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RYA Magenta Project Sets Sails at Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough

23rd September 2019
Supported by three coaches from the RYA Magenta Project, the group sailed from Bangor Marina in six yachts from the Belfast Lough Quarter Ton Class and Sigma Class. Supported by three coaches from the RYA Magenta Project, the group sailed from Bangor Marina in six yachts from the Belfast Lough Quarter Ton Class and Sigma Class.

Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough has hosted a keelboat coaching event as part of the Magenta Project, with 34 female sailors taking to the water.

The Club is just one of five clubs across the UK to become successful in their bid for the event.

Supported by three coaches from the RYA Magenta Project, the group sailed from Bangor Marina in six yachts from the Belfast Lough Quarter Ton Class and Sigma Class.

"The Magenta Project is a collective of passionate sailors who are committed to creating equal access and opportunities for women in sailing"

The owners from Ballyholme Yacht Club (BYC) had kindly lent their boats to participants for the event. The sailors' race rigged the craft under the supervision of the coaches – Abby Ehler, Storm Nuttal and Nikki Henderson – and took to the water for four hours of coaching in testing conditions with winds gusting up to 28.7kts.

The Magenta Project is a collective of passionate sailors who are committed to creating equal access and opportunities for women in sailing. It was started up in 2015 by members of the all-female ‘Team SCA’ who successfully competed in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race campaign.

Since then, the sailors have been working to create opportunities for women in performance sailing through on water training, learning and development opportunities.

They also support career/skills development schemes and events and STEM activities in the marine industry, building networks and relationships that connect individuals and organisations. This enables sailing knowledge, experience and opportunities to be shared, raising awareness of women in sailing and celebrating their successes and achievement.

The Magenta Project has now teamed up with the RYA to help promote more women racing keelboats at club level through tailored coaching sessions at clubs up and down the country, run by RYA qualified Magenta Project coaches, to get more female club members on the water racing, more often.

Aidan Pounder from Ballyholme Yacht Club commented: “This was the first time that the Magenta Project had come to Northern Ireland, and the ladies who participated found the experience truly remarkable, albeit a little exhausting. BYC hopes that this is not the last, but the start of many more Magenta Days to come in the future, helping to inspire more women into keelboat sailing.”

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