Wirral Sailing Centre hosts a very special group of sailors & windsurfers on Wednesday mornings and Thursday evenings during the season – our “Ladies who Launch”! A couple of friendly, fun hours on the water are followed by coffee and a good gossip and we make the best of any sunshine on offer.

The group was started in spring 2016 and we now have a strong and faithful following. Beginners are always welcome and it’s been brilliant to see them building both skills and confidence on the water; several have gone on to gain RYA awards. Everyone learns at their own pace in a supportive, non-competitive environment – even the instructors are ladies, although just occasionally we may have to engage a gentleman instructor to cover holiday; we ensure that he’s absolutely charming! 

Lady Sailing on Marine Lake
#woman on boat in Marine Lake

Our beginners usually sail together in a big double-handed dinghy – comfortable and sociable, with an instructor onboard, whilst our more advanced sailors relish the stronger winds that West Kirby Marine Lake is renowned for! Sessions aren’t restricted to sailing though; we have windsurfing ladies and when conditions haven’t been suitable for sail sports we’ve turned our hand to power boating and paddle boarding too. The instructors love the sessions every bit as much as our customers, especially the après sail! One of our founding members, Bernie Hailwood, has since gone on to qualify as an RYA Dinghy Instructor herself, and is now a regular and much loved member of our team.

On the back of Ladies who Launch the centre hosted a Ladies Day last summer which around 100 ladies attended and all got on the water, many for the first time. The whole day was absolutely wonderful, with light winds offering a gentle introduction to a whole range of water sports activities. We decorated the yard with bunting and flags and set up a refreshment area, which was amply supplied with offerings from our regular ladies, most of whom can bake a darn good cake!

Ladies who launch
Ladies who launch Zoom catch up

Two years ago six of our group enjoyed a wonderful adventure to Greece. We transferred our sailing skills to a yacht and cruised the enticing blue waters of Corfu! Most of us onboard had little or no experience on a big boat but we were beautifully taught by our skipper, Gill, so much so that after a particularly accomplished anchoring we were enthusiastically greeted by two German ladies, who were swimming close by, with the words “Frau Power!” Sadly, we can’t guarantee a trip to the Mediterranean but if any readers would like to join our friendly group we can promise a very warm welcome!

We didn’t want the current situation to prevent us from keeping in touch so during this period of lockdown we’ve hosted a Ladies who Launch virtual coffee morning, every Wednesday, using Zoom! It’s been lovely to keep in touch with everyone and we’ll be meeting online every week until we can get back on the water.

Ladies who may be interested in joining the group are more than welcome; please contact lizgilliver@wirral.gov.uk for more details and please don’t feel you have to wait – if you’d like to join us now, for a virtual coffee and catch up, that’s just fine!

In the meantime “frau power”, ladies! Miss you all!