February 17, 2022

Sailing in all Circuits: From charter boats and super yachts to offshore projects


Join the PCA on March 23, 2022 at 3:00 pm US Eastern time as we welcome Capt. Madison Olson to discuss her career and record breaking professional sailing aspirations.


by Kit van Wagner

Captain Madison Olson was born in Key West, Florida to a family of adventurers who fostered in her a love for the ocean and a need for exploration. At 29 years old she has been sailing professionally for the last ten years on vessels ranging from 10 to 55 meters. 

Olson spent her childhood on a sailboat off the coast of Florida and worked with her father building boats. At the age of 21, she earned her Merchant Mariner Credential and began to skipper yachts in the Caribbean and the USA. Since then, she has raced in a multitude of regattas around the USA, Europe, and the Caribbean. 

To date Olson has accumulated 40,000 nautical miles offshore, the equivalent of sailing about two times around the globe. She relocated to Brittany, France with the intention to enhance her sailing capabilities in “the Mini,” and become the first American woman to participate in the Vende Globe.

The Mini is a solo and unassisted race, beginning in France and finishing in the Caribbean, and runs in odd numbered years. To qualify, sailors need to achieve 1500 nautical miles combining multiple races with their own boat. Each sailor has to complete a 1000 nautical mile circuit, solo and non-stop, in order to demonstrate mental and physical fitness.

During regattas, the sailor implements a staggered sleep schedule and relies on an automated pilot system to steer the boat. Before launching these boats, the Class Mini Association requires they be outfitted with all necessary lifesaving equipment for offshore survival, and each undergoes a thorough inspection to see that they meet the safety requirements. Also, each sailor is required to complete survival courses through the World Sailing Federation.

If all goes well, Olson will be engaged in an intensive training, vessel maintenance and regatta program right up until the start of the next Mini Transat in September 2023. 

Join us on the 23 March 2022 at 3:00 pm US Eastern time for this transatlantic Professional Captains Association Seminar. Hear all about Olson’s historic undertaking, and find out more about the lessons she has learned as a professional sailor and Captain. 

During the Pro Seminar there will be opportunities to ask her questions about her journey, and to follow and support her ultimate quest to be the first American woman to participate in the Vende Globe.

We look forward to you joining us for Capt. Olson’s Pro Seminar!

Seminar Sign Up

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