Team Thalassa Magenta: A First For Women In Sailing

The Magenta Project takes a significant step towards realizing its ambition to bring more professional female sailors into high performance racing, this week.

The Magenta Project takes a significant step towards realizing its ambition to bring more professional female sailors into high performance racing, this week.

The entry into the Extreme Sailing Series™ Lisbon Act marks an exciting opportunity to provide some hard-core experience in the highly-charged, highly-competitive environment of stadium sailing.

The driving force behind the entry, called Thalassa Magenta Racing, is New Zealand’s Sharon Ferris-Choat a Magenta Project Ambassador and currently the only female racing in the GC32 circuits.

The entry is the culmination of work behind-the-scenes to secure sponsorship, as-well-as on the water: Providing practical training opportunities, which took place last July in the Solent.

“It’s been a journey to get to this point, but having this team competing in the penultimate Act of this year’s Extreme Sailing Series™ in Lisbon is a massive achievement.” says Sharon Ferris-Choat.

“Our squad get the chance to hone skills both in handling the GC32 and as a team, going head to head with nine, all male teams who’ve been racing regularly in the series throughout the year. And that’s what we are aiming for – the chance to provide top women sailors with exactly this kind of experience. Eventually we would like to see an all-female team taking part in the whole series rather than as a wildcard.”

The catamaran is sailing under a Canadian flag and skippered by Sharon Ferris-Choat, New Zealand Olympian.

The race crew will be announced on Thursday 6thOctober, following a series of warm-up races. The line-up includes: Ocean racers Dee Caffari (GB), Elodie Mettraux (SUI); Olympians Sally Barkow (USA), Annie Lush (GB) and Gemma Jones (NZL); Olympic Silver medalist Annemieke Bes (NDL) and Team GB sailor Hannah Diamond (GB), along with European Champion, Annabel Vose (GB). It is likely that the race crew will rotate during the Act.

Sharon Ferris-Choat commented: “We aim to put a competitive team together for the 2017 Series and Lisbon is the start of the adventure,” she added; 

“With successful corporate exposure and VIP hosting, the Series offers high return to team partners and is very exciting sailing for the sailors. It’s a great balance and we are pleased to announce Marinepool as our sponsor for Lisbon.”  

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 Extreme Sailing Series™ also delivers a unique and bespoke VIP experience, with guests racing on board during the races. And sailing fans around the world following the action via the live TV coverage online.

The media value of the Extreme Sailing Series™ has grown year on year since 2007, and in 2015 Repucom reported a year end value of €49.5 million, including an eight-part TV series distributed to broadcasters worldwide, offering an attractive proposition to the circuit’s partners.

The Series is focusing on building its shoreside Race Village with live music and entertainment. This pioneering circuit will continue to innovate as it looks to the future. The Extreme Sailing Series™ has been granted “Special Event Status” by World Sailing, the sport’s governing body, and is a strong supporter of promoting sailing in to new markets and to new audiences.

With Thalassa Magenta Racing, The Magenta Project is hoping to draw attention to its achievements in providing real hands-on opportunities for female sailors and secure sponsorship going forward.

The Magenta Project’s Dee Caffari: “Getting to the start line is always the hardest step. We have made this initial step ourselves and hope that sponsors watching the action in Lisbon can see the potential of this team and help us achieve our goal of being a competitive series team entry for 2017. I hope this demonstration of our commitment is recognised and can be supported by partners wanting to help enable us to move forward in this class.”

This is the first time the Series has visited Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city. Four days of racing are planned, including a longer coastal race combined with the Series’ signature Stadium Racing format. 

Media@TheMagentaProject.org

Liz George: +44 (0) 7866 364966

Liz@Breeze-Studio.co.uk

Follow us @TheMagentaProj

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About Us

The Magenta Project – Advancing Women in Professional Sailing The Magenta Project has been set up with the aim of advancing women in the sport of professional sailing. The goal is to increase the percentage of professional female sailors competing in premier events from less than 3% today to more than 10% by 2020. It also aims to champion diversity within the on-shore support teams. By growing a global network of female athletes committed to performing at the highest level of sailing; by promoting them as role models within the industry and showcasing differing pathways that enable women to achieve in sailing, The Magenta Project will seek to effect a change in culture and to influence and support organisations across the globe to develop greater opportunities for women. The Project is currently seeking charitable status and in the long term plans to set up The Magenta Academy to coach and mentor, as well as help fund, up-and-coming female sailors and provide apprenticeship opportunities within associated trades. Ambassadors are currently representing the Project around the globe and are actively racing at the majority of professional sailing circuits. These ambassadors include Olympic and Paralympic Gold Medallists, Volvo Ocean Race sailors, as well as those competing in The Atlantic Cup, La Figaro and the GC32 Circuit. The Magenta Project has a number of associated sailing campaigns including: Team Magenta 32, competing in the 2016 World Match Racing Tour; and Magenta 65 campaigning for a team to compete in the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race.

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Quick facts

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.
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The media value of the Extreme Sailing Series™ has grown year on year since 2007, and in 2015 Repucom reported a year end value of €49.5 million.
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Quotes

It’s been a journey to get to this point, but having this team competing in the penultimate Act of this year’s Extreme Sailing Series™ in Lisbon is a massive achievement.
Sharon Ferris-Choat, Thalassa Magenta Racing
Getting to the start line is always the hardest step. We have made this initial step ourselves and hope that sponsors watching the action in Lisbon can see the potential of this team and help us achieve our goal of being a competitive series team entry for 2017. I hope this demonstration of our commitment is recognised and can be supported by partners wanting to help enable us to move forward in this class.
Dee Caffari, The Magenta Project