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Three female sailors selected for the first Leyton x The Magenta Project session

by Leyton Sailing Team 26 Apr 04:35 PDT 3-5 May 2021

The American Kass Schmitt, the Irish Pamela Lee and the French Cassandre Blandin, will be the first three female sailors to benefit from the Leyton x The Magenta Project training session: Multihull for women initiated by Sam Goodchild.

On the 3rd, 4th and 5th of May, Sam Goodchild, Leyton's Ocean Fifty skipper, and his team will welcome the three female sailors to La Trinité-sur-Mer.

On the agenda for the three days: half-a-day of sailing to allow the participants to discover the trimaran as an introduction before spending 24 hours offshore with the crew led by Sam Goodchild; and two workshops hosted by Samantha Davies (Initiatives Coeur) and Thomas Coville (Sodebo Ultim 3). The goal of this program thought of by Leyton and its skipper is to give women greater access to offshore racing on multihulls by giving them a chance to sail onboard Leyton.

"The program was imagined so that we could spend some time with each of the selected female sailors," explains Sam Goodchild. "That's the reason why there are only three of them for each session. We want to give them a quality experience where they can exchange as much as they want with us and discover the multihull during long and complete sailing sessions."

Overall, 34 women from nine different countries have applied to be part of this unprecedented program organized by Leyton and the Magenta Project. The jury* preselected 15 applications and then chose Pamela, Cassandre and Kass, all three extremely motivated to add this trimaran sailing experience to their resume, which were already extremely rich. **

It will be, for most of the female sailors selected this year, a first experience sailing on a multihull. "Until Sam and Leyton announced this session, I could not identify any pathways towards gaining experience on multihulls or to get the opportunity to sail with a skipper who has the experience and expertise in this area that Sam does - let alone to sail offshore with them!" explains Pamela Lee.

Cassandre Blandin completes: "This session is going to give us many tools and will help guide us through the steps of creating a multihull project: the logistics, how a shore crew works, how to handle such a racing machine... It's also an opportunity to meet other women who share the same passion and to maybe hope to create some common project in the future."

Kass Schmitt, really impressed by Sam Goodchild's experience, concludes: "He has always impressed me with his approach and attitude - he is driven to learn from whatever and whoever he spends time on the water with, regardless of the aim or discipline. This has made him into one of the most well-rounded and experienced sailors of his generation. Looking at his long list of palmarès, it is easy to forget the setbacks he has encountered along the way, but the grace and tenacity with which he has handled it all is truly inspiring."

The Leyton x Magenta sessions are open to all female sailors who wish to get involved in offshore racing, particularly on multihulls.

Two other sessions are scheduled for July and September, in the Mediterranean and in the United Kingdom.

Caroline Villecroze, Leyton Sailing Team director and Marketing, Communication and CSR director of the Leyton Group: "We are thrilled that the project is generating so much enthusiasm. We received more than 30 applications, many from very talented female sailors. We want to give women access to multihulls to increase the number of female sailors able to sail on our boat or on others, but also to help women create their own crew. Gender diversity and inclusion are some of Leyton's intrinsic values. We want, and we need to keep promoting those values within our company and its ecosystem."

Elodie-Jane Mettraux, The Magenta Project: "The three female sailors selected for this first session on the Ocean Fifty have a clear appeal to offshore sailing. It will be a great opportunity for each of them to expand their skills. We are thrilled to accompany them with the Magenta Project and Leyton. All three have a wide variety of sailing experiences and they will be able to meet two offshore-sailing icons: Samantha Davies and Thomas Coville. Samantha will share her experience of solo-sailing offshore and Thomas his extensive knowledge of sailing on multihulls with or without a crew."

More information

*Composition of the jury: Caroline Villecroze (Leyton Sailing Team director), Elodie-Jane Mettraux (The Magenta Project), Abby Ehler (The Magenta Project), Sam Goodchild (Leyton skipper), Aymeric Chappellier (team manager Leyton Sailing Team), Marion Laferriere (Leyton Communication)

About the candidates:

Cassandre Blandin, 30 years old, French:
Cassandre started sailing on Optimist in Les Sables d'Olonne and then went on an Olympic career on Dinghy double (420 puis 470). Substitute for the Rio Olympics, she finished bronze medallist in the 2017 World Cup and 5th of the World Ranking that same year with her team mate Aloïse Retornaz. In 2018 she quit the Olympic circuit to join the Figaro one, where she joined the mixed double team created by Marc Guillemot to participate in La Solitaire Urgo le Figaro.

Kass Schmitt, 52 years old, American:
Katherine " Kass " started sailing at University on lake Mendota in Wisconsin. After moving to London, she focused on art and punk rock, somewhat leaving sailing behind for about ten years. A transatlantic between the Canaries and Brazil and meeting her partner Rupert would bring her back to the sport. Together they have sailed more than 15 000 nm. Since 2013, Kass has one goal: winning and becoming the first American woman to finish the OSTAR (Similar to The Transat for boats 60 feet and under.)

Pamela Lee, 32 years old, Irish:
After starting sailing on dinghies in Ireland, and becoming a sailing instructor, Pamela moved to Sydney and discovered offshore sailing with the Sydney-Hobart. After doing one competition after the other in Europe, she joined the Figaro circuit in 2020 as shore crew. In October of that same year she beat the world speed record around Ireland with her team mate Catherine Hunt on a Figaro Bénéteau 3.

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