(From left, Georgia Lewin-LaFrance, Brigtte Smutny, Gillian West, Madeline Gillis, Brenda Bowskill at the Sail Canada Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards)
March 8th, 2018 - Kingston, ON
On March 8th, we celebrate women internationally for everything they do. International Women's Day is not a country, group or organisation, it is a day that recognizes women and their efforts in accelerating gender equality, through pushing their way into male-dominated fields and sports, and never giving up. Thank you to women across the nation who work tirelessly develop and improve our sport, constantly supporting female athletes along the way.
"Take pride in developing your skills and find a way to contribute back to your sport. A person can give back to sailing by becoming a coach, instructor, race officer, judge, administrator, fund raiser, or volunteer. etc." - Gillian West - Author of Basic Crusing Book, Sailing Instructor
“My mom has been the biggest female role model in my life. I have been surrounded by strong, hard-working women my whole life. My mother always told me "You can achieve whatever you want, as long as you work hard". That has been my life motto. Anything worth having in life, does not come easy, relationships, career goals, sports accomplishments, everything good in life comes from hard work, follow through, compassion, empathy, and genuinely caring for yourself and others. To this day I thank my mom and attribute everything I have accomplished to her. She has supported be since day 1. Reminding me that I do have what it takes to be successful, picking me up when I am feeling down, sharing so many laughs and memories, connecting on such a deep level, and genuinely being my best friend. I am so lucky to have an angel as a mother.”
- Brenda Bowskill - Radial Sailor, CST Member, 2017 Rolex Sailor of the Year, Olympian
“I wouldn't say there is only one female in my life who has been critical in my achievements. My female teammates, mom and friends have all had a major impact in my life. All are exceptionally strong and driven females who continue to support and motivate me towards my goals. Being a successful female athlete means being strong, determined, and confident. I hope to be able to motivate and inspire others to be their best form of a successful female athlete.” - Erin Rafuse - 49erFX Sailor, CST Member, Olympian
“I think it’s really important to empower females in sport at all ages. It’s time that we are seen as equals in sailing and across all sports. I am proud to be a female athlete and hope to break down stereotypes and show the world what we can do.” - Sarah Douglas - Radial Sailor, CST Member
“Clara Hughes is a female athlete who inspires me! Admittedly, I became a fan because I was a kid and was excited that a Canadian Olympian had the same name as me... But I truly started to admire her when I watched her perform and learned a bit more about her story - She has won a total of 6 Olympic medals across speed skating and road cycling while bravely fighting through mental health issues and personal struggles. I aspire to have as much grit and push myself as hard as she does!” - Clara Gravely - Radial Youth Sailor
“One female in my life who inspires me is my older sister Anna. Although Anna was born unable to talk or walk, she loves to cruise with the family on our sailboat. I know that if Anna had been born with an able body, she would love racing just as much as I do, and that's why I am always racing for her when I’m on the water.” - Maddie Gillis - Youth i420 Sailor
Keep on rockin on ladies!