Mini Red Dress racing for a cause - Soundings Online

Mini Red Dress racing for a cause

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This summer, Rhode Island sailor/ boatbuilder Katie Ambach will be one of eight skippers competing in the 2007 Bermuda One-Two aboard a type of boat that has never before been entered into the race — the 6.5-meter “Mini,” the smallest of the Open Class sailboats.

This summer, Rhode Island sailor/ boatbuilder Katie Ambach will be one of eight skippers competing in the 2007 Bermuda One-Two aboard a type of boat that has never before been entered into the race — the 6.5-meter “Mini,” the smallest of the Open Class sailboats.

Ambach’s objective, however, isn’t to necessarily win the race: She wants to raise awareness about heart disease in women.

“I really want to help show young women that it’s important to start thinking about their health and about heart disease,” explains Ambach, who is 28. “If they take action now and get healthy, they can help change the statistics.”

Ambach has partnered with Red Dress Racing (www.reddressracing.com), a campaign started by fellow Newport sailor Moe Roddy, to educate people about the causes, symptoms and treatments of the disease. Ambach’s boat will be called the “mini red dress.”

“We’re hoping that this helps get the message out there to as many women as possible,” says Roddy, who is 53. Roddy competed in the 2005 Bermuda One-Two aboard a J/35 she called The Red Dress, in honor of the American Heart Association’s symbol for heart disease.

Ambach’s crew for the double-handed second leg of the 2007 installment will be 24-year-old sailor Tara Thomas.

Ambach is also excited about sailing a Mini. “It’s important for us to do this race in a Mini because people here don’t understand that they are legitimate offshore racing sailboats,” she says. www.usa680.com