Hands on the Helm for
Hubbard House Regatta 2010

                   Women's Series Race #3

            2010 Hands on the Helm Regatta

The Women's Sailing Series has evolved each year since its inception in 1997.  The series consists of four river races hosted by four of the local sailing and yacht clubs.

The race began as the Annual Bikini Race, sponsored by the NFCC, which dates back to as early as 1972.  This was the first race in the Northeast Florida area that required female skippers and helmsman. In honor Henrietta Hank Jefferies and her sailing aunt, Louise Richardson Sawyer, as well as to add respect to the skippers and crew participating in the race, the race was changed in 1982 to the Richardson Cup Race.  In 1994 the name of the race was changed to the Women's Regatta.  Through all these name changes, the race's spirit has not fluctuated-to demonstrate to NE Florida sailors that gender has nothing to do with sailing, racing, or winning.

In the early 1990's, The Rudder Club began the second yearly woman's race with the Women on Water, known to most as the WOW Race.
The Northeast Florida Women's Sailing Network- www.nfwsn.com - was formed in 1996 and set its first official task, the creation of a sailing series geared especially for women.  Epping Forest joined in to sponsor the third race and named their race The Dupont Regatta.  The Rudder Club hosted an additional race to round out the series to four races in 1997.
A committee was formed and guidelines were established for determining series trophy contention.  During the first year of the women's series, the committee realized some changes in the guidelines were necessary to realize its potential.

In 1998 the race instructions were clarified and provided specific guidelines for the hosting clubs to use.  The WSN distributes a copy of the race instructions to each participating club to use in each Women's series race. In 1998, the Florida Yacht Club took over a sponsorship of a series race and named it the Women's Day Regatta.

Periodically the Women's Sailing Network reviews and clarifies the racing rules and series guidelines.  A change was established in 1999 that only three of the four races are scored for each vessel.  This allows the lowest performance to be dropped and encourages more skippers to participate in the series.
Each race in the series brings with it its own theme or focal point.  For example, the North Florida Cruising Club's Women's Regatta has its own theme "Hands on the Helm for Hubbard House" and donates all proceeds to benefit Hubbard House.  Hubbard House assists abused women, children, and even men. Almost $1000 was raised in 1998; over $11,000 in 2005. 

The Northeast Florida Women's Sailing Network's women's series has increased the number of women's races which enables more opportunities for women to skipper their boats.  It is believed there is no greater occasion to learn then when the skipper has to make the decisions, whether they are right or wrong.  The more experience gained as individual sailors, the more we can race and cruise safely and be relied upon in a variety of circumstances.
This year we have added an additional class- Mixed Spinnaker Class. Our other classes are All-female Spinnaker, All-female Non-Spinnaker, and Mixed Cruiser Class.

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