently instituted gender quotas for their international races, to encourage a better balance of boys and girls among participating countries. Most of Bermuda’s younger sailing classes are evenly split between boys and girls. But by middle school (prime racing age), girls tend to drop out, leaving mostly boys as eligible to represent Bermuda in international races. The WOW Clinic seeks to encourage the girls to stay with sport of sailing through their pre-teen and teenage years. 

The all-female volunteers shared their experiences with the girls. Coach Maria stated that she was the only female when she started sailing back in Uruguay.  When she first started racing at the age of 11, she found the aggressiveness of the boys at the start line to be intimidating.  But she stuck with the sport and has made it her career. She is excited to see so many girls in sailing now. 

Another volunteer explained that the gender disparities with the sport continue on into adulthood, where more women tend to drop out as they reach their 20’s. She encouraged the girls to persevere. All the volunteers, including Team BDA sailor Emily Nagel, also expressed their gratitude to the sport for taking them to many foreign lands and introducing them to lifelong friends.

In conjunction with the event, BODA awarded a scholarship to Endeavour. Sylvia Oliveira, BODA Treasurer and event organizer, said, “BODA is grateful to Orbis, April Galda and anonymous donors for their generous donations towards this scholarship to Endeavor for a deserving female sailor who has the aptitude and attitude to shift over to advanced club racing at a Bermuda sailing school.”

The Endeavour Programme has been extremely successful in extending sailing out to the community and sparking an interest among many local children. BODA is thrilled to show its support to the Endeavour Programme through this award. The scholarship winner, as selected by the Endeavour coaches, will be a girl who has the skill and determination to train with the advanced club racers, with the ultimate goal of representing Bermuda at international regattas.

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Team BER arrive in Vilamoura

Bermuda's youth sailors have arrived in Vilamoura, Portugal, to compete in the International Optimist Dinghy Association’s[IODA] World Championships. The regatta starts on Saturday, June 25th and ends July 4th

The team of 5 were chosen after a qualification series of 16 races to determine the top sailors. Representing Bermuda will be Micah Raynor, 14, Tayte Stefaniuk, 14, Felix Cutler, 14, Jordan Etemadi, 13 and Leyli Walker, 12.They will be accompanied by their Coach Pablo Weber and Team Leader Mona Walker and Country Representative Bethanne Thomas. 

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Read more: Team BER arrive in Vilamoura

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Bermuda Sailors head to Salinas Ecuador for IODA SA Championship

Bermuda youth sailors are heading to Salinas Ecuador to compete in the International Optimist Dinghy Association's(IODA) South American Championships. The team of 6 were chosen after a qualification series of 20 races to determine the top sailors. Representing Bermuda will be Jordan Etemadi, Sebastian Kempe, Luke Madeiros, Rian McDonnell-Geraghty, Tayte Stefaniuk and Leyli Walker. They will be accompanied by their Coach Pablo Weber.

The regatta will pit Bermuda's sailors against the best optimist sailors from North and South America. There are 160 sailors entered from 15 nations. Veteran optimist sailor Tayte Stefaniuk is attending his 3rd South American Championship and will be looking to build on his 28th place result from last year. New to IODA championships, are Sebastian Kempe, Rian McDonnell-Geraghty and Leyli Walker who will be looking to gain some valuable international experience and test their skills against the continent's best. Conditions in Salinas, Ecuador will range from 5-8 knots, making this a light-air regatta. 

The team is sponsored by the Bermuda Optimist Dinghy Association(BODA) and team uniform sponsor Digicel. BODA Vice President said Sean Ringsted commented; "We all wish our sailors well in Ecuador. BODA is delighted to have such a talented team represent Bermuda. I know the team is looking forward to a competitive regatta and has been training hard under the guidance of Coach Pablo. We are fortunate to have the support of Coach Pablo and other partners, including parents and Digicel to make this all possible. I am confident that the experiences and success of the team will further inspire Bermuda's Optimist sailors to pursue their sailing dreams.


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The Magenta Project

Don't miss the chance to meet Annie Lush & Sally Barkow former Olympians and veterenas of the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race.

February 18th 2016, at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club

4-6pm Young sailors get the chance to chat to the girls
6-8pm Inspirational talk and video presentation

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