Having successfully supported two “wild card” entries into the Extreme Sailing Series, The Magenta Project is now setting its sights on joining regular fleet with a full-season squad for 2018.

This year, Team Extreme took part in Act 3 of The Extreme Sailing Series™ in Madeira. The mixed crew included four men and four women and was skippered by Mariana Lobato, who represented Portugal in the 2012 Olympics.

Lobato cut her teeth on the GC32s during a Magenta Project foiling clinic, where she gained invaluable insights into handling the hydro-foiling catamaran from New Zealand’s Sharon Ferris Choat. She also joined the crew of Thalassa Magenta Racing, the wild-card entry in the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ Lisbon Act, skippered by Ferris Choat.

Since then, The Magenta Project has held 3 high performance catamaran clinics, providing around 40 women with hands-on experience sailing tight stadium-style courses, the trademark of the Extreme Sailing Series.

As well as Mariana Lobato, Team Extreme included 21 year-old Olivia Mackay from New Zealand who won the 2016 Red Bull Foiling Generation; Élodie-Jane Mettraux, who was part of the line-up on board the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race entry, Team SCA, and Italy’s 49er FX World Champion, Francesca Clapcich: All of whom have taken part in Magenta Project clinics and have been supported by the Project in their efforts to gain wider experience on the professional sailing circuit.

Clapcich commented “The event was an incredible experience.  We had a young team and the chance to have a wildcard entry was just amazing!

“Since the first wild-card entry with Thalessa Magenta Racing we have seen more and more top female sailors wanting to compete in the GC32s. Over the past year we have been able to give 16 women invaluable experience in handling and racing these GC32’s. We believe that with continued hands-on practice, there is no reason why women shouldn’t be considered for the regular squads: We are hoping to take gender out of the equation.” Commented Sally Barkow of The Magenta Project.

“We are now looking for serious sponsorship to enable a Magenta team to compete for the whole series in 2018.”

The Extreme Sailing Series™ is the original ‘stadium-style’ racing circuit designed for spectators, delivering high-performance action close to shore. Attracting some of the worlds very best sailors racing GC32 hydro-foiling catamarans on short courses around the globe.

The push for the increase in professional female sailors is fully supported by OC Sport, the founder and organiser of the Extreme Sailing Series. The Notice of Race dictates that one sailor must be either female, an amateur or under the age of 26. The rules also state that any team with two or more females in the line-up are allowed a sixth sailor on board, one more that an all-male team.

The Magenta Project aims to increase female participation in professional sailing, which currently stands at only 3%, and it operates under the mantra of accelerating women in sailing and the marine industry by creating pathways, empowering leadership, and driving change.

The next event supported by The Magenta Project’s is Foiling Week on Lake Garda from the 6th to the 9th July. For further information on this event visit: http://www.foilingweek.com/pages/season-2017/garda/fw-expo-and-trials/