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TRADER Sailing highlights opportunities offshore with the Magenta Project

by TRADER Sailing 31 Mar 08:10 PDT
(From left) Megan Gimple, Sarah Wilkinson, Lindsay Gimple, and Annie Longo at the Newport Bermuda Race Awards ceremony in 2018. Wilkinson, L. Gimple, and Longo have all taken part in The Magenta Project's noteworthy Mentoring Program © Julia Cronin/Outrageous Photography

TRADER Sailing, a military veteran outreach sailing program, is pairing with international sailing charity The Magenta Project for the 2021 Transpacific Yacht Race. For the 2021 campaign, TRADER Sailing has created a mixed-gender entry composed of core military veteran crew paired with four female offshore sailors from the east coast of the United States. To highlight the importance of developing women's opportunities in offshore sailing, the effort will be called TRADER: Racing with The Magenta Project.

Abby Ehler, Director at The Magenta Project says, "It is great to see a project such as S/Y Trader actively seeking a diverse crew and valuing the benefits of diversity."

Common to all crew aboard TRADER are the themes of opportunity and development. During regular operations, TRADER Sailing actively welcomes military veterans and their families to enter an engaging and adventurous team, while developing teamwork and camaraderie. When putting together the Transpac 2021 campaign, Skipper Doug Pasnik saw the chance to work with another group: rising offshore sailors. In melding the two groups, Pasnik hopes to provide a place for growth and leadership development for both his core veterans and incoming young offshore sailors.

Pasnik says: "I have had the benefit of some great mentors throughout my career, and peers who have helped me achieve my goals along the way. I believe it's my responsibility to do the same for others, and to help rising leaders grow in a positive way."

The four young women joining the Transpac crew, Lindsay Gimple, Sarah Wilkinson, Annie Longo, and Megan Gimple, are on an upward trajectory. Racing with the MudRatz Offshore Team, the women recently netted a class win in the previous edition of the Newport Bermuda Race and a class podium finish in the 2019 Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race. For them, the Transpac campaign is the next step in developing as offshore racers.

Lindsay Gimple, as well as Wilkinson and Longo, are actively involved with The Magenta Project through the project's three-year-old mentoring program, which pairs aspiring female sailors with incredible mentors from the global sailing industry. Mentors include Clipper Race skipper Vicky Ellis, as well as professional ocean racer Annie Lush and Sustainability Program Manager for the 11th Hour Racing Sailing Team, Damian Foxall. A shore-side arrangement, The Magenta Project Mentoring Program aims to accelerate women in performance sailing by working with mentees to plan their sporting development, overcome hurdles, build contacts and inspire them to succeed at the highest level possible.

Ehler says, "My aspiration is that any one of the mentees take a positive experience from (the mentoring program) to connect with a future version of themselves and to develop personally and professionally while reaping the benefits of the shared knowledge, experience and expertise of their mentor and the wider network. It's exciting to see three of our mentoring alumni involved in this project, and I hope that The Magenta Mentoring Program has given them added confidence and skills to take this on. We look forward to tracking their progress in this year's Transpac Race and beyond."

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