My name is Madison Olson, and I am a 28-year-old American Woman that is taking on the offshore sailing scene. I have been sailing professionally for ten years and have made the next step in my career by starting a campaign for the 2023 Mini Transat. I was born in Key West, FL and raised in Santa Rosa Beach, FL in the "Panhandle". From early on, I developed a spirit of adventure and a love for the ocean. Growing up, on the Gulf of Mexico, I was active in water sports and spent most of my childhood raised on a 44ft sailboat anchored in the bayou. My daily commute to school included an hour ride in an inflatable tender that was never boring. In the winter, there were strong winds and choppy seas. In the summer, there was a variety of wildlife that included dolphins, alligators, and in the night luminescent plankton that resembled the night sky. After graduating from South Walton High School, I left Florida to attend the University of Vermont to study Anthropology. It was my first summer away from school that I began my first sailing job on a schooner running day charters in Key West. From that moment on my future changed.
In 2013, I relocated to the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean to work aboard charter sailboats. I was interested in sailing in different locations and gaining experience on a range of vessels. I obtained my captains license which accelerated my career. In a short time, I was ready to take the next step.
In 2015, I was offered my first delivery job on a Swan 61 between the British Virgin Islands and Newport, Rhode Island (about 1700nm). I learned in this first trip that being offshore was the goal in my career, but I was not sure at the time how to go about achieving it. After reaching Newport, I was offered a job as the skipper of a 76ft racing boat that would teach me the principles of sailboat racing in a variety of different conditions.
Throughout the years I have sailed between the Caribbean, the USA and Europe. In all these places I have participated in regattas, on both antique and modern sailing yachts. 2020 inspired in me to reach for yet another level in sailing by committing myself to the offshore racing sector. I will dedicate myself to participating in solo and double handed offshore races around the Mediterranean and the Atlantic in the next few years. During this time, I intend on representing an NGO to create a positive feedback loop in sport and inspire other projects to represent a good cause tin the future.