Lyme’s Rook joins all-girl crew for international regatta

PUBLISHED: 17:41 08 February 2012

Mary Rook

Mary Rook


In less than a week yachtswoman and Olympic hopeful Mary Rook will be sailing as part of Dee Caffari’s all-woman racing crew, who will be making their debut in an international regatta organised by Oman Sail.

The 25-year-old Lyme Regis club sailor has signed up for the second edition of ‘Sailing Arabia – The Tour’ (SATT), which joins together the nations of the Gulf and international crews in two weeks of racing around the Arabian Coast. Rook, who was born in Haselbury Plucknett, near Crewkerne, said that she was thrilled to be in the Oman Sail all-woman crew, Al Thuraya Bank Muscat, which will be led by World record-breaking sailor Dee Caffari.

Providing a regional and winter alternative to Le Tour de France à la Voile, racing takes place on the Farr 30 and will include five offshore legs, each finished with inshore racing. Starting in Bahrain on February 12, the fleet will traverse the Arabian Peninsula stopping at Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Oman.

Rook, a Wadham School and Exeter University graduate, started sailing when she was 12 years old in a 420, a two-person dinghy. Both her parents have sailed their whole lives; her father went to the pre-Olympics in the 470, whilst her mother was once a national champion. Mary won the World and National Match Racing Championships in 2010 before being selected to trim for the all-woman crew.

The Al Thuraya Bank Muscat crew also includes the first recruits of Oman Sail's Women's Programme, an initiative launched in October last year and other team mates come from France, America and New Zealand and they also include former Whitbread around-the-world racer Emma Westmacott, from the UK. The crew will be skippered by British sailor Dee Caffari, who spoke of Mary’s Olympic hopes: “Mary has been training with the Olympic squads and has been sailing all over the world as part of world class teams, with her focus to date on match racing and keelboats she is a real asset. We are grateful for her energy and dedication to this event.”

After an unsuccessful campaign for the 2012 Olympics in the Match Racing class, Rook is now concentrating on selection for the 2016 Olympics.

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