Here at Zizoo, we celebrate women in the sailing world every day. (In fact, our company wouldn’t even exist without the efforts of Anna Banicevic, our CEO and Co-Founder!)
Below, we’ve outlined some of our favorite women who’ve made history sailing the waters. If you’re inspired by their stories, book a boat from our celebratory Women’s Day Sale, going on now until March 11, 2020.
Tracy Edwards and the Maiden team
Tracy Edwards long dreamed of sailing on a sailboat around the world. Specifically, she wanted to sail in the Whitbread Round the World race. When she put together a 12-person crew to try her hand at the feat, she was met with intense criticism and anger by her male counterparts. The result of all that backlash? Edwards, with her team, finished the nine-month race second in their class.
Dame Ellen MacArthur
Long voyages of the sea are the stuff our travel fantasies are made of, but can you imagine sailing around the world, for a record total of 71 days? That’s exactly what Dame Ellen MacArthur did, shattering the previous world record by 1 day, 8 hours, and 35 minutes. And if you’re not a fan of MacArthur yet, then consider that she started the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which is dedicated to accelerating the transition to a circular economy, aka a less wasteful and more self-sustaining one.
MacArthur might have had the speed to accomplish a round-the-world sail, but Poland’s Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz also had the audacity and courage to be the first woman to accomplish such a task. In 1976, she set out from the Canary Islands, successfully passing through the Panama Canal, the Caribbean Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Today, Chojnowska-Liskiewicz works as a naval architect.
Born in 1777, Skipper Thuridur paved the way for all non-traditional sailors who came after her. She was born in Iceland and was one of the country’s, and the world’s, earliest female sailors. She did have to make a few alterations to fit into the male-dominated sailing world. The women’s clothes of that time were unfit — and lacked the variety offered now — to wear under a fisherman’s oilskins (waterproofed clothing), so she often wore men’s clothing. Today, she’s remembered by her sailing prowess and is immortalized in Iceland’s memory as its greatest seafaring woman.
When Tania was 18 years old, her father offered to either pay for college or pay for a sailboat that she’d then be tasked with sailing around the world. She completed the 27,000-mile task at age 21, and went on to chronicle the whole odyssey in the bestselling book, “Maiden Voyage.” Among other things, the novel posits her sailing venture as a journey of self-discovery and self-sufficiency.
The first Latin American woman to sail across the Atlantic Ocean alone did it in 41 days. The feat, which was recorded on the Guinness World Book of Records, was even more remarkable for the fact that Moss combined it with a philanthropic cause. Collaborating with the non-profit organization, Televisa Foundation, Mexican-born Moss was able to donate a home to a Mexican family for every eight nautical miles she navigated. In total, she was able to donate 644 homes, turning her superhuman feat into a feat that everyone could celebrate on many different levels for decades to come.
French sailor Florence Arthaud was known as the first woman to win the Route du Rhum, a solo transatlantic yacht race. She completed it in 14 days, 10 hours, and eight minutes, beating the previous record by more than three days. Her impressive success at this prestigious race showed the world that a female’s physical prowess, including her technical skill and grasp of yacht design, were more than enough to compete against a male’s.