Coast’s world-class sailor takes a new tack in global career
STACEY Jackson heads off to the Middle East on Sunday for a new experience in her fast-developing professional sailing career.
Coming off the back of competing in the Extreme Sailing Series in Sydney and then the Rolex Sydney-Hobart race on the Brisbane entry Black Jack, the Sunshine Coast sailor now joins fellow Volvo Ocean Race Team SCA member Dee Caffari to race on an all-woman crew for the EFG Sailing Arabia tour.
The event is run by Oman Sail which was set up to run sailing programs for young Omani men and women.
"Dee will be skipper for the Oman Women's Sailing Team," Jackson said.
"She has been established with the team and this race for a few years now. She has asked me to join her a couple of times but I haven't been able to do it, including last year when both Dee and I were doing the Volvo race.
"It's going to be an interesting regatta, getting to sail with some Omani women who for some are doing the race for the third time.
"It's a developing sport for them. The Omani women are a little bit less experienced than some of the other women we will have on board."
Caffari described the team as being "all about changing perceptions of women in the Middle East".
Joining Jackson, Caffari and the three Omani sailors are British Artemis Offshore Academy member Mary Rook and Dutch Olympic silver medallist Annemieke Bes.
Jackson will meet her team in Dubai where they have a week to get the boat and themselves ready before racing starts on February 15.
Her role on the boat is bow, again.
"Can't get away from it," she said.
The nine-boat fleet of identical Farr 30s contest a combination of inshore and offshore races over a period of 15 days. Covering about 746 miles, the event starts in Dubai with offshore races connecting each of the participating ports - Abu Dhabi, Doha, Khasab, Sohar and Muscat.
There are three lots of three-day in-port races in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha.
It is for the most part unfamiliar racing territory for Jackson.
"Other than the leg in and out of Abu Dhabi during the Volvo race, I haven't sailed there before," she said. "This will be coastal racing ... quite a bit different."