2013 Fastnet Race ~ Women Competing & Leading

Bravo to Dee, Raya and fellow Fastnet competitors! 

The MOD 70 trimaran, Oman Air-Musandam, skippered by Sidney Gavignet, finished FIRST ~ just 24 minutes following the overall Rolex Fastnet Race winner Spindrift II ~ in the MOCRA Multihull class, with a crew including world yachtswoman, and Rising Tide Leadership Institute Ambassador Dee Caffari, and Oman Womens Sailing Team’s Raya Al Habsi.

Raya and Dee“I can hardly believe I finished the Rolex Fastnet Race,” Raya said just after crossing the finish line. “It was a little bit tough but… it felt good to be part of such a successful team.” RTLI Ambassadors Dee Caffari and America’s Cup sailor Katie Pettibone, as well as Liz Rushall have been among those mentoring the Oman Sail women’s team. Raya’s participation in the Fastnet Race has taken Omani women’s sailing to a new level.

Watch these great videos highlighting Dee and Raya’s Fastnet experience:
Interviews with Dee Caffari, Sidney Gavignet and Raya Al Habsi on board the MOD 70 Oman Air Musandam before the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2013 [3:52 min]

40 hours of racing for Oman Air Musandam MOD 70 to win the MOCRA Multihull class in the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race [3:48 min]

Additionally, professional woman sailor Dona Bertarelli was the first to cross the finish line into Plymouth as the new co-skipper of the world’s largest racing trimaran and fastest offshore race boat, the 40m long, Spindrift II. This boat won Rolex Fastnet Race line honors for a second consecutive time.

In total nine women skippered boats in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race, and three all-women teams, including Girls for Sail, led by Susan Glenny, on the Elan 37, Jumbuck, and Captain Lucinda Allaway on the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre’s Sigma 38, Redcoat. And the winner of this unofficial championship was Lucy Reynolds’ team on the First 40, Southern Child. While Lucy and her husband Christian normally run the Swan 51 Northern Child for the Fastnet, this year Lucy put together an all-female crew for the first time. The 2013 Fastnet Race exemplified women leading and competing on the high seas!

Fastnet Race

Way to go Raya and Dee!

Making history at 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race…

Oman Sail’s Raya al Habsi was chosen by Rising Tide Leadership Institute Ambassador Dee Caffari to join the crew on Oman Air-Musandam MOD70 trimaran in this year’s 608 mile Fastnet race which started yesterday in Cowes, England ~ enabling her to become the FIRST Omani woman to race offshore and take part in the Rolex Fastnet Race. A record fleet left Cowes, England yesterday, with 347 starters from 20 countries for the 45th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race (which first took place in 1925), with both men and women competing in the same race for the FIRST time. Meanwhile at Plymouth Yacht Haven crowds of press, friends and relatives of crew begin to gather, waiting for the boats to start arriving.

oman-air Fastnet

MOD70 Oman Air rounding the Fastnet Rock earlier today.

Raya feature

Raya commented before race start: “I am excited and I know maybe I will face hard times. But I am ready to face those times and do what I need to. I want to get to the end of the race and feel proud. I know very little about the ‘Mod70’ Oman Air-Musandam, but I know you have to be strong in body and strong in mind as well.”

Rolex Fastnet Race reports an intriguing dust-up is taking place between the world’s fastest competing yachts:

After an excellent start, the 40m trimaran, Spindrift 2, led the Multihull division along the south coast of England last night, but earlier this morning off Land’s End it was the Sidney Gavignet-skippered MOD70, Oman Air-Musandam, that had moved into the first place, despite being half Spindrift’s length. Crossing the Celtic Sea, it was then the turn of the 31.5m trimaran, Banque Populaire, to edge ahead. But at the Fastnet Rock, Spindrift 2, just managed to get her nose in front, rounding at 14.03:08 BST with the Armel le Cleac’h skippered Banque Populaire right on her transom.

“It is a great match,” enthused Spindrift 2’s co-skipper, Yann Guichard, this afternoon. “Right now, Banque Populaire is just 300m to windward and we are doing the same speed and the same angle.”

In theory the bigger boat should be faster, but Guichard says that in the 18-19 knot winds they have, the smaller Banque Populaire benefits from being lighter. “We are too heavy, so it is really close. We gybed first and she gybed just to windward, so it is like a match race – it is definitely not over yet.”

Click to follow the race!

Rising Tide team meets CNN Hero of the Year!

During the Traverse City Film FestivalRising Tide Leadership Institute’s Jeanne Gross and Linda Lindquist-Bishop met Pushpa Basnet of Nepal, the 2012 CNN Hero of the Year. Pushpa was in town to bring awareness to the new documentary Waiting for Mamu about her life mission to make sure that ‘no child grows up behind prison walls.’

Butterfly House Project

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world — according to UNICEF, 55% of the population lives below the international poverty line — so it lacks the social safety net that exists in most Western nations. Space is extremely limited in the few children’s homes affiliated with the government.

So when no local guardian is available, an arrested parent often must choose between bringing their children to jail with them or letting them live on the streets. Nepal’s Department of Prison Management estimates 80 children live in the nation’s prisons.

“It’s not fair for (these) children to live in the prison because they haven’t done anything wrong,” said Basnet, who started a nongovernmental organization to help. “My mission is to make sure no child grows up behind prison walls.”

Pushpa is leaving Traverse City, Michigan for the Philippines, where she will speak to a group from 28 countries who desire to learn how she is helping children of incarcerated parents – a global (and US) problem. This 28-year-old Nepali woman has become an inspiration to many.

You can learn more about Pushpa’s work and how you can help the plight of children being raised in prisons at the Butterfly Home.

Rising Tide Leadership Institute salutes Pushpa Basnet for stepping up to lead as a 21-year-old and Thomas Morgan for telling her story.

Butterfly House


L to R: Linda Lindquist-Bishop (RTLI), Pushpa Basnet (2012 CNN Hero of the Year), Jeanne Gross (RTLI), Angela Bernhard Thomas (Filmmaker)