First All-Female Crew Set to Race in the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

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History is about to be made in the upcoming 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which is scheduled to get underway on December 26. That’s because this year, an all-female team of racers will take to the water for the first time, with a very strong, talented, and experienced crew ready to leave their mark on the event.

The newly formed Team Ocean Respect Racing is made up of 13 women who are led by Skipper Stacy Jackson. The team derives its name from their efforts to spread a message of understanding and mutual respect amongst the sailing community not just in Australia, but the world over. They’ll be competing on a 66-foot yacht dubbed the Wild Oats X as they help promote the idea of protecting the planet’s oceans too. All told, the team has a combined  experience of 68 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races and 17 Volvo Ocean Races under its belt, making them serious contenders in the upcoming event.

In a press release announcing the formation of the Ocean Respect team Jackson said, “Sailing with a fully professional, all-female crew to Hobart is a wonderful opportunity and we are proud to build on the work of non-professional female crews who have previously raced. We are excited to promote and encourage women in the sport and engage with the Australian public on ocean health issues that are affecting us daily, both locally and globally. We are working with environmental organizations, as well as local yacht clubs, to further educate ourselves, be proactive in mitigating our impact on the ocean, and inspire our fans and communities to become ocean stewards.”

Ocean Resect is a legacy of Vestas 11th Hour Racing, which also carried a strong message of protecting the planet and its oceans. Jackson has been a strong and important member of that crew in addition to taking the reins for the all-female squad too.
In addition to Jackson, the Ocean Respect Racing team is made up of the following sailors: Carolijn Brouwer, Helm (NED/AUS), Katie Spithill, Tactician (AUS), Dee Caffari (UK), Bianca Cook (NZL), Sue Cafer (AUS), Jade Cole (AUS), Keryn McMaster (NZL), Sophie Ciszek (AUS), Faraday Rosenberg (USA/AUS), and Katie Pettibone (USA).

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Race will get underway in 18 days, just after Christmas and features some of the best sailors in the world. Good luck to Team Ocean Respect on their debut event.

Kraig Becker