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Women and Girls in Sailing

Keelboat aerial

Royal Yacht Club of Victoria welcomes female Members, and there are lots of opportunities for you to get involved – no matter what your level of experience. Whether you are a fully-fledged sailor, or just starting out, or even wanting to see what it is like on the water, there is something for you to enjoy. It doesn’t have to be on the water either: there’s plenty happening on dry land too! 

Vision Statement

  • To encourage and mentor women in sailing and to develop a sense of community within the club which nurtures a life-long ambition to sail
  • To ensure women’s interests are respected and represented on all major committees of RYCV.


  • Provide opportunities and encourage women to experience sailing
  • Develop well trained and competent women sailors
  • Work in collaboration with other Melbourne yacht clubs to promote and encourage participation in women’s sailing
  • To inform and encourage women to attend training courses on offer.

The Club is always looking for new ways to get women into sailing. If you have any suggestions or questions feel free get in touch. 

Further information

For more information on how to get involved in women’s sailing you can contact the office on (03) 9397 1277 or You can also join our network, the RYCV Women and Girls Facebook group. 

Check out the Yachting Victoria She Sails website. It is dedicated to you – female sailors and potential female sailors – to help you get sailing, enjoy sailing and keep sailing! 



Royal Yacht Club of Victoria has a number of trophies and programs dedicated to women in racing. Get involved today!


Val Hodge Trophy

Val Hodge was one of RYCV’s first female skippers. Val joined the club in 1985 with her husband Arthur. When Arthur became busy with his Club Captain duties, Val took over as skipper on their boat. She competed in many races and still sails and officiates in races up in her new place of residence – Queensland. 

The Val Hodge Trophy takes Hobson’s Bay at the Northern end of Port Phillip Bay, with the race start on the Eastern side of the channel. The race is open to female helms (crews can be of any mix), and constitutes part of the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series.

All competitors are invited back to the Club after racing, for food and the presentation. 

Sun Theatre Passage Race

The Sun Theatre Passage Trophy has been reborn as a Lady Skippers’ Passage Race, to be held from Queenscliff to Williamstown for the return journey after the Phoenix trophy. It also forms one race from the Port Phillip Women’s Passage Series.

The idea for the race came from a conversation amongst the crew of Children of Phoenix during the return from last year’s ORCV Women Skippers’ and Navigators’ Race from Geelong to Melbourne. Some of the crew commented that they enjoyed the different skills involved in passage racing and found this style of race to be less stressful than the usual argy-bargy of windward-leeward racing and wished there were more passage races for women in Port Phillip apart from the ORCV race established in 2013. 

PC Michael Smith kindly demonstrated his support and generosity towards this event by offering prizes for the first three placegetters in PHS courtesy of the Sun Theatre, with boat owners also being acknowledged with prizes for first and second places. There are both AMS and IRC divisions. 

The requirement for the race is that a female skipper should helm during the race, the rest of the crew can be made up of any mix of female and male sailors. 


Club racing opportunities

If you are interested in crewing but don’t have a boat to sail on, make an account on MySail or contact the office who will assist you in looking for an appropriate boat to crew on. The Club runs regular races every Wednesday (2pm or 6pm), Saturdays and alternate Sundays. Check the sailing calendar to keep updated on upcoming club races.