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

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© Musto

On Friday, 17 May 2024, Musto will launch Evening the Keel, a new four-part docu-series spotlighting women competing in offshore sailing, in collaboration with World Sailing. Presented by Tracy Edwards MBE and joined by a host of international female sailors who share their views and experiences including Sam Davies, Clarisse Crémer, Justine Mettraux, and Francesca Clapcich, the docu-series will feature in the World Sailing Show, a monthly view of the racing world broadcast on TV channels around the world.

Commissioned from an all-female production team at Wanderlust Action Films, Evening the Keel features 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 the international governing body World Sailing, 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 © Musto

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. 

Clarisse Crémer © Musto

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.”

Francesca Clapcich © Musto

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, with episodes launching weekly from 17 May.