Facilitating and encouraging access for women at the highest level in professional sailing in roles on and off the water: such are the aims of Cécile who has been committed to the project since its conception in 2015. The Magenta Project was created by the female sailors within Team SCA (100% female crew) following the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015.
“Our goal is to promote female input in top-level sailing,” explains the skipper of Eclisse. Several initiatives are regularly put in place by the Magenta Project in this regard. The last substantial initiative took place back in October. Spurred on by Cécile, Justine Mettraux and the HUB OC Sport were able to offer a 2-day shared experience on a Figaro 3. All these protagonists enabled the young girls present to get a good grasp of what offshore racing is all about, with sessions out on the water and apprenticeship workshops for any of these women keen to set their own projects in motion.
“A host of Class Figaro skippers were in attendance, taking the participants out on their boats in short-handed configuration so as to give them the best possible advice and spend as much time as possible out on the water,” adds Cécile who, together with Justine and a crowd of contributors that included Karine Fauconnier, Sam Davies, Pierre-Yves Lautrou and Marcus Hutchinson, all tackled some important themes such as project management, nutrition and physical preparation… “Everyone was able to give and receive feedback to further flesh out the exchanges. It’s important to communicate about all aspects of a project as well as pass on advice and tips as female sailors”.
“A YEAR-ROUND COMMITMENT!”
For several years, the Magenta Project has also put in place a sponsorship system, which groups together over thirty or so female and male sailors.
This year, Cécile is patron to Charlotte Yven, a young French woman who is gradually making the switch from the 470 world to that of offshore racing.
“I’m doing my utmost to be there for her and advise her as best I can. We have regular discussions, which have enabled us to create a relationship of trust. Charlotte also comes sailing with me aboard Eclisse during delivery trips within the Figaro season,” explains Cécile, very happy to be in a position to put her experience to good use with a single objective: “To have as many women in offshore racing as possible”. For now, the number of women in the world of offshore racing barely scrapes 10%. “There’s still a way to go yet!”