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Musto launches Evening The Keel: an insight into the minds of female professional offshore sailors

by Musto 16 May 04:57 PDT 17 May 2024
Musto launches Evening The Keel © Musto

On 17 May 2024, Musto will unveil Episode One of its four-part docu-series Evening The Keel, featuring some of the most famous female sailors sharing their insights on performing at the highest levels of what is still a predominantly male sport.

Produced by Musto, and supported by World Sailing (the international governing body), the series addresses themes such as diversity within teams, juggling an offshore sailing career and motherhood, and the opportunities for change. The docu-series will air globally on terrestrial and digital channels through the World Sailing Show and on Musto's digital channels.

"The Musto Evening the Keel series celebrates the incredible work of our female ambassadors who are championing the female voice within sailing through their actions, sharing their experiences to help the current, and future generations, enjoy more equity in the sport," said Emmie Brown, Head of Brand Marketing and Communications at Musto. "Two years after the idea was first hatched, we are very proud to bring this four-part series to a wider audience. We will continue to support female sailors in their chosen field and continue to adapt Musto clothing to the specific needs of the female sailor."

Tracy Edwards MBE, skipper of the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race onboard Maiden in the 1989/90 edition, is both presenter and participant as she challenges the state of play in the sport of offshore sailing: "Some say our Maiden campaign was the real drive to give women the same opportunities as men in the world of offshore sailing. But over 30 years later, how far have we actually come?"

Sam Davies, Clarisse Crémer, Justine Mettraux, Rosalin Kuiper, Francesca Clapcich, Pamela Lee, and organisational psychologist Anje-Marijcke Van Boxtel share their unique experiences and discuss their hopes for the future of sailing, voicing a fair and balanced view of the state of play today: "Everyone is working towards diversity and equality but it's a slow process," said Initiatives Cœur skipper, Sam Davies. "We are playing catch-up so you can't force it to be 50:50."

Clarisse Crémer finished 12th in the 2020 Vendée Globe and then took time away to have a child. Since returning to the sport as skipper of L'Occitane en Provence, the last two years have been a rollercoaster ride for Clarisse, and for all the wrong reasons: "No one is officially against the fact that women can do it - have babies and do the Vendée Globe or have very ambitious professional goals," said Crémer. "But sometimes you have to take this specificity of pregnancy into account and you have to organise things so it is possible to happen, and this is not accepted by everyone. I wanted to start talking about this difficult subject because I was not willing to imagine a world in 20 years time that would be exactly the same for my little girl."

The frankness of the sailors as they discuss the issues they face is honest and inspirational. Francesca Clapcich, who has competed at an Olympic level and offshore and is now part of a campaign to improve equity and diversity: "When I'm onboard I just feel like another sailor. I know they don't see me as a weak point or 'Francesca is the female sailor onboard', I'm just a sailor," said Clapcich.

The docu-series will feature in the World Sailing Show, the official international sailing series of the international federation for the sport, broadcast on channels around the world.

Episodes Live Dates

    Episode 1: Female Sailor - 17 May
    Episode 2: Diversity or Clones - 24 May
    Episode 3: Mother or Sailor - 31 May
    Episode 4: Change and Opportunity - 7 June

Musto commissioned Wanderlust Action Films to produce the series working with a female director and camera operator. With similarities to the sport of sailing, founder Ellie Cartwright commented: "I feel it is my duty, as a successful female in a field largely dominated by men, to support more women into this career and help them on their path."

As the leading performance sailing brand, Musto has worked closely with many top-tier offshore and Olympic female sailors throughout its 60-year history. From supporting Dame Ellen MacArthur in her successful solo round-the-world record attempt back in 2005 to the 60-strong British Sailing Team squad, of which 14 sailors, with an equal gender split, will head to Marseille this summer to represent Great Britain.

"Across all levels and disciplines in sailing, we have designed our clothing with the female form in mind. From our high-end offshore ranges such as HPX and MPX, to inshore racing products like LPX and Flexlite, alongside our everyday items including BR2, BR1, and the Championship range," confirmed Brown.

One example of Musto's female-focused design process has seen the brand working with offshore sailor, Sam Davies, who tested prototypes of the latest HPX range, developing the drop-seat trousers, the unisex middle layers with drop-seat openings, all working seamlessly with the HPX outer layers. In addition, Musto has launched the new Flexlite Cooling range developed with feedback from the female sailors of the British Sailing Team: "We have been considerate of the colour and panelling in the Flexlite Cooling long john to ensure the female sailors can race in confidence during menstruation. Every detail is considered to help women sail at the top of their game," concluded Brown.

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