I’ve got a
feeling foiling, that this year’s gonna be a good, good year!
Reflecting on TMP’s first year in operation, the learning curve has been steep in terms of switching salty sea boots to stilettos doing our naive best to attract sponsors and raise capital to finance a Volvo Ocean Race team at the highest level or a number of tier events such as the World Match Race Tour & Extreme Sailing Series.
This process is often long and comes with lots of twists and turns especially in a time of financial instability.
This has not held us back and our more prominent successes remain when we are in our element on the water or close by, and we are proud of the pathway that The Magenta Project is helping to carve to change the landscape of sailing.
A core objective of The Magenta Project is to provide women with opportunities and the experience to facilitate a pathway to the professional level in the sport.
The Magenta project established a number of opportunities last year through training camps providing unique training opportunities that are otherwise not readily available for women and girls to experience sailing high performance boats. These have been extremely successful in terms of numbers attending and progression.
In 2016 we ran training camps in high performance catamarans, lead by Sally Barkow (M32), Dee Caffari and Sharon Ferris-Choat (GC32), through which women of varying ages and nationalities had the opportunity to attend. We have also supported no less than 11 events in speaker, coach or partner capacity throughout Australia, USA and Europe, sharing our knowledge and inspiring others.
Mariana Lobato is one such success story of the Projects pathways. Mariana, 29, represented Portugal in the Match Racing class at the London Olympics in 2012 and joined The Magenta Project’s inaugural M32 Sailing Clinic in Sweden wanting to diversify her skill set beyond Olympic sailing. This lead to her participation with the Thalassa Magenta Racing team in the Extreme Sailing Series and she will complement Sally Barkow’s core team in the World Match Racing Tour this year.
The first opening to follow in the footsteps of Mariana Lobato is taking place this month in Miami as we see 20 women join members of Team Magenta32 for another M32 training clinic, sharing techniques and learning how to sail a high performance catamaran.
Following this, Team Magenta32 will be heading down under to compete in the first of the World Match Race Tour (WMRT) events in Perth, where they will potentially be lining up against another female skipper.
New Zealander Gemma Jones will be skippering the RNZYS youth team at the upcoming World Match Cup, Geographe Bay, Australia. She was part of the GC32 Thalassa Magenta Racing last year and has high aspirations to follow in her fathers’ footsteps ultimately to the America’s Cup.
While Team Magenta32 are the only all-female team in the WMRT, it is great to see Gemma on the M32 startline this year, and we really hope the training clinics will forge an increase in the number of women participating in the M32 circuits.
It is not only the WMRT that The Magenta Project have impacted upon, we catch up next month ahead of the Youth America’s Cup with Annabel Vose now signed with the LandRover BAR Youth Academy and Ceci Wollmann with the Bermuda Youth Americas Cup teams about their pursuit of competing with and against the best of the best.
TMP’s first high performance training camp of the year will take place in Miami, FL, this week with further announcements to follow of the next planned venues and timings.
Later in the year we will be activating at Foiling Week, Lake Garda providing an opportunity for women to try foiling and host a forum for discussion on this ever-expanding technique of sailing that is driving technological change.
We will also be closely following and catching up with those women involved in the forefront and behind the scenes of the Volvo Ocean Race as the teams and crews come on-line.
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