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Sailing to Success with Pantaenius

Pantaenius’ very own Sailor Girl, Nic Douglass, caught up with some of the female skippers from this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race, as they crossed the finish line and tied-up in front of our Plymouth office earlier this summer.


The Rolex Fastnet Race is the world’s largest offshore race and this year’s edition was a record-breaker, with multihulls smashing the race record, monohulls defying adverse conditions, and an impressive international fleet of over 380 yachts from 26 countries competing – 10% of which, were lead by female skippers.

To date, only one female skipper has won the Rolex Fastnet Race but as more female sailors come to the forefront of the sport, spurred on by the high-profile successes of Catherine Chabaud, Tracy Edwards, Ellen MacArthur and Dee Caffari, to name but a few, the numbers for future female participation are set to rise.

Skipper Nicola Henderson tells us that on the water it’s skill and attitude that count – not age or gender. Completing the Rolex Fastnet Race with a crew of seven young sailors from the Jarhead Sailing Foundation in Malta, for many of whom this was their first offshore experience, Henderson proves that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the underdog that matters.

Henderson’s sailing career has seen her go from being the youngest ever skipper to lead a team in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, and in fact the youngest aboard at the age of 25, to leading and inspiring other young sailors in the most recent edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race.  Henderson advocates the benefits to one’s confidence, communication skills and ability to work as a team that the sport of sailing offers and for Henderson, positive leadership now is just as important as it was then, as is having fun!

Watch her interview with Nic Douglass ‘Adventures of a Sailor Girl’, conducted on behalf of Pantaenius, here:

Nicola Henderson at Rolex Fastnet 2019

Video provided by Nic Douglass @sailorgirlhq

Whilst in Plymouth, Nic Douglass also caught up with Susan Glenny who stepped ashore after the completion of her fifth Rolex Fastnet Race.  Despite tearing the mainsail of Olympia’s Tigress coming into the first front and having to head for the Scillies with only the Jib for power, Glenny’s determination to finish the race won out and she lead her crew to the finish line, with the bonus reward of beating her nemesis, Jua Kali, across the line by 12 minutes.

Team Tigress was setup by Glenny to bring competitive racing to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity.  Wanting to inspire crewmembers with the cohesive teamwork that can be established when racing, Glenny seeks to give her crew a new experience and newfound appetite for life.

Glenny recognises that it’s not always smooth sailing but her undeniably competitive nature means there’s always a race to be had! 

Find out more about her experience in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race here:

Susan Glenny at Rolex Fastnet 2019

Video provided by Nic Douglass @sailorgirlhq

Pantaenius congratulate all those who took part.  If you’d like to know more about insuring your boat with Pantaenius, please contact us.

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