|Auckland, New Zealand – A new charitable trust, Women’s Yacht Racing New Zealand (WYRNZ), has been incorporated to promote and grow yacht racing by women in New Zealand/Aotearoa. Its goals are to support female participation in fully crewed race yachts of all kinds whether all-female, women-helmed, or mixed gender crews. The trust has a particular interest in developing women to function as teams, and to become skippers and boat owners.
The formation of WYRNZ coincides with the first ever cancellation of “Ladies Racing” in Auckland. In years past, most yacht clubs sponsored a “Ladies Series” and a hundred or more female sailors took to the water to compete against one another in all-female or woman-helmed yachts. The last club standing, Ponsonby Cruising Club, was forced to cancel the last existing series this Winter, not because of lack of interest from female racers, but because there are no boats to accommodate them.
WYRNZ is sponsoring a Summit on The State of Women’s Yacht Racing in New Zealand in an effort to uncover the issues behind the “death” of Ladies Racing in the City of Sails. Boat owners, brokers, boat insurers, yacht club reps, NZ sport body reps, boating journalists, and yacht racers – all women – will be in attendance to start a new conversation about the way forward.
|WYRNZ’s first campaign will be to raise funds and organise an All-Female Yacht Racing Team, the 2014 WYRNZ Team Challenge, to compete in the 2014 Auckland-to-Tauranga Yacht Race, Easter Weekend 2014. The Trust is looking to build corporate sponsor support for the venture but welcomes all angel investor, foundation, and crowd-sourced funds to realise its goals.
Founding Trustees are Lisa A. Lewis, PH.D., Principal of a media consultancy, Nacirema Releasing, and avid yacht racer, and Cindy Buell, CEO of the family-owned restaurant chain, Mexicali Fresh, soon to be franchised across New Zealand.
# # #