Women’s sailing charity, The Magenta Project, is joining forces with yacht charter company, Sunsail, to launch a new women’s sailing initiative.
Officially launched on Wednesday at The British Marine Spring Expo in Southampton, the initiative is designed to encourage more women to take up sailing, compete in yacht racing, and consider careers in the marine industry, within the UK.
The Magenta Project, in Partnership with Sunsail (Sunsail Magenta), will deliver a number of sailing activities including women-only RYA sailing courses, race training courses, career opportunities, and mentoring programmes. It will also offer opportunities to participate in mixed-gender teams at some of the UK’s biggest sailing events, including Cowes Week and the Sunsail Racing Series.
The initiative comes following the publication of the World Sailing Trust’s Strategic Review into Women in Sailing in December 2019.
The findings of the review showed that of the 4,500 people surveyed, 80% of female and 56% of male respondents believed gender balance is an issue in sailing. A lack of female participation and support for women and girls was also identified as an issue, as well as a poor perception about women in sailing, particularly in racing.
“We very much hope that this initiative with Sunsail will help to increase the recreational and competitive opportunities for women in sailing,” comments Elaine Penhaul, Chair of The Magenta Project. “The Strategic Review highlighted the serious issues that our sport has in providing opportunities and pathways for women keen to progress in sailing. While the results come as no surprise to most of us, we very much hope that it will act as a catalyst for change.”
“When we were approached by The Magenta Project and learnt of the findings of the World Sailing Trust’s review, we knew there was a significant opportunity to get more women onto the water,” adds Simon Boulding, Sunsail Events Director. “This is the most significant initiative of this type by any sailing business and it is my hope that Sunsail Magenta will open up many more opportunities for girls and women, of all experience levels, to take up sailing.”
Sunsail Magenta courses will run from Sunsail’s UK sailing school in Portsmouth.