„We established a worldwide network, keep in touch with companies and associations like Imoca Class. We have initiated a foiling project and want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to start a career in sailing. We are pleased to be able to support a national program with the Offshoreseglerinnen project,“ says the New Yorker. She says it’s a good mission to inspire the next generation to get involved in sailing.
Tutima goes, Magenta comes
Eshana Müller makes clear how much this network is in demand: two years ago, an Instagram page was launched to showcase German women in offshore sailing. „From that moment on, we received countless messages from women who wanted such a network. Today, we are more than 90 women in the project of Offshoreseglerinnen. Many dreamed of a campaign but didn’t have access to the resources. Meanwhile, the first projects are underway.“
Kerstin Zillmer on stage with ... © Janis Spurdzins
... Kirsten Harmstorf-Schönwitz ... © Janis Spurdzins
... and Eshana Müller © Janis Spurdzins
The starting signal for the new German network was the withdrawal of the „Tutima“ crew from the regatta circuit about two years ago. For more than eleven years, the women’s crew around Kirsten Harmstorf-Schönwitz on the Tutima formed the crystallization point for the female sailors. „We had the best sponsor in the world, had a free hand and could sail the regattas we wanted. It was important to us that we had 15 characters together that really fit together.
That’s why we sailed together for so long and also chose the time to say goodbye ourselves. Now we have another comeback for this World Cup,“ reported Kirsten, underlining what Kerstin Zillmer clearly formulates: „The women’s teams need more sponsors who trust them. Because often the campaigns simply fail because of money.“
This race is female
German offshoresailor Susann Beucke earned that confidence with her silver medal at the 2021 Olympics. With support from the industry, she has made the leap to the offshore scene. She was tuned in from Lorient, France, where she is currently preparing for the next Solitaire du Figaro races.
Susann Beuckes Campaign is on its way © Kerstin Zillmer
With her campaign „This race is female“ she has the chance to develop: „It’s a big step from Olympic sailing to offshore sailing. I learn something new every day. I am now immersed in the French offshore sailing world and I realize that everything depends on the competence and confidence to start these projects. That’s something you have to work for. That’s why the network is so important, to support each other and show the possibilities.“
The panel discussion is just the start of further events to strengthen the German network. At the get-together afterwards, which was supported by Pantaenius Yachtversicherungen and Tutima Glashütte/SA, the 150 or so guests exchanged ideas.
Two exclusive places for German female offshore sailors in the Magenta Project’s mentoring program mark the start of further activities. One place will go to a „mentee“ who will be accompanied by a mentor for nine months, the second place to a German female sailor who can be trained as a mentor. The application phase starts now!
More projects will be published soon via the website Offshoreseglerinnen, on float and via social media.