Ouai x Byredo is back with more scented haircare
Ouai x Byredo is back with more scented haircare

Holly O'Neill

This recently renovated Ranelagh home is on the market for €1.25 million
This recently renovated Ranelagh home is on the market for €1.25 million

Megan Burns

Considering getting hitched at home? Two couples on their at-home weddings
Considering getting hitched at home? Two couples on their at-home weddings

Lizzie Gore-Grimes

With soon-to-be-three salons, a beauty brand and a little one at home, Kate Verling of Mink Hand and Foot Spa on mastering multitasking
With soon-to-be-three salons, a beauty brand and a little one at home, Kate Verling of...

Lauren Heskin

Organising a hen party? These are the 18 essential dos and don’ts for bridesmaids
Organising a hen party? These are the 18 essential dos and don’ts for bridesmaids

Geraldine Carton

Travelling with kids: what you need to know before going away this summer
Travelling with kids: what you need to know before going away this summer

Sarah Finnan

Try this crispy elderflower cocktail this bank holiday weekend
Try this crispy elderflower cocktail this bank holiday weekend

Holly O'Neill

What to do when your boss is a bully
What to do when your boss is a bully

Colette Sexton

Filming has begun on the TV adaptation of Graham Norton’s debut novel down in West Cork
Filming has begun on the TV adaptation of Graham Norton’s debut novel down in West...

Sarah Finnan

8 engrossing Netflix picks worth starting this long weekend
8 engrossing Netflix picks worth starting this long weekend

Jennifer McShane

Image / Self / Real-life Stories

Meet the sailors attempting the first all-female doublehanded record around Ireland


by Erin Lindsay
12th Oct 2020
blank

Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt will set sail tomorrow morning, depending on conditions


Two female sailors will attempt the first all-female doublehanded voyage around the island of Ireland this week.

Skipper Pamela Lee and her partner Catherine Hunt will be undertaking the challenge in partnership with The Magenta Project, a collective set up to encourage female participation at the highest level of sailing.

With the news this year that a mixed ‘doublehanded offshore class’ will be included in the Olympics in Paris 2024, the opportunities for women in sailing, especially at a high level, are more exciting than ever. For Lee, this is the driving force behind her voyage this week.

“This is a big challenge for me personally, as a skipper, and for Catherine too, to do something that’s never been done before, but mainly, I’m excited for the story to reach young girls. I want to show them that you don’t have to limit yourself to being the ‘token girl’ on the boat – you can work towards being a sailor in your own right, learning the skills that are needed to be great.”

Shorthand sailing places a high demand on its sailors – both Lee and Hunt have to be skilled in all aspects of offshore sailing, from navigation to boat preparation and sail trimming. Normally, female sailors aren’t afforded the opportunities to look after every area of sailing – something that Lee feels is crucial.

“In a sport that has been historically male-dominated, especially in the more senior roles, it’s become really apparent to me how difficult it is for girls to learn the skills they need. How can you be expected to become great at something if you don’t get the opportunity to learn? Something is needed to bridge the gap between learning to sail dinghies and becoming an experienced offshore sailor – if we want to have sailors going forward in Ireland, competing and representing us globally, we need to start encouraging girls and letting them know that this sport is available to them.”

The voyage will take Lee and Hunt from Greystones around Ireland over five days and five nights. While weather conditions and storms are obviously concerns, the biggest challenge for the pair on their voyage? Sleep. “Usually on these types of trips, there is a minimum of 8 in the crew, usually more. With just the two of us, one of us has to be out there all the time, and you can’t leave someone out for long without a break. We’re looking at a two-hour rotation shift – you’re really only sleeping for an hour max at a time”, says Lee.

Lee and Hunt have been preparing their Figaro Bénéteau III racing yacht for this moment, and will set sail early tomorrow morning, depending on conditions. “We’re working with a navigator and have been watching very closely – it’s all about the wind speed and direction. We want to be moving in the same direction as the wind, and to get the balance right – we want to move fast, but we don’t want to risk stormy conditions to do that either”, she explains.

By the end of this week, Lee and Hunt will hopefully have set a new standard for aspiring female sailors around Ireland. Lee says that the pair’s aspirations for their journey have aligned. “We both feel so strongly about creating a pathway for young women and girls to do the same as us in future. We want them to be excited about sailing, to have the opportunity to learn the same as anyone else. It’s about bringing ourselves forward, with as many young girls as possible with us”.

Photo credits  Bryan Keane & Inpho Photography

Also Read

blank
premium REAL-LIFE STORIES
‘There was very little they didn’t do to me, every day for a year’

Despite a history of horrific sexual and racial abuse growing up in a small Irish town, Chantal Kangowa is the...

By Lia Hynes

daily practice
ADVICE, HEALTH & WELLNESS
The importance of introducing a daily practice into your routine

A daily practice is any activity “that becomes part of your regular routine and encourages you to pause, to go inward and slow down”.

By Niamh Ennis

blank
CULTURE, REAL-LIFE STORIES
How wellness ‘guru’ Belle Gibson duped the world with brain cancer scam

A new BBC documentary, Bad Influencer: The Great Insta Con, looks at the downfall of one of Instagram’s first wellness...

By Jennifer McShane

tapping
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Tapping: the wellness trend that will help you ease post-lockdown anxiety

This quick seven-minute tapping routine is a great way to destress and help you ease any post-lockdown anxieties that may...

By Sarah Finnan

blank
premium IMAGE WRITES, RELATIONSHIPS, PARENTHOOD
‘Stop looking at our teens with suspicion’ – Lawlessness among teens needs compassion, not admonishment

The recent spate of inexcusable violent attacks isn’t a fair representation of the majority of teenagers (who arguably have suffered...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
ADVICE
Here’s what your star sign says about your personality

How well does your star sign reflect your personality? Do you believe in horoscopes? Whether you’re committed to the zodiac...

By Grace McGettigan

millenial motherhood
PARENTHOOD
‘I feel like my smartphone is a better mother than I can ever be’

Back in the good old days, you only had your mother, your mother-in-law and Mrs Coughlan from across the road...

By Sophie White