Big Ten Network interview’s RTLI co-founder Linda Lindquist-Bishop

The Big Ten Network recently asked University of Illinois alumni Linda Lindquist-Bishop why she calls the leadership institute she co-founded ‘Rising Tide’?

Linda

Linda racing with team Delta

Linda explains, “Our goal is to improve everyone’s life by improving women’s lives. A rising tide lifts all boats.”

To add more women leaders to the equation we can’t just inspire and equip – we also have to change the acceptance for what women can achieve, with those who can provide or prevent access for women at the leadership table.”

Competing on the high-tech, high-performance platforms of sailing, aviation and motor sports equips women for leadership, creates acceptance for their abilities at the leadership table, and inspires other women to step up and lean in to leadership opportunities. Read more at: Big Ten Network

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SATT Leg 2 ~ a fast ride to third place

Delayed Start – again

The start out of Doha was delayed because of customs (this is a reoccuring theme) so by the time of the start we had a solid 16 knots in the afternoon. The ride from Doha to Abu Dhabi was quick as expected, downwind the entire 159 miles, with some fire-hose spinnaker reaching in the middle of the night thrown in. The start out of Doha was delayed because of customs (this is a re-occurring theme) so by the time of the start we had a solid 16 knots in the afternoon. We battled it out inch by inch against EFG Bank (race favorites and eventual race winner) and Messr Frankfurt into the night changing positions back and forth with them.

Alt_Oman Sail 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast and Furious Down Wind

This was the Omani womens’ first “real” offshore and full night out, so I was interested to see how they would cope with the physical and mental demands of the racing. I was hopeful that it wasn’t going to be too windy so that we could allow them to go down below in rotations to get an hour of sleep. Initially, with the wind square behind us, they could do that because the boat sails flat. However, as the wind headed us (went forward) making us sail a much higher, difficult angle we needed them sitting on the high side of the boat for balance. The sailing was fast and furious. At one stage we got into a high road – not -quite – luffing match with Messr Frankfort and won that one, but they dove low, sneaking by us.

Leg 2 SATT

Leaders emerge in the strain of competition

The Omanis were troopers and worked hard all night, even when they couldn’t keep their eyes open they continued to try. Epitsom, who is our one and only returning sailor from last year has really stepped up and proven herself to be an asset. She does all the jobs asked and has really grown in her skill set. During the night when it was hard, she was sending the other Omani girls down before taking her break. When her break came to an end she uncomplainingly came back up on deck. Onshore, Epitsom is the one who has asked for more coaching and feedback on what she needs to do to improve and about her strengths/weaknesses. We had a big coaching session last night and discussed her strengths in potential positions and also how to deal with outside naysayers – a concept we ALL have dealt with in our lives.

A Podium Finish!

We ended up finishing fourth for the leg, right behind Messr Franfort It was a great finish and the team did great work. Navigating the myriad waypoints and safety hazards was not an easy task – Liz took it on magnificently; Mary was fantastic trimming and doing some driving;and Lauren managed the bow and was a rock while trimming as well. After the finish, we found out there had been a port/starboard incident at the last rounding mark between EFG and Delft. EFG had filed a protest. The hearing was held yesterday and EFG won. Delft got thrown out for infringing the rule. The rule says that a boat on starboard has rights and a port boat must keep clear – just like right of way on roads. That means we move up to finishing third. So my goal of getting the girls on the podium has been fulfilled! I am pleased for them. I still want another podium, and of course will work hard to get that. There is a lot of racing left!

A shifty day of racing in Abu Dhabi

Today is the inport race in a tiny harbor in front of Abu Dhabi. The wind is crazy because it shifts amid the skyscrapers, and the water is very shallow and not well marked. Makes it a bit sketchy at times. Joining us for the inport race is a team from Abu Dhabi. Initially, they wanted to compete on the entire SATT race, but couldn’t get it done in time. Hopefully, this will get them some visibility and generate some sponsor interest, so they can join next year.

In port racing Leg 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Llyod Images for photos.

Katie checks in before Leg One ~ SATT 2014

Sailing Arabia The Tour 2014 runs from February 9-24, and will span four countries with stopovers in Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Musandam, Mussanah and Muscat. Katie shares the team’s progress and obstacles before the start of the race:

Omani Women's Sailing Team ~ SATT 2014

Omani Women’s Sailing Team ~ SATT 2014

Delayed in Customs necessitates MacGyver-like ingenuity

It’s the morning of Leg one, and I am grabbing a quiet moment to check in. It has been a whirlwind couple of days. Upon arrival to Bahrain, we found that our boats, sails and gear were stuck in customs – and had been for a week. Eventually they were released – three days before the start. It has been a mad panic to get the masts in, brand new electronics installed and working, and of course the brand new sails set up. With no facilities, such as a workshop or sail loft, it is definitely a “make it work” kind of theme.

A very green team

Onboard is Mary Rook and Liz Baylis, each returning from a previous version of SATT. Ibtisam was with us last year, but never sailed in the offshore legs, so although she understands the nature of the race, the endurance aspect will be new. The rest of the team is brand new, including very novice sailors. Our vision is to continue to train the new Omani women in becoming not only good racing sailors, but also in the qualities that make good teammates and leaders in their own right. Things like ownership, teamwork, processing mistakes and learning from them, resilance, and of course communication. They are excited and have already been taking on the jobs – big or small – on the boat needed to get things done.

Omani Women’s Sailing Team ~ SATT 2014
Katherine Pettibone (USA)
Raiya Al Habsi (OMA)
Ibtisam Al Salmi (OMA)
Khaloud Al Uraimi (OMA)
Huda Al Mashrafi (OMA)
Raham Al Shezawi (OMA)
Elisabeth Baylis (USA)
Mary Rook (GBR)

Managing expectations & keeping focused on the goal

Unfortunately, we only have about one hour collectively sailing as a total team, and we are facing tough competition. All but one boat is a returning, talented team from previous versions of the SATT. The one which is the exception – EFG Bank, armed with incredible professional talent and two of Oman’s top sailors, and is currently the favorite of the race. The good news is this sets a high bar to work for, and that is good for performance goals. The bad news is that it can be tough on morale if realistic goals aren’t set. Myself and Liz Baylis (who is navigator and tactician) will have to manage those expectations.

Getting ready for Leg One

The calm before the storm – girls stretch and relax an hour before the start of Leg 1.

Opening ceremony then a shakedown leg in the dark

This morning is the opening ceremony with a member of Bahrain’s royal family expected. The weather is rainy and cold however, so he may not come. After that the start is supposed to be at 1:00 pm, with a northwest wind of 20+ knots to send us flying over to Doha, Qatar. I believe the start will be postponed, so we are probably looking at 4:30 or 5:00 pm start. Just a tiny bit of time to sail in daylight before sailing all night in the dark, honing off downwind, turning right at the tip of Qatar. Thankfully, the course is pretty straightforward for the first leg. It will be a short leg, and it will get our team comfortable with off-the-wind sailing and entail a spinnaker peel, which we did practice in yesterday’s one hour of sailing. Looking forward to seeing how we handle the night.

and Big Thanks!

My profuse thanks to Predict Wind for sponsoring us, and allowing us use of their product – the widely known best routing and information over here in Oman. It’s a fantastic aid. We encourage people to check it out and their soon-to-be released iPad app. www.predictwind.com

Wish us luck!
   −Katie Pettibone

SATT 2014 route

Interview w/Katie Pettibone on her way to Oman

Katie for SATT 2014Katie Pettibone returns to the Oman Women’s SATT (Sailing Arabia the Tour) Team for the third year, now as Skipper/Leader. The RTLI team was able to catch up with Katie before she boarded the Emirates plane off to Oman:

RTLI:  Katie, you are headed back to Oman for your THIRD year to coach these young Omani women sailors – what have you seen change in the attitude toward the women sailors within the Oman Sail/SATT community?

Katie:  Oman has continued to rally around and support the women’s sailing effort, and internally watching the women and the men’s team get integrated into a training and sailing regime has been terrific. When we first started, the girls were completely separated from the rest of the Omani sailing efforts, as there was not yet a high level women’s racing team. Many people I met in the first year (2012) had doubts that a novice team of Omani women could do this physically demanding competitive adventure. When people saw the Omani women’s team not only survive, but excel – they were excited and inspired by what the women had achieved, so the effort continues.  I look forward to seeing this project fulfill His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said’s vision.

RTLI:  Dee Caffari has left the Oman women’s sailing program to pursue her dream of co-leading a Volvo Round the World team. This leaves you as leader. What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) as you step into her leadership role with the team?

Katie:  Dee leaves big shoes! She is a dynamic, empathetic personality that has set the tone and focus from the start – to build the Omani women’s skills. My big challenge will to be to continue to fulfill that mission as the priority, and accept gains in skill sets as a win – even if race results don’t reflect that significant progress.

RTLI:  Only a few of the Omani women are returning to this year’s SATT team. Who will be the Omani women leaders on the team? What are their roles, and what do you hope they can each achieve individually and as a team?

Katie:  We only have two returning sailors – Eptisom and Raya. Looking at the girls who have been involved and moved on to other things, the involvement of these women in the program has really furthered their problem solving skills, dedication to hard work and belief in self – which is translating into successful careers and lives outside of sailing. Raya is still sailing, and preparing for a career in Finance – and she tells everyone that she wants to be like me(!) – a strong reminder of how important women leader role models are to young women everywhere. Intisar, who last year won Oman’s first Woman Sailor of the Year award, is now running an athletic program, and deeply believes in women in sports. She is an emerging leader, and will enable many girls to compete for generations to come.

Both Raya and Eptisom will help prepare the new women for the pace, requirements of taking care of the boat, and themselves, as well as what is required to be a part of a team. For three of them, this is a first. Both Eptisom and Raya will remember their first time, their doubts, fears and the struggles… and be great mentors to these new young women. I want each of them to leave this experience with a sense of accomplishment, that they learned skills and what it means to truly part of a team. Teaching them the value of team and what it takes to be a great team member is not easy. The concept of ‘team’ is ingrained here in the U.S., in our sports crazed nation. What it means to put something else above self, even if self would benefit from doing something different, is a critical and new concept for these women. Not everyone gets it, and my hope is through this competition the girls can begin to experience and see the benefit, and great joy of team.

RTLI:  You will have Liz Baylis from the U.S., and Mary Rook from Great Britain, on board helping you coach the Omani’s. What will each of them bring to the team?

Katie:  Liz brings incredible talent, and also wisdom in teaching new sailors new skills. She is returning as navigator and knows what to expect from the Omani women. With her role as WIMRA (Women’s International Match Race Assoc.) executive director, she understands that this team and effort is planting seeds for long-term growth in yacht racing and leadership opportunities for women in the Middle East. Mary Rook is a young Olympic sailor from Great Britain who is fiercely competitive, and has an amazing can-do attitude whether she is showing the girls how to jibe the pole on the bow or trim a spinnaker. I refer to her as my ‘fire fighter’ since she will be the trouble shooter on board. The girls look up to both Liz and Mary, and they relate to Mary because she is close to their age.

RTLI:  As you prepare to board the plane to Oman what are some of the thoughts and emotions going through your head?

Katie:  Heading to Bahrain – preparing for the long flight. I am excited to compete in the race with the team and eager to see how this new batch of Omani women sailors fare. Sprint Offshore racing is hard. It is the hardest, in my opinion, because you can’t get into consistent routines and it is tremendously physically and mentally demanding. I think this young team has tremendous growth potential, and at the end of SATT 2014, I want to instill in them the satisfaction of a job well done… of completing a journey, and to be able to look back on everything they have learned. My challenge is to translate the depth of knowledge I have gained over decades, to lessons on the water that are impactful and immediate, so they can make rapid improvements in this short time of the event. This is just the beginning of Oman Sail’s great project and sporting adventure, that will reap huge benefits as those who gain technical, team and leadership skills succeed in sailing, and then go on using those new skill sets, to be successful in business, politics or in whatever they choose to pursue!

Read more in this great article: EFG Sailing Arabia The Tour – All women team ready for action -Sail World