Olympian Erica Dawson is set to make her SailGP racing debut, with the league unveiling a new six-person configuration to be used in Cadiz, Spain, this weekend.
The new configuration adds another member to the usual set up, which has been added to allow all eight teams to have their women's pathway programme (WPP) athletes come onboard for the racing proper for the first time.
The move comes after SailGP identified their desire to promote inclusion and inspire change ahead of the competition's sophomore season, with the WPP established as a part of that.
The WPP athletes have had plenty of onboard experience sailing in practice sessions, however, Great Britain's Hannah Mills said being part of the proper racing was a big step forward.
"It's a really great step forward for the female athletes to be in the thick of it, witnessing it all, getting in and helping wherever we can – tactics, strategy and communications. I am really excited for that.
"The adrenaline rush is going to be massive; it already is when we do the practice racing.
"It's also awesome for SailGP to have a strong vision and commitment going forward for the future of women's involvement in the league. It's very exciting and I can't wait to figure out how we can make it all happen, how we can make it a success and how I can help drive it forward."
Should the winds be on the lower end of the range, the crews will sail with four onboard opposed to six, with the usual drop of two crew members still observed in that situation.
While this weekend's event will be the first time the WPP sailors have the chance to join their crews onboard in racing, it will be the first of many opportunities as the league looks to reduce the disparity between grinders.
Still in its first year, SailGP teams have been active in their recruitment, training and development of female athletes. Each of the eight nations competing currently have at least one female team member – gaining insight, data and onboard experience – lending to their future success racing at the top of the sport.
In a statement, SailGP said fans can expect to see more female athletes onboard going forward, with the exception of December's event in Sydney due to limitations presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the initiative, SailGP chief executive Sir Russell Coutts said it was their responsibility as a global league to create a culture and sporting championship that has gender equity.
"It is no secret that there is currently an experience gap among women at the top of the sport and so far this season we have embedded female athletes in each of our teams to gain vital experience.
"But, we recognise we have to go further to close the gap and work quicker to accelerate change, which is why we are taking this next step. It is imperative to break existing boundaries and create a more inclusive environment."