Media / Press

USA Women’s Match Racing Championship

Jennifer Wilson new US Women’s Match Racing Champion!

WIMRA | Chicago – June 16, 2013
CHICAGO — In a three-day series at the Chicago Match Race Center that featured everything from light shifty breeze to big wind and waves, Chicago-based Jennifer Wilson and her team of Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Katherine Pettibone (Sacramento, Calif.), Krista Paxton (Royal Oak, Mich.), and Sandi Svoboda (Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.) have won the Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy for the 2013 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship. After defeating Sandy Hayes in a 2-0 Semi-Final, Wilson and team went on to defeat Stephanie Roble and her team in a 3-1 Final.

US Match Race on water

For winning this ISAF Grade 3 championship, Wilson will receive an automatic invitation to the Open U.S. Match Racing Championship this September in Sheboygan, Wis. as well as the Women’s International Match Race Series event this July in Oyster Bay, N.Y.

“I was really comfortable racing with this team,” said Wilson. “We have sailed a lot together over the years. I felt like we had the best group out there. I let Sally do her magic and take care of tactics, while I focused on sailing fast and smooth in the shifty conditions.”

Wilson also gave credit to Roble, her arch-rival throughout the series. Roble and her tactician Maggie Shea who like have spent the last three years sailing with or against Wilson at many other CMRC events.

“Steph and her team were outstanding,” said Wilson. “We were excited to have the opportunity to race against them and to be able to edge them out.” [Read More]

RTLI Congratulates Intisar on winning Oman’s first Woman Sailor of the Year, and Hussain on winning the Men’s Sailor of the Year

Oman Daily Observer | Muscat – May 16, 2013
MUSCAT — Hussain al Jabri and Intisar al Toubi bagged the inaugural Sailor of the Year Awards during the Oman Sail’s Awards Gala organized at Al Bustan Palace Hotel on Tuesday night. The two talented sailors were voted the most outstanding male and female overall winners of the prestigious Sailor of the Year Awards presented by Renaissance Services SAOG and co-sponsored by Rolls-Royce, Oman Air, Muscat Daily, Technogym, the wellness company, Nissan and KhimjiRamdas.

Hussain & Intisar accepting award

Intisar al Toubi, 24, only learnt to sail when she joined Oman Sail in November 2011. One of four Omani’s selected to crew with the all-women team aboard the Farr 30 yacht ‘Al Thuraya Bank Muscat’ that finished fourth in the 2012 Sailing Arabia — The Tour, Intisar is known as a natural leader and a good role model for other girls. Always willing to learn, she understands the bigger picture of the Women’s Sailing Programme. During the 15-day 760 miles of intense racing on the Tour she was an active crew member showing a good understanding of trimming and displayed excellent skills with mainsheet trimming during the inshore races. She is also consistently first in the bike fitness test and holds the fastest test time for rowing. [Read More]

Dee Caffari’s Guide to Breaking World Records…

Trekity: Daily Travel Ideas for Women | By Darcie Connell | May 2013

Dee Caffari is a British yachtswoman who has a serious track record of success.

Here’s the story:
• In 2006, Dee became the first woman to sail solo and non-stop around the world “the wrong way” against winds and currents. Only four men had successfully done so before her.
• In 2009, Dee successfully completed the Vendée Globe – a non-stop and solo sailing race around the world – coming in 6th out of 30 starters.
• In 2011, Dee sailed the Barcelona World Race with a co-skipper, earning her the title as the only woman to have sailed around the world three times, non-stop!

Her journey’s were long and arduous, but Dee “never wanted to give up or stop.”

But don’t take my word for it…
Learn about Dee Caffari’s record-breaking journeys, her most shocking moments, and her special advice for women travelers in this exclusive interview…

Oman Sail teams find the going tough at Spi Ouest

Times of Oman | April 7, 2013
Times of Oman - France
PARIS —Teammates onboard the Women’s Sailing Program’s J80 Team Bank Muscat, racing internationally for the first time in their largest-ever field of competitors, suffered in the icy conditions but made gradual improvements to successfully complete the event. “The girls learned a lot about what it takes to be a top-level sailor and how hard you have to push yourself at this level,” said their coach Niall Myant. “Every day, we’ve had sub-zero temps, and they have had to clear the ice off the decks, rig and tune the boat, and pack up at the end of some long, bitterly cold days. They were competing against 110 other boats, and it was the biggest fleet they had ever seen, so their hearts were racing at the start line and at mark roundings. This has been a fantastic training opportunity while we work towards the J80 Worlds in Marseilles in July.”

Helmswoman Rajaa Al Uwaisi, who has been sailing as part of the Oman Sail project since 2011, admitted to being nervous in the high winds. “We have never sailed in such conditions, but I’ve started to get the hang of it; as we sailed, I felt my confidence building. The team worked well together. There were about 10–15 boats behind us by the last day, and I could tell our techniques were improving. Team Bank Muscat and I look forward to our next competition at the Grand Prix in Brest in a few weeks!” [Read the entire article]

Oman Sail Women’s Team makes French debut

Yachts and | March 26, 2013
Four members of Rising Tide Leadership Institute Ambassador Dee Caffari’s fourth placed 2013 Sailing Arabia – The Tour team return to action but this time in a smaller J80, swapping the warm climes of Oman for the freezing and rough waters of the Atlantic. Their objective is to learn new skills and add to their experience by acclimating to unfamiliar environments, boats and racing situations. Intesar Al Tubi, who has been sailing with Oman Sail’s keelboat for over a year now is looking forward to the steep learning curve ahead: “I’m interested to learn about how life is in France and to learn as much as possible on the water by sailing against crews that have a lot more experience than us, it is going to be tough, but we are excited by the opportunity.”

AbdulRazak Ali Issa, Chief Executive of Bank Muscat, wished them well ahead of their first European challenge: “Bank Muscat, associate partner of the Oman Sail Women’s Program, is proud to continue the support for the all-women crew, aimed at contributing to women empowerment and creating a sustainable sailing future for women in the country. The Omani female sailors are a great example for young Arab sailors across the region and we wish them good luck.” [Read the entire article]

Oman Sail’s all-girls team for France regatta

Oman Daily Observer | March 20, 2013
Spi Quest France
MUSCAT — The world’s first all-female Arab sailing team flew to Quiberon in France on Monday to take to the testing waters of The Bay of Biscay and prove themselves on the world’s keelboat racing stage, according to a press release issued by the Oman Sail yesterday. “These notoriously tough waters will challenge the girls in new ways, they’ll not only have to learn to cope with the cold chill of the Atlantic winds, but they’ll be sailing in heavier breeze and larger waves than they are used to. However, the intrepid six are not perturbed by this, instead they are ready and raring to rise to this new challenge,” the statement said.

Round the World Yachtswoman, Rising Tide Leadership Institute Ambassador Dee Caffari, who has been racing and training with the girls for the past year comments: “This is an incredible opportunity for the team, they are certainly ready for a new challenge, I have no doubt that they will embrace the experience and learn from it, whilst sailors from around the world look on in amazement at these courageous young women.” [Read the entire article]

Oman Sail’s girls to take on France

Oman Sail | March 18, 2013
Oman Sail article

On 18th March 2013, the world’s first all female Arab sailing team will fly to Quiberon in France to take to the testing waters of The Bay of Biscay and prove themselves on the world’s keelboat racing stage. These notoriously tough waters will challenge the girls in new ways, they’ll not only have to learn to cope with the cold chill of the Atlantic winds, but they’ll be sailing in heavier breeze and larger waves than they are used to. However, the intrepid 6 are not perturbed by this, instead they are ready and raring to rise to this new challenge. [Read the entire article]


Dee’s presence spurring us: Raya shares…

Feb 24, 2013 | By Ashok Purohit

Dee's Presence Spurring Us article

Oman’s Raya al Habsi, a member of the all-women crew onboard Al Thuraya bank muscat Team at the ongoing 2013 EFG Bank Sailing Arabia-The Tour (SATT), believes that skipper Dee Caffari (Rising Tide Leadership Institute Ambassador) has had a motivating influence on the team members. The experienced British yachtswoman, who has sailed solo around the world in both directions, spearheads the Al Thuraya team in its second appearance in the SATT.

Speaking to Muscat Daily on Saturday, Raya said, “Our debut in the SATT last year has done a world of good for us. We are much more comfortable now doing offshore races.” Half the crew of the Al Thuraya team comprises Omani women – there are four from the sultanate – with Raya and Intisar al Tobi the only ones to be part of the boat’s campaign in the 2012 edition. The other two Omani girls in the team are Raja’a al Owaisi and Tahira al Yahyai. Al Thuraya bank muscat Team has produced its best offshore result so far, securing a fourth place finish in the fifth leg from Ras al Khaimah, UAE, to Dibba, Oman, recently. Raya said about her team’s fifth-leg performance, “All the Omani girls were excited to enter the sultanate waters. [Read the entire article]

Katie Pettibone serves as mentor on the sea

Feb 14, 2013 2:30 PM ET | By Bonnie D. Ford

ESPNw - Katie Pettibone 02.14.13

ESPNw – Katie Pettibone 02.14.13

It’s one thing to watch from afar and feel positive about the slow but tangible advances being made by women athletes in Arab countries. It’s something else again to travel to that part of the world and exert a hands-on influence.

That’s what a few seasoned international sailors, including Californian Katie Pettibone, have done. Their mentoring efforts will be on display this month for the second year in a row as an all-female, half-Omani crew competes in the two-week race around the Persian Gulf known as “SATT,” or Sailing Arabia — The Tour.

“It’s their journey — we’re just there to facilitate it,” said Pettibone, a 41-year-old lawyer who balances elite competition with a job as a lobbyist for the Civil Justice Association of California. She is one of four experienced sailors, led by British skipper Dee Caffari (whose résumé includes solo trips around the world in both directions), combined with four young Omani women to sail Al Thuraya BankMuscat, a Farr30 yacht, around the gulf. The race began Sunday in Bahrain and will end Feb. 25 in Oman, with stops in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah.

I was surprised at how much they loved it, the adventure and competition of sailing. Its demanding. Its uncomfortable. You go to the bathroom in a bucket. You wear the same clothes a couple days in a row.  – Katie Pettibone

Pettibone’s own travels have been extensive. The Michigan native was on the first all-female America’s Cup crew in 1995 and competed in the prestigious event twice after that. She has survived some harrowing episodes, including a dismasting in the treacherous waters around Cape Horn and a capsizing off Australia. This is a different kind of voyage — a compelling and at times emotional trek across cultural differences. [Read the entire article]

Let’s hear it for the girls

Time Out Bahrain magazine
By Time Out Bahrain staff | February 2013

Time Out BahrainAl-Thuraya Bank Muscat is once again putting up an all-female crew led by record-breaking British skipper Dee Caffari.

The team will also include four pioneering Omani women aged between 21 and 28, two of whom competed in last year’s race.

“Members of the all-female team have just had 400 miles of off-shore experience which has been brilliant because it has demonstrated the massive progress they are making,” said Caffari, who became the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in both directions after completing the Vendee Globe in 2009 and her own single-handed westward circumnavigation three years before.

“These young women are a real inspiration to others in the region. In the near future all-women crews from the Middle East competing in these events will be commonplace and there is no reason why these girls shouldn’t go on to compete in races around the world. That will take time but success at EFG Bank Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2013 is definitely within their grasp in the short term.”

Commenting on their marathon 15 days of racing and looking forward to the 2013 event, Raya Al Habsi said: “I was first introduced to sailing in 2011 and it really has changed my life. Sailing Arabia – The Tour has given me the chance to compete against some of the best sailors from around the world as well as travel the region and I can’t wait to arrive in Bahrain.

“We recently took part in our first ever match race in Bahrain which was great fun so I look forward to going back. Everyone is always really excited and there is a great vibe before a race starts. We were so close to a podium place in Sailing Arabia – The Tour 2012, so I’m keen to get back out there and fight for a place that we have worked so hard to achieve.” Read the complete article

Changing the Lives of Others

May 2012
Raya Al Habsi impacts women throughout the Middle East in this
Women’s Health & Fitness magazine article, Dubai.

Women’s Health & Fitness, Dubai