The former BVI yacht, Synergy– a Frers 49, once owned by racer Kevin Rowlette of the BVI. Lea de Haas, who also lived in the BVI but currently resides in St. Maarten, is the current owner. Together, with a crew of women hailing from the Caribbean, Lea & crew will sail Synergy to Bermuda this month in order to help raise both awareness and funds for ‘Women Against Violence Everywhere’ (WAVE) in the 100th anniversary Newport-Bermuda Race. The crew will be made up of top Caribbean female offshore sailors including Team WAVE organizer Val Doan along with de Haas, Annie Westcott, Julie Swartz, Kate Lee, Sierra Lowell, and Becky Paull–Rowlette. Team WAVE is sponsored by Nagico Insurance Inc.; the company has a 60% workforce of women and has long supported women’s rights. WAVE hopes to be instrumental in assisting women, worldwide, in drafting legislation, within their individual countries, that helps to protect women against violence.
Annie Westcott, Public Relations spokeswoman for the team tells me, "As a group of women sailors, we have spent many years sailing for a living, sailing for fun, for sport and for the spirit of teamwork. We thought it was time to pool our experience and give back to those who may not be as fortunate as we are. Our common bond is sailing; our common goal is making a difference by starting with the communities in which we live."
I join the women of the BVI, and of the greater Caribbean area, in wishing these sailors well in their efforts as well as in their competition – “go get em gals!”