Vestas and Volvo Encourage Women in Sailing

Vestas Women Thrive in Milestone Season

A new rule for the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race incentivized teams that hired female members. Meet the three women of the Vestas 11th Hour Racing crew.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing crew member Stacey Jackson says she came into the sailing industry with a goal: to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race.

A new rule in the 2017-2018 edition of the event offered an advantage to teams that added female members, allowing them to sail with two to four more crew members than the maximum of seven allowed in an all-male crew.

“It’s worked because every team here has females on board,” Jackson says.

Jackson, Hannah Diamond and Jena Mai Hansen are Vestas’ female crew.

“We continue to partner with teams like Vestas 11th Hour Racing, who share our commitment to innovation, teamwork and sustainability,” says Gary Grose, Argo Group Producer Management and Marketing Leader. “At Argo, we celebrate women who challenge themselves, take risks and change the world.”

Together, the Vestas women bring nearly 60 years of on- and off-shore experience to the crew. Here’s more about them.

Hannah Diamond, 28
Hamble, United Kingdom
First Volvo Ocean Race
Experience: Silver medalist, 2013 Nacra 17 World Championship


Jena Mai Hansen, 29
Copenhagen, Denmark
First Volvo Ocean Race
Experience: Bronze medalist, 2016 Rio Olympics; 2017 world champion, 49erFX


Stacey Jackson, 35
Mooloolaba, Australia
Second Volvo Ocean Race
Experience: 11 Sydney Hobart Yacht Races


While the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race rules gave teams incentive to add female crew, women are no strangers to the event. Learn more below.

  • Since 1973, 126 women have competed in the race, including 11 in the first edition.
  • Clare Francis became the first female skipper in the 1977-1978 race.
  • Tracy Edwards and her crew of Maiden became the first all-female team to compete in 1989-1990.
  • Since then, four more all-female teams have competed: 1993-1994 U.S. Women’s Challenge (Nance Frank/Dawn Riley); 1997-1998 EF Education (Christine Guillou); 2001-2002 Amer Sports Too (Lisa McDonald); 2014-2015 Team SCA (Sam Davies).
  • No women competed in the race in 2008-2009 and 2011-2012.

Argo supports efforts by the Volvo Ocean Race to encourage female participation in competitive sailing. We also applaud organizations such as The Magenta Project, which shares the mission of driving women to success in sailing, and WiSP Sports, which tell stories of sportswomen while promoting gender equality, diversity, fairness and access.

This website uses cookies to deliver tailored content to you, collect anonymous statistics and maintain login sessions.

You may decline our use of cookies in your browser; however, certain portions of this website may not function properly. Click here for our privacy policy and information.