“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Debbie Dog and the Shrewd Swede

By Richard Crockett

Here’s a delightful piece about two very different women who competed in the 1981 Whitbread Round the World Race. Back in those days, 42 years ago now, it was rare to have women aboard racing yachts. Gladly times have changed significantly and for the better as women now compete as equals alongside men, making sailing a very unique sport.

Debbie Scaling was aboard ‘Xargo III’, the South African entry skippered by Padda Kuttel. The report says: “On board they call her Debbie ‘Dog’. When she cooks she is harnessed to the kitchen sink.

“But 23-year-old Texan anthropology student Debbie Scaling – the only woman on board the South African ketch ‘Xargo III’ – shrugs off the insults and the drudgery. ‘Sailing is my life. Of all the boats I could be on this is the best. I love these guys like my own family. I find myself getting jealous if they go out with a girl I don’t like.’”

The other woman was Cecilia Ungar. Who sold her house and her possessions to buy the yacht ‘United Friendly’. Although she had no sailing experience she was determined to compete in the Whitbread Round the World Race.

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE:  1981 10 23 – stitched – S&A – 002812_Redacted – OCR

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