Tribute to women in sailing! • Live thimble
The veil has so many facets that everywhere you turn you will see the women in the foreground. In Olympic sailing, we have seen Hannah Mills (GBR) become the most decorated Olympic sailor in history. From there she joined the British SailGP team. Will we see her in an America’s Cup women’s team? We wouldn’t be surprised! She is an inspiration to women in sport who look up to her. She showed a path to the top that all sailors, regardless of gender, seek.
Offshore, we see more and more women taking part in The Ocean Race as they put in place rules that oblige them on board. Is it a pity that we need rules to embark women? Yes absolutely. But now there are a number of women who have been around the world – they have had the opportunity to show their potential and develop their experience.
Some of the most impressive offshore sailors are the solo sailors competing in the Vendée Globe. Clarisse Cremer (FRA) broke records in the last edition of the race. She was the 12th sailor to cross the line and the first woman, beating the women’s record set in 2000-2001 by seven days. What’s so inspiring about Clarisse is that she truly comes from a ‘normal’ life – she had a business degree and had it in her sights when she discovered sailing. A few years later, she finds herself breaking records. He’s the kind of sailor who makes every young sailor say “if she can do it, I can too!”.
On the TP52 circuit, there are not yet many female sailors in key crew positions. On Phoenix 12, we see Tina Plattner as owner/pilot and Abby Ehler in the middle of the arc. Tina was the first woman to lead the TP52 circuit, which is a huge achievement and another great example of women showing up and participating in an incredibly competitive side of the sport. Abby is a legend herself, having circumnavigated the globe many times and being a key crew member in some of the most competitive fleets. She is also one of the founders of The Magenta Project and continues to advocate for women in sailing.