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Northern Ireland Sailors: Could Your Club Host the Next Women on Water Festival?

9th March 2022
Women on Water at Strangford Lough Yacht Club in 2019
Women on Water at Strangford Lough Yacht Club in 2019 Credit: Simon McIlwaine

RYA Northern Ireland is looking for the next location to host its popular Women on Water (WOW) Festival.

As previously reported on, the WOW initiative began in 2016, allowing over 500 women to get on the water with 12 clubs supporting the programme.

The annual festival helps to support and grow female participation in boating. It also helps those who take part to develop skills and water awareness, as well as improving their health and wellbeing.

There are usually opportunities to get on the water, as well as workshops and interesting talks from speakers.

Previous festivals have seen participants come together from across Northern Ireland – some who are new to the sport and trying it for the first time as well as lifelong sailors.

RYANI’s active clubs coordinator Lisa McCaffrey says: “The Women on Water Festival is a fantastic event each year for so many people and it has gone from strength to strength. It gives likeminded people an opportunity to take part in something they truly enjoy.

“The last two years has been difficult for so many people and the festival will provide a great opportunity to reconnect with club members, new participants and volunteers.

“The buzz is energising and in previous years we’ve heard some fantastic stories from people who have come along – they have all been through a brilliant experience together and this is the time to celebrate all that they’ve achieved.”

Lisa adds: “We are now asking clubs to complete an expression of interest form if they are keen to help organise and host the Festival with the help of our enthusiastic WOW Leader Group.”

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 1 April and clubs can apply online. For further information, email Lisa McCaffrey. Team

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About the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Northern Ireland 

  • The RYA is the national body for dinghy, yacht and motor cruising, all forms of sail racing, RIBs and sports boats, windsurfing and personal watercraft and a leading representative for inland waterways cruising.
  • The RYA is recognised by Government, the media and opinion formers as the representative body and voice for the activities that it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 112,000 personal members.
  • The RYA has more than 1,500 affiliated clubs and classes, which represent some 350,000 boaters throughout the UK. It is estimated that 4 million people in the UK take part in boating activity annually.
  • The RYA also sets and maintains recognised standards for training for both leisure and commercial boating through a network of more than 2,400 RYA Recognised Training Centres across 58 countries. More than 250,000 people per year complete RYA training courses.
  • The RYA is responsible for one of the UK’s most successful Olympic medal-winning sports. Our coaching and development schemes actively support 800 of our country’s top sailors, from talented juniors to Olympic and World champions.
  • The RYA is committed to promoting all forms of boating and making them accessible to everyone. For more information please visit
  • The Royal Yachting Association Northern Ireland (RYA NI) acts for the RYA in Northern Ireland (NI) and the Chairman of RYA NI is invited to join the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Policy Review Committee.
  • You can find the RYA Northern Ireland at Sketrick House, GE8, Jubilee Road, Newtownards, BT23 4YH.
  • RYA NI is a company limited by guarantee – Registration number NI 51945
  • Contact RYA NI: Tel: 02891 827154 email: [email protected]



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