There are certain rules changes that have been implemented for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 that is about to commence this weekend. There are several new initiatives added such as incentive schemes that are new or female sailors who have been included. Bouwe Bekking talks about the changes and how it would impact the sailing race. One of the changes that are appreciated is to have two women sailors on board. Xabi Fernandez says that it does take some time to adjust to new rules and having to include women sailors on board also means looking out for talent in a different category.
Charlie Enright as a skipper of one of the boat’s, states that he is excited for the changes that have been introduced such as incentivizing teams who had women sailors on the crew. It definitely becomes a competitive advantage when such a mixed crowd comes on board for a boat’s crew.
David Witt says that they have always had women on board their crew even before the rule changes were implemented. Often boats are under powered and hence to have lighter bodies on board is always an advantage. He talks about how women sailors can take on different roles in a boat such as provide support to the navigator or provide support in the engine room. With different roles that are present on a boat, there is always need for hands and experienced women sailors on board would also increase the demand for more women professionals in this field.
Among the seven skippers who are part of the Volvo Ocean Race, Dee Caffari is the sole woman skipper on board. She states that it is good that a rule change has been made that forces women to be part of every crew of the boats participating in the race.