SAN FRANCISCO (#1159) – Excerpt from a nice article by Rafer Guzmán in Newsday, the Long Island, NY daily newspaper, about the acclaimed documentary on the first all-female team in The Ocean Race (née Whitebread), and Dawn Riley, the American member of the crew now Executive Director of Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay, NY.
Riley would go on to serve as watch captain, diver and engineer on Maiden. The boat began the race as a cute human-interest story in the media, but, thanks to its impressive performance leg after leg, it soon made headlines of its own. "One of the cool things about that race," Riley says, "is that we were changing the minds of many, many people. We were 12 pretty kick-ass women just racing around the world as a team."
Afterward, Riley raced in four America's Cup campaigns and two more Whitbreads (now called the Volvo Ocean Race). She joined Oakcliff 10 years ago. Yet despite her accomplishments, she says, sexism still exists in the sailing world. Men still dominate the top tiers of the sport, and they tend to own the boats and pay the bills, too, she says.
"You have to do everything that the guys do, and you have to know that you have the power to stand up for yourself," Riley says she tells the young women who arrive for instruction at Oakcliff. "You don’t have to be a jerk about it, but fight. Don't accept that discrimination is going to control you. Even when it does."
Read the full article here, which includes a nice video interview with Dawn. Accompanying photo is a screen grab from the video, courtesy of Newsday.