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Transat Jacques Vabre: Stéphanie Frappart and Sam Davies are the godmothers of 'Cap pour Elles'

by TJV Media 5 Apr 00:27 PDT 29 October 2023
Tiphaine Ragueneau and Pamela Lee in front of their Class 40 © Transat Jacques Vabre

French international football referee Stéphanie Frappart and the British female ocean racer Sam Davies who are both globally renowned in their respective worlds, will be the godmothers of Ireland's Pam Lee and her French co-skipper Tiphaine Ragueneau as they take on this autumn's two handed Transat Jacques Vabre Normandy Le Havre race across the Atlantic from Le Havre to Martinique.

The two young sailors won the Cap sur Elles selection which affords them a high level of support to compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandy Le Havre which starts on October 29th. Lee (34) is already an accomplished ocean sailor with a growing record of successes offshore whilst working in France as support technical and sailing crew on a variety of high profile projects. Her co-skipper Ragueneau (30) is a full time veterinarian. In early March, they won the selection against considerable competition. The duo gain financial, technical and coaching support as well as expertise in organization and communication.

Now they can also count on the support of a pair of truly inspiring woman as the godmothers of their project. At 39, Stéphanie Frappart has established herself as a global inspiration in the sport of football as the first woman to have refereed a Ligue 1 match (2019), a men's international match (2020) more recently World Cup matches (2022). "I have always supported initiatives that allow women to express themselves and show their skills across all areas," says Stéphanie Frappart. "It's important to show that women can take full, equal responsibility everywhere, especially in offshore racing."

This initiative is designed to open more top level opportunities for female sailors to redress the gender balance, "can also inspire young women or girls to pursue a career in the sport but who are reluctant to take the plunge," said the international referee. Frappart also aspires to "share her experience operating at the very top level" by talking with Pamela and Tiphaine. "There are always commonathemes and ideas to pursue, connections to be made between our activities and passions," she says.

"They are role models for many women" (Pamela Lee)

Sam Davies will be the other godmother of Cap pour Elles. Two years ago, she was fully involved as a mentor during the launch leading into the 2021 race. Now the skipper of Initiatives-Cœur is back on board to help again. A member of the Magenta Project, which encourages opportunities for women in offshore racing, Davies is very committed and is delighted to support and advise Pamela and Tiphaine.

"I am delighted to be working alongside Stéphanie Frappart to support the Cap pour Elles project. It is essential we help women to be able to compete and work at the highest level. This is what we have been doing with The Magenta Project for seven years as a mentoring project that has been enormously successful and which has opened up opportunities for so many sailors all over the world. Sailing is a mixed sport, it is all the more important to have more and more women on the starting line of the races and I will bring my experience to Tiphaine and Pamela for their first transatlantic race.", explains the British ocean racer.

For the two young sailors, the support of the two godmothers is a great bonus, mentally as well as practically. "It's nice to have these two personalities who have such a reputation be so committed to our project," says Tiphaine Ragueneau. "I can't wait to talk to them about how they approach competitions, their mental preparation." Ireland's Lee adds. "They are role models for many women because they have made their opportunities, maximised them and got to the top in their two respective environments. There is a lot we can learn from them I am sure."

Such enthusiasm is shared by Anne Combier, team manager of the Maître CoQ project, who has been leading the Cap pour Elles project since it began: "Stéphanie and Sam are inspiring because they have shown application and courage to achieve their dreams and to impose themselves in predominantly male worlds". The Cap pour Elles project aims above all "to open the doors to high level and offshore racing". Combier adds that this is "360 degrees" support with "advice on sports aspects, a training program, a dedicated coach and regular monitoring".

With this help the Irish-French duo will next take a training course with the Normandy Sailing League in Le Havre from May 8 to 13. They are firmly on course to make their mark.

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