St Malo Race

The Magenta Project – GC32 foiling catamaran

Last week I was able to be on the receiving end of knowledge transfer. I joined The Magenta Project for a week of near perfect conditions sailing on a GC32 foiling catamaran.

OC Sport kindly gave us access to a boat to help provide an opportunity for female sailors to gain some experience foiling. The week was supported by Peters and May and Red Funnel Ferries and we operated out of Venture Quays, East Cowes outside the OC Sport Office.

The Magenta Project was joined by Sharon Ferris-Choat from New Zealand. Sharon is the only female currently racing in the GC32 racing tour with Team Armin Strom and she kindly came to the UK to help us newbies experience the thrill of sailing on foils above the water.

The week was awesome and we managed to provide the opportunity for 15 female sailors to experience the ultimate thrill of foiling.

The timing was perfect as after five days of fun and learning, it was the weekend we were able to watch the America’s Cup World Series and see how the professional do it. The bonus was we could also celebrate Landrover BAR winning in home waters.

Now I change hats as I am back with the Vendee 2020 Vision programme and coaching on the IMOCA 60 Artemis Ocean Racing. The aim being to help nurture young British talent and develop their solo and short-handed skills of sailing a 60-foot yacht in preparation for a Vendee Globe entry in the future.

Last week I was learning new skills and this week I am helping develop new skills in someone else. You have got to love the sport of sailing!

Dee Caffari

British yachtswoman Dee Caffari is the first woman to have sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions and the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world three times. In 2006 Dee became the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, around the world against the prevailing winds and currents and was awarded an MBE in recognition of her achievement.


  1. Dee’s achievement are immeasurable. It is nice to have some common ground. In the 1980s I was fortunate to learn about hydrofoils from Sam Reed. His research and development team in Melbourne, Florida welcomed me as an interested party. This is back when there was a very limited budget and our equipment salvaged parts. Mostly, I sailed on an old Hobie 16 outfitted with foils. It was a thrilling ride, especially when we tacked while keeping the boat up on the foils. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the vision, stamina, and perseverance to continue on the path toward greatness in sailing. Best of everything, though to those who have what it takes!

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