Girl power: RBYC revels in wake of historic first all-female fitted dinghy crew
A new chapter in Bermuda sailing history was written after the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club became the first to compete in a fitted dinghy race with an all-female crew.
Adrianna Penruddocke, Emily Davis, Genevieve Lau, Laura Hupman, Millie Lewis and Nicole Stovell achieved the milestone on August 8 competing on the RBYC’s entry, Contest III, in Mangrove Bay.
“It was really cool and absolutely amazing to be part of the all-women fitted dinghy team and even more to be the skipper on board,” an elated Penruddocke told The Royal Gazette.
“I would just like to say thank you for the opportunity to helm and be part of the team, and I hope I can get more women into our sport of sailing.”
Davis added: “We are extremely proud to be a part of making history and we hope to see more women participating in dinghy racing.”
Stovell said: “I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to participate in an all-female crew in the fitted dinghy and have fun with the talented women on board.”
Lau said an all-women fitted dinghy racing crew was overdue.
“I had so much fun racing and I’m so thankful I was able to be a part of a long-overdue women’s team,” she said. “It was an incredible experience.”
Hupman was thrilled to train and compete with her colleagues.
“We've been practising as a group for a few weeks now and it was great to put all this hard work into practice,” she said.
Lewis added: “I am extremely excited to see what the future holds for all girls crewing Bermuda fitted dinghies.”
Leatrice Oatley, the former RBYC commodore, hailed the team’s milestone in the sport.
“This is the inspiration of Julia Lines, who helmed the Contest in the 2020 season,” Oatley said.
“I have seen this team practise and I am extremely proud to see them on the course racing on a spectacular sailing day in Mangrove Bay.”
She added: “Each one of these sailors has represented Bermuda internationally, racing in the Opti [Optimist dinghy] fleet, and now they have represented the Bermuda Fitted Dinghy fleet.
“Well done, Julia, Adrianna, Emily, Gen, Laura, Millie and Nicole. History has been written for the 21st century.”
The watershed moment in the sport occurred on the same day Coronation Cup holders Contest III retained their title with two race days to spare.