Meet the Team - MANA - Petra Kliba and Steffi Edeler - ORC DH Europeans 2024

Meet the Team - MANA - Petra Kliba and Steffi Edeler - ORC DH Europeans 2024
Petra Kliba (on the right) and Steffi Edeler (on the left)

MANA (First 36) - Petra Kliba (CRO) and Steffi Edeler (GER)

As the ORC DH European Championship 2024 in Caorle approaches, we are happy to introduce some participating teams. Ladies first, meet the team MANA of Petra Kliba and Steffi Edeler, sailing on First 36.

The international crew of the PETRA KLIBA WOMEN SAILING TEAM hails from 7 different countries: Petra Kliba, skipper (Croatia), Ines Hudobec (Croatia), Melanie Aalburg (Germany), Steffi Edeler (Netherlands), Liga Platais (Latvia), Julia Koch (Austria), Viktória Galla (Hungary), and Tanja Nikolovski (Slovenia).

Last year, the girls sailed on a MAXI sailboat and took Line Honours in Full Moon regatta in Cres, and this year, the chosen boat for the project is a sailboat that was declared the Boat of the Year 2023: the First 36!

The PETRA KLIBA WOMEN SAILING TEAM has three regattas scheduled in 2024:

  • Fullmoon in Pula, Croatia - with a full crew
  • ORC DH European Championship in Caorle with Steffi Edeler
  • Barcolana in Trieste - with a full crew

Petra Kliba about herself:

I started sailing at 15 in the Olympic Europe class. I was 14th in Youth Europeans, a three-time CRO champion, but did not make it to the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

I tried again for the London 2012 Match race. The best-ranked 22nd in the world.

The 3rd try was with Ivica Kostelic in offshore discipline, but unfortunately, this did not last long.

In 2007, I was co-skipper of a women’s team that took part in the Newport to Hamburg North Atlantic Challenge. I knew the skipper, Inken Braunschmidt, from the Round the World race. I met Steffi Edeler there. She was on the other watch, but we liked each other. 

Last year, I invited Steffi to sail with me on my J80 to the Barcolana in Trieste. We finished 76th overall and won the prize for the first female team, Rosa Nei Venti.

Steffi and I empower women in our respective countries to sail: she is in the Netherlands, I am in Croatia nowadays, and before that, I lived in Italy for many years.

Sailing is still predominantly a male sport today, and for over 20 years, I have been dedicating my efforts to establishing women's teams worldwide that will compete equally on the race course. I have brought together female sailors whom I have met during my 30-year sailing career into my project PETRA KLIBA WOMEN SAILING TEAM. We have female sailors from seven European countries whom I have met through various sailing projects.

We sailed the Full Moon Regatta with a full crew in Pula this April and will do the same at the Barcolana in Trieste in October.

I’m very excited about racing in the ORC Double-Handed Europeans with Steffi Edeler, who has been part of the legendary German all-female crew on their DK46 named TUTIMA for the past decade. We hardly know the boat after only one event, but we will give our best, as always. We are sailing in my home waters, so I hope this can help :) I want to have fun, sail downwind, and do my best; the numbers and luck will decide the rest ;-)

Steffi Edeler about herself:

I started to sail with my father on our family boat when I was 17 and my sister was 14.

I have been sailing inshore and offshore races for many years in various teams in Germany, the Netherlands, and Croatia. I don’t have a background in double-handed racing. But, I do a lot of double-handed sailing on various large yachts.

My most exciting races were:

  • BARCELONA, 56, in Trieste in 2023, with Petra and two other women. We crossed the finishing line as 76th in the overall ranking among almost 1800 boats and won the trophy “Rosa nei Venti,” the first women's team.
  • HSH Nordbank Blue Race 2007, a Transatlantic Race from Newport to Hamburg with a full female team of 14 women on an X-612. (Here I met Petra!)
  • Fastnet Race 2019, also with a full women's team of 15 women on a DK 46. We finished at 16th in our group. The German women’s sailing team Tutima.
  • Cowes Week 2019, also with 15 women on a DK 46 Tutima.

I sailed twice at the ORC World Championships and at the ORC German Championships with the team Tutima.

I'm really excited about the ORC European Championships in the Adriatic. Sailing a race double-handed with a women's team, especially with Petra by my side, is a fantastic opportunity and a great challenge! We have a great boat, which makes sailing in the Adriatic a lot of fun. The Adriatic is incredibly beautiful and at the same time a great challenge due to the constantly changing weather conditions. Plus, it's a fantastic opportunity to compete against top sailors from across Europe!

Sailing in women's teams is so much fun! And especially with Petra! Sailing with her is so easy; she has everything under control. She remains calm, forward-thinking, and supportive even if things don't go well.

I want to inspire more women to go for it and take responsibility. Our success in previous races like the BARCOLANA 56 and the Transatlantic Race showcases the strength and skills of women in sailing.

Thirty Double-Handed teams from four nations are poised to do battle in less than two weeks at the 30th annual running of La Duecento, a popular 200-mile race in the upper Adriatic organized by Circolo Nautico Porto Santa Margherita (CNSM). These teams will also be competing for podium medals as part of the 2024 ORC Double-Handed European Championship, now in its second year and the first of several World and European Championship events on the 2024 international racing calendar organized by the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC).

2024 ORC DH Europeans - La Duecento 30 - Caorle, Italy
2024 ORC DH Europeans - La Duecento 30 - Caorle, Italy