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Welcome Aboard: Women & The Wind

4 min read

Welcome Aboard: Women & The Wind

Sometimes a project comes along that chimes with everything we stand for here at TWOTHIRDS. It could stem from activism, ocean sports or the wider circular economy, but it’s rare that one aligns so perfectly with our eco values and ocean-loving aesthetic. Then along came Women & The Wind, who simply blew us away.

We are overjoyed to hop aboard with them, to share in their journey from afar - a remote crew member you could say - lending a helping hand however we can. But who are this band of women who travel the high seas in a wooden catamaran whose sails and beams have been privy to more incredible marine stories than even the hardiest of seafarers? Let us introduce Kiana, Lærke, Alizé and their beloved Mara Noka.

Kiana - The Captain

Someone with zero previous affinity to the sea, Kiana Weltzien is proof that when people make the effort to reconnect with the ocean, it soon welcomes them with open arms. Having once worked in real estate, Kiana quickly realised that her dream of becoming a full-time sailor would involve a steep learning curve (or wave).

She came across the boat of her dreams in Panama in 2017 and shortly thereafter encountered a mentor who helped her repair the Mara Noka to its current glory. All set to make her first voyage, Kiana put her new skills to the test during a gruelling trip across the Caribbean. Her own personal blog gives incredible insights into those early days and the risks she took, as the ocean humbled her, providing a crash course in marine survival.

Fast forward to the present day and Kiana’s own personal journey has become something more than just a youthful zest for adventure, as she and a close band of sisters have developed Women & The Wind, a content creation and ocean protection project that feeds on the incredible voyages the Mara Noka’s crew undertake.  

Their latest mission is a transatlantic crossing: 30-days at sea which will inform the crew’s forthcoming documentary, a cinematic project that TWOTHIRDS has been actively facilitating. 

Lærke - The Activist

What might have started as a passion project based around self fulfilment has quickly become something more thanks to the addition of Lærke Heilmann to the W&W crew. An active member of the Clean Ocean Project, Lærke brings added purpose to W&W. This will be obvious in the forthcoming documentary, which will endeavour to highlight the impact of waste plastics on the ocean, in conjunction with this Canary Island-based NGO.

As well as being an avid advocate for ocean conservation,  Lærke also brings with her a lifetime of sailing experience, something which is obviously priceless as the Mara Noka undertakes evermore daring voyages. She cut her sailing teeth in the unforgiving waters around the Danish coast.

Alizé

It’s one thing having a story to tell and quite another being able to tell it. That’s where Alizé Jireh comes in. Although her Instagram bio states she is the W&W “dishwasher”, Alizé is clearly so much more than that, tasked with capturing all of what it takes to sail a catamaran across some of the most treacherous stretches of water in the world.

Alizé’s portfolio is packed with art grounded in a fascination with the human form and its indelible connection to nature. With much of her work on the Mara Noka done in close proximity to her fellow sailors, and with the ocean an ever-present, the W&W crew couldn’t have hoped for a better chronicler of its maritime escapades.

The Mara Noka

No W&W journeys and subsequent stories would ever have been possible without the 12-metre-long Mara Noka. This twin hull vessel was constructed by James Wharram, who is the world’s preeminent catamaran designer. Built over 50 years ago in Whitby (the home of Bram Stoker’s Dracula), England, the vessel was perfect for W&W, constructed as it was by a cohort of female ship builders.

Recent Movements

The recent Atlantic crossing, which will be the subject of the W&W documentary, began in North Carolina in the spring of 2022 and ended in the Azores. Since then, Kiana sailed solo to her native Brazil’s idyllic Paraty Bay, where the hard work began on the cutting and editing of the documentary. For now, the girls are keeping us all on tenterhooks for the documentary’s official release date, but all good things that come to those who wait.    

TWOTHIRDS x W&W - Together For The Long-Term 

So how will TWOTHIRDS embolden and empower W&W to expand their mission? Thus far we have facilitated some of the logistics synonymous with such an ambitious filmmaking process. We have also launched a special collection to show that true ocean lovers should never settle for eco swimwear or ocean-friendly clothing that isn’t made from organic, botanic or recycled materials. 

Plenty more plans are also afoot, with more likely to come to light as the W&W documentary release date nears. Watch this space!