It is the first time an all-female team have competed in The Atlantic Cup, a race described as America’s Class 40 Grand Prix!
Britian’s Libby Greenhalgh, accomplished Volvo Ocean Race sailor, is linking up with Canada’s youngest National Race officer, Liz Shaw onboard Oakcliff 118.
The pair will race the first leg, 648 nm from Charleston to New York, departing on May 28th.
Libby, who was navigator for Team SCA on the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, will be representing The Magenta Project, a non-profit organization that aims to advance women in professional sailing.
The Magenta Project was set up as a legacy of Team SCA. One of their key objectives is to help promising sailors achieve their ambitions at the very top level of the sport by mentoring and coaching.
She was invited to join Oakcliff 118 by Oakcliff Sailing as part of their mission to pair top up-and-coming sailors with veteran offshore sailors.
“It’s going to be exciting and challenging to be racing short-handed in what is a demanding and highly competitive race,” says Libby. “I’m delighted to be teamed up with Liz Shaw who finished onboard the Class 40 in the 2015 double-handed SORC Pineapple Cup and third in the 2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championships.”
“More than this, I’m extremely pleased to be racing as part of the Oakcliff Sailing team. It is an organization that has goals that resonate with our own at The Magenta Project.”
Liz Shaw, who consults on Oakcliff’s inshore, offshore and high performance programmes, says: “From a North American perspective, we have very few opportunities to race offshore in a one design or rule-based class. I relish the idea of it and am so thankful for this special opportunity on this dynamic course. This is a truly international event in some of the most fun boats I’ve ever sailed.”
“I have a deep-rooted respect for Libby’s experience and her abilities as a navigator and crew mate. With her as a teammate alone, we’ve got the boys worried! Between Libby’s smarts and my tenacity, we’re set to strike hard on this race.”
Dawn Riley, Executive Director of Oakcliff Sailing, says: “Sailing is hard to get into but short handed sailing is even harder. This is the first year we have had our own Class 40 for the Atlantic Cup but we have had other sailors and graduates race previously. This year we have two teams taking part, Leg 1 is going to be a really strong team with Libby’s Volvo experience and Liz’s experience and miles. Leg 2 is made up of two of the four who raced the Transat on the Class 40, so they should be tough to beat too. ”
This year is the 5th edition of the Atlantic Cup, presented by 11th Hour Racing, and has 12 teams representing five different countries.
Oakcliff is a non-profit training and coaching centre designed to form complete sailors. Oakcliff realised that there were keen young athletes who were slipping through the cracks and needed help in reaching their full potential, the centre aims to give them, the sailors, skills to work in and around sailing and become professionals.
The Magenta Project will be represented at most of the top sailing events this summer including the World Match Racing Tour, La Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro and Cowes Week.
For more information about The Magenta Project or to arrange an interview with Libby Greenhalgh please get in touch with us: