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Flying with the Magenta Project

A unique opportunity, the all female Magenta Project team trained on the Hydro-Foiling GC32 Catamaran.

July 25, 2016
magenta Project
The all female team wraps up their training session aboard the GC32, the foiling catamaran now on tour with the Extreme Sailing Series. The Magenta Project

The Magenta Project concludes their weeks’ unique training event onboard the GC32 which has seen a huge progression in skill and technique and hopefully has planted the seed for more, similar opportunities to arise in the future.

The week event formed part of The Magenta Project’s mission to give female sailors opportunities and pathways to compete at the high performance level of the sport.

The sailors involved included: Olympic Silver medalist Annemieke Bes(NDL), The British Sailing Team’s Hannah Diamond(GB) and Mary Rook(GB), Landrover BAR Academy candidates Victoria Akhurst(GB) and Annabel Vose(GB), Olympic hopeful Ana Mojasevic(SER), Olympians Annie Lush(GB) and Kate Macgregor(GB), Ocean racers Dee Caffari(GB) and Libby Greenhalgh(GB), British Sailing Development Coach Penny Clark(GB).

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Sharon Ferris-Choat from New Zealand who is part of the Armin Strom GC32 Sailing Team gave her time to coach and share her skills. She is currently the only female to be racing onboard a GC32.

The week was funded by Peters & May, whose dedicated yacht transport division specialise in bespoke logistic and transport solutions for some of the top racing teams in the world.

Craig Stanbury, Operations Director of Peters & May Yacht Racing division, commented: ““Having worked with both team SCA and Dee over the years, we’ve seen the incredible amount of perseverance and passion they put into their own racing careers, and the high-performance racing community as a whole. Our support for this event is nothing in comparison to their dedication to supporting women in sailing year in year out. We can’t wait to see the Magenta Project go from strength to strength!”

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The GC32 was provided by OC Sport, owners and organisers of the Extreme Sailing Series™, which is now in its tenth year. 2016 saw the introduction of super-fast foiling on GC32 catamarans to the Series as well as innovations in race format including open water and match racing for the world-class teams who compete.

Andy Tourell, Extreme Sailing Series™ Event Director: “It’s been great to be able to follow the Magenta Project training on one of OC Sport’s GC32 boats. We have been watching, literally from our Cowes office, as they took full advantage of the training opportunity and conditions in the Solent.

“The results have been clear, as we have witnessed their confidence and ability on the foiling catamaran really ’take off’ over the last week. We encourage female talent to be part of the Extreme Sailing Series as it has been the case over the years and would love to welcome this team to join the Series in the near future.”

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Presently there are no women sailing in the Extreme Sailing Series and the long-term aim for The Magenta Project is to see the opportunities and experience grow enough to front an all female entry into the series.

The Magenta Project’s Dee Caffari said: “To be offered this opportunity has been amazing. It has been great to experience the speed and the sensation of foiling first hand. It seems to be what everyone is doing and The Magenta Project with support from Peters and May and Red Funnel have been able to provide this chance for a group of extremely talented female sailors. Sharon has been extremely patient with us as we have developed during the week and we have all had huge smiles on our faces as we have sailed in near perfect conditions.”

The Magenta Project was set up as a legacy of the Team SCA Volvo Ocean Race campaign. It aims to advance women in the sport of professional sailing by providing pathways and raising the visibility of those already competing. In the short term providing inspiration and encouragement to those who are trying to establish themselves in the sailing world with a long-term ambition to see the percentage of professional female sailors competing in premier events increase from 3% to more than 10% by 2020.

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