In the masculine world of competitive sailing, women have had to work to prove themselves. They’ve shown the guts, courage, and passion to compete and to excel. While 21st-century women continue to take on new challenges and record new “firsts,” the Rosenfeld Collection photographs document a long history of women’s accomplishments at the wheel.

Here we see women racing speedboats, competing in prestigious sailboat races, heaving the lines, or simply enjoying a well-executed maneuver. From Mrs. Phyllis Sopwith at the helm of a 1930s America’s Cup yacht to 1960s dinghy sailors braving a January sea, the women in these photographs display confidence, skill, and an intense desire to be part of the action.

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