Twenty two women (Gaff-Rigged Gals) participated in the club’s July 2015 Ladies Race, competing in Herreshoff 12.5’s. Light wind & a strong current made for challenging conditions. Two races were sailed and two boats tied for 1st place. Kudos to the winning skipper Siobhan O’Connor who sailed with her very capable daughter Niamh Hodkinson. Second place was captured by Whitney McCarthy assisted by Janet Maurillo & novice racer Bonnie Grunwaldt.
From the Brooklyn Eagle 1894…
I) The Shelter Island Yacht Club (Shelter Island Heights, Long Island, New York) (excerpts from pages: 91-93)
The genuine yachting spirit of the Shelter Island Yacht Club may be said to have had its real birth in 1890. By 1892, the Club had its own clubhouse and the membership limit was raised to 200 and annual dues to $10. In August, 1894, a revolutionary event occurred, featured in headlines from New York to Montauk Point. A race took place in which women were at the helm. Let the Brooklyn Eagle tell the story, beginning with a few headlines.
“Fair Women at the Helm___Shelter Island’s Season Closed with a Novel Boat Race___There was Plenty of Excitement, and the Gentle Sailors Proved Themselves Adepts on the Water___They Sailed the Catboats with Bewitching Skill.
“The last race of the season in these waters was given a spice of novelty by the condition which required that each boat entered should be steered by a woman. The yacht club determined on this, as it was well known that the women hereabouts are as brave and daring as they are beautiful.” The yacht club not only became a center of yachting activity at the eastern end of Long Island,
but like other yacht clubs it was a center of summer social activity as well.