A gen­der neu­tral fu­ture?

Yachting World - - Front Page -

An­other is­sue with the IMOCA 60 plan is that it greatly re­duces the num­ber of crew rac­ing at any one time – although sailors would likely be ro­tated in a squad. This puts one of the big­gest lega­cies of this race, the gen­der crew rule that saw 22 women sailors rac­ing in mixed crews, in jeop­ardy.

Walk­ing the dock of the Volvo Ocean Race, it feels no­tice­ably dif­fer­ent to walk­ing the dock at a Maxi event or any other pro re­gatta. There are women in ev­ery colour of team kit do­ing all sorts of jobs: skip­per, watch cap­tain, boat cap­tain, nav­i­ga­tor. Has a seis­mic shift been made? Dee Caf­fari thinks not yet.

“There have been more girls in­volved across the fleet, which is good, but have the girls all had the same pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence? I don’t think so. So I don’t think we’ve ad­dressed the un­der­ly­ing prob­lem. Now, hav­ing done the Volvo Ocean Race, are the girls be­ing in­vited to do the de­liv­er­ies and race with the guys? No.”

Hence why a gen­der bal­anced crew rule is still im­por­tant, and why re­strict­ing crew num­bers could halt the progress that has been made.

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