For the first time in the history of the One Ton Cup, an all-female crew will compete

At this summer’s One Ton Cup, to be held in Pwllheli, Wales 3-9 September, history will be made. For the first time in its 102-year history, an all-female boat will be in there, tacking and gybing against the male dominated fleet.

Whitbread and America’s Cup veteran Dawn Riley will lead the crew from the helm of Ortwin Kandler’s IC45 Faster K-Yote I. Riley has amassed a massive amount of experience in her long top-flight career.

She has taken part in two Whitbread Races and always as part of a female crew. First she went round with Tracy Edwards onboard Maiden in 1989-90 and then skippered the women’s challenge in the 1993-94 event that eventually became Heineken Challenge after funding problems.

She first took part in the America’s Cup in 1992, as pitman on the winning boat. Subsequent to that, she became the first woman to skipper an America’s Cup boat – America3 – in 1995 and went on to win the event with a mixed crew. She trumped that by turning up at America’s Cup 2000 as Chief Executive Officer of the America True syndicate, hopelessly underfunded but competitive nonetheless.

This year’s event, the 79th running of this French Trophy, sees another precedent set for women’s sailing, by the woman who set most of them.