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Welsh clubs urged to bid for Magenta Day

by Hamish Stuart 6 Mar 2020 11:34 GMT 8 March 2020
Magenta Stevie Scanlan, Kim Jones - Magenta Day ©

Welsh sailing clubs can still apply to run a Magenta Day to boost female sailing, with International Women's Day on Sunday as a useful reminder to register interest.

It is a chance to follow the 'awe-inspiring' success in Royal Anglesey last year at another club round Wales, with the day making a significant long term impact on female participation in race sailing in North Wales.

The Magenta Project, having teamed up with the RYA, aims to promote more women racing keelboats at club level through ten on and off water training days planned for around the UK in 2020 with an aim to get more female club members on the water racing, more often.

"This is a great opportunity for Welsh clubs to host a Magenta Day and there is still time to register an interest for this year," said RYA Cymru Wales chief executive Gerwyn Owen.

"Last year's event at Royal Anglesey was a great success with more than 20 people taking part. It certainly helped to boost female sailing in North Wales and beyond.

"If more Welsh clubs are lucky enough to be successful in their bids to host a Magenta Day, then it will be beneficial to those clubs and sailing in Wales.

"Clubs will be encouraged to maintain the momentum through ongoing race training and club programmes following after the Magenta Day."

What previous participants have said: "We have just had our stats from the RYA and things are on the up with 39% of our racers being female, so really feel the impact that Magenta had, has and will continue to have a lasting impact on the club," Royal Anglesey YC.

RAYC commodore Mrs Stevie Scanlon described the day as 'awe-inspiring.' She commented, after the day last August, "We were very excited to be hosting this day at Royal Anglesey and it was very successful."

Why bid? It is unusual to see gender equality on the racecourse yet when you talk to women sailboat racers, they love what they do. You ask them why there aren't more women out on the water, and it is often that they lack confidence in their own ability and don't want to let the crew down.

Magenta Day race coaching goes some way in addressing this situation by providing women with a safe learning environment to build confidence and ability. By learning together, building confidence in your own ability has a domino effect - developing a community feel to do things together.

The Magenta Day race coaching gives women the encouragement to take that next step to continue to race within the clubs and classes they are members of and encourage others to do the same.

Objective of session:

  • Create an open, inclusive, learning environment where people can build confidence in their racing skills.
  • Connect with other like-minded women of all ages throughout the club, building a network and community to continue into the future.
  • Encourage female members to try something new whether they are new to racing, crew position or boat type.
  • Introduce and promote the British Keelboat Academy and encourage team participation in the British Keelboat League and other national events.
  • Provide a framework and example of how clubs can instigate and continue race training and coaching in future.
  • Better engagement with female membership base.

The RYA and The Magenta Project will source coaches; Helena Lucas MBE, Nikki Henderson and Abby Ehler all coached on the 2019 programme.

The Magenta Project will liaise with clubs to organise the day's coaching. The RYA will subsidise the training costs but each club will be expected to make a contribution to the cost of the day. This is with the following assumptions:

  • Participating clubs will promote the days coaching and organise participants.
  • These are not beginner training days; participants need to be able to sail around a racecourse in their preferred position on the boat.
  • The cost will be £40 per sailor with a minimum of 20 sailors.
  • Minimum age 18 or 16 with parental consent in certain circumstances.
  • The Magenta Project will provide 2 coaches for up to 25 sailors and a third coach if the group size is over 25. All numbers to be advised 2 weeks ahead of the training day.
  • Participants would sail keelboats, and these would be provided by the club or participants bring their own boats. They do not need to be the same class however consideration in to speed differential should be considered.
  • 2 RIBS would be provided by the club (with fuel) for coaches. Each RIB would require a driver / assistant (depending on coach) which could be someone wishing to train as a coach themselves.
  • Race marks provided by club.
  • A training room for briefings will be available with ability to present video to participants provided by club.
  • Participants provide own pack lunch however hot drinks and light refreshments before and after sailing should be available.
Training day format:
  • 0800 Volunteers meet for briefing
  • 0830 Registration of Magenta Day participants
  • 0845 Days schedule and safety briefing
  • 0900 Rig boats with coaching oversight
  • 1000 Sailing session 1 - focus boat handing round a race course
  • 1230 Lunch (on the water)
  • 1300 Sailing session 2 - focus on starting and race ready
  • 1500 Off the water
  • 1600 Debrief
  • 1730 Close and next steps

Clubs interested in hosting a Magenta Day are encouraged to express their interest before the closing date of 20th March.

For further details about Welsh sailing and watersports, please go to or Facebook page or follow on Twitter @RYACymruWales. You can also keep up to date by following RYA Cymru Wales on Instagram.

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