All-female crew preparing for prestigious yacht race
Eight thrill-seeking women, aged between 30-55, will be among the 1,400+ boats competing in one of Britain’s largest participation sporting events of 2018, the Round the Island Race, off the Isle of Wight, on Saturday 7 July.
The crew of ladies, primarily from the south of England, originally met back in 2015 when they all decided to take on varying stages of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2015-16; in total they racked up nearly 200,000 nautical miles between them.
One of these dare-devil females is Jennifer Burgis, who this year has decided to put herself to the test again by entering a boat in the Round the Island Race and skippering it herself for the first time ever. Jennifer had never sailed before joining Clipper in 2015, although had always loved the sea and was brought up on the coast. When asked what she was most looking forward to about her first Round the Island Race, she said, “I’m most looking forward to being on that start line. Only then will it be real.”
Sailing as an all-female crew naturally has its pros and cons, but Jennifer is fully behind the change in perception that this is having, stating, “We may not be as ‘macho’ but we don’t smell as bad and can multi-task! The Volvo Ocean Race now has mixed teams, so I think women are being seen differently and by having an all-female crew, it just shows that we can do it and, to people’s surprise, better at times!”
The famous 50-nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight, now in its 87th year and organised by the Island Sailing Club, is an all-encompassing event. The ‘Race for All’ ethos caters for and embraces first-timers, families, amateurs and also professionals competing at the highest level. There is a long-standing charity connection with the race through the official race charity – the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, and over £266,000 has been raised to date.
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