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post #214 of Old 10-05-2013
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Re: Is Sailing Sexist?

Originally Posted by JulieMor View Post
Imagine this...

There are two boats. Each has a race proven race crew. Each crew member has competed at a comparable level as the other. On paper, there is no difference, except one. One boat is crewed by men, the other by women. Who wins? And why?
That's pretty much already happened. The defender's series for the 1995 America's cup had three contenders. One team, America3, had an all-female crew (with a male tactician). If I remember right, they were on the verge of winning the last race and heading to the America's Cup as the defender. They were beating Dennis Conner on Stars and Stripes by several minutes heading towards the finish, when they made the odd tactical decision to split from Stars and Stripes. They hit a patch of dead air and ended up losing. (DC went on to lose to New Zealand 5-0.)

So luck and tactics are more important than gender of the crew. From what I recall, aside from briefly mentioning that the crew was all-female in the intro to the broadcasts, and some news interview questions asking the crew how it felt to be the first all-women crew, nobody made a big deal about it. They treated the boat and crew just like any other team. The fact that their "first" has mostly been lost to the annals of history I think is a testament to the lack of sexism in the sport. (At least in public. Dunno what went on in private.)
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