Aegir Update

Changing Times

This is the 10th year of my professional yachting career. Having found sailing in my late teens, the dominance by males in the sport has been an undeniable and frustrating factor during my time. However, stepping on board Aegir last Tuesday, filled me with hope.

We are sporting no fewer than four female sailors: Abby Ehlers, Caitlin and Devon Murphy and little old me. To some, this may seem unremarkable, but this is the first time that I have raced with more than two women. I am sure I say on behalf of us all that we are grateful to Clarke Murphy for his belief in us. We are having a ball.

I am not one for bashing the opposite sex in order to promote my own. But I do believe that a balance on board is invaluable. Women bring a lot to the table. Having spent time sailing and racing on a J-class, numerous classics, a number of Oysters etc, this week has been one of my favourite to date. The genuine feeling of respect for one another (especially regarding the calibre of jokes) is palpable. The usual machismo has been diluted by what I would like to think of as our calming feminine influence alongside our unique skillsets. With the exception of a pushup contest on the aft deck in the sunshine today, we have managed to keep the competive testosterone driven activities to a minimum to ensure focus on winning is maintained. 

All joking aside, recent years have seen the trailblazers on board the all girls Volvo team SCA (including our very own Abby - one of the worlds most competent, modest and understated sailors ) and the efforts by the Magenta Project smash stereotypes and open doors for all the younger generations to come. These women  have been my heroes for the last few years and I know I am not the only female sailor feeling indebted to them for the work they are doing. My heart bursts with pride and excitement at the prospect of a stronger female presence on the water and I hope our presence on Aegir is evidence of the change to come. 

Amy Jane Dawson