Please select your home edition
Edition
SOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90

America's Cup: "You’re inspiring women to go chase their own dreams"

by Suzanne McFadden 3 Mar 14:05 PST 4 March 2019
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 4, Melbourne to Hong Kong, day 05 on board Dongfeng. The beautiful Carolijn Brouwer smiling, good vibes today onboard dongfeng. © Martin Keruzore / Volvo Ocean Race

Carolijn Brouwer knows that, floating somewhere in the world wide web, there’s a photo of her holding the America’s Cup aloft on the edge of the Waitemata Harbour. The caption reads: “Dreams never die."

The photo was taken back in 2003, on the day that Swiss team Alinghi wrested the world’s oldest sporting trophy from Team New Zealand.

Brouwer was torn that day. One of her best mates, Pieter van Niekerk, was the Alinghi team manager, which was why she was allowed to hold the revered Auld Mug.

But Brouwer, a Dutchwoman who'd been crowned World Sailor of the Year, had a close affinity with New Zealand. For years, she’d spent Kiwi summers in Auckland, sailing on the Hauraki Gulf in the lead-up to her Olympic campaigns.

So it’s not really surprising that, 18 years later, Brouwer will return to Auckland trying to grab the America’s Cup off the New Zealanders again.

Her own dream has never died.

If all goes according to plan, and Brouwer proves herself to be the fastest at the wheel for the rookie Team The Netherlands (aka DutchSail), she will become the first woman to helm a challenger yacht in America’s Cup history.

She follows on from New Zealand sailor Leslie Egnot, who in 1995 was the first helmswoman of a boat in the Cup's defender trials, in the almost all-women crew of America3.

Taking on Brouwer, now 45, as part of the Dutch crew is no cursory nod to women sailors. Skipper Simeon Tienpont, who offered Brouwer the role over the phone, has made it clear she was chosen because of her wealth of experience, and her understanding of how professional sailing campaigns are run.

There’s no question Brouwer has the credentials. She has sailed at three Olympics and in three Volvo Ocean Races. Twice she has been named World Sailor of the Year. Last year, she and Frenchwomen Marie Riou and Justine Mettraux, became the first women to win the round-the-world race, on board Chinese boat Dong Feng.

“What’s happened in sailing history is that girls have come on board big boat crews often because they are lighter. They start off with the clean-up jobs,” Brouwer says.

“But there’s no point putting me up on the bow or up the mast. My added value is in trimming and driving. It’s an area I know I can compete against a lot of very experienced, knowledgeable guys.”

She’s aware of the significance of her helming role, and the example it sets for women and girls.

“But that isn’t the reason why I’m doing this,” she says. “I wanted to win the Volvo, and I’ve always wanted to win the America’s Cup. Whether it’s with all-women or with guys, I don’t give a damn. As long as I’m part of it.

“But, as a result, you’re inspiring women to go chase their own dreams. And that’s great.”

For the rest of this story click here to go to The Lockerroom on Newsroom.co.nz

Related Articles

America's Cup: Four AC75's compared
After 18 months of heavy secrecy shrouding anything to do with the AC75s the wraps are now off After 18 months of heavy secrecy shrouding anything to do with the AC75s, the 75 foot foiling monohull is quickly becoming an open affair with two new boats unveiled last week less than 48 hours apart. Posted on 12 Oct
America's Cup: Emirates Team turns in a good run
After the first testing day since blowing the tack on her Code Zero, Te Aihe finished in a flourish Emirates Team New Zealand was out on the Hauraki Gulf again Saturday, her first sail after blowing up the Code Zero tack earlier in the week. From shore reports there seemed to be a few issues which were largely resolved by the end of the day Posted on 12 Oct
America's Cup deal done despite World Sailing CEO
Cup organisers settle directly with World Sailing Board after political wrangle with CEO Emirates Team NZ have issued a statement advising that World Sailing CEO went behind their backs to the NZ Government after Special Event negotiations stalemated. His moves were rebuffed and the original offer made by ETNZ and COR/D has been accepted. Posted on 10 Oct
Stars + Stripes USA sign video deal with studio
Cup Challenger signs up with Condé Nast Entertainment to produce documentary Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE) and Stars+Stripes USA have announced a development deal for an unscripted show following the Long Beach Yacht Club's America's Cup team as they challenge the world's best and commit to bring the America's Cup back to the USA Posted on 8 Oct
America's Cup: Code Zero shown for the first time
Emirates Team Team New Zealand had fore-shortened training session on the Hauraki Gulf this morning Emirates Team Team New Zealand had fore-shortened training session on the Hauraki Gulf this morning, after their Code Zero let go. Update New images from ETNZ of the AC75 foiling and the blow-out with the Code Zero. Posted on 8 Oct
America's Cup: Off-camera action at Italian launch
La Stampa's Fabio Pozzo backgrounds the Luna Rossa AC75 launch and the off-camera action Leading Italian America's Cup correspondent, Fabio Pozzo was at the launch of Luna Rossa's AC75. He backgrounds some of the off-camera action from a launch typified by the understated elegance that has become the hallmark of the Italian fashion house. Posted on 6 Oct
America's Cup: Bertelli still critical of AC75
Luna Rossa's Patrizio Bertelli: "We could have had more teams with a less aggressive boat." "If the New Zealanders, the holders of the Cup, had listened to me, now we would surely have a greater number of challenging teams" says Luna Rossa's Patrizio Bertelli. "We could have had more teams with a less aggressive boat." Posted on 5 Oct
America's Cup: Analysis of INEOS Team UK AC75
Photographer Shaun Roster captured these images of the AC75 launch in Portsmouth The British America's Cup team INEOS Team UK was the last of the four "Super teams" in the 36th America's Cup to launch their AC75, which was splashed on Friday, UK time at Portsmouth. Shaun Roster was on hand to catch these images from the launch. Posted on 4 Oct
America's Cup: Update for October 2, 2019
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell and SailingIllustrated.com's Tom Ehman compare notes Sail-World's New Zealand Editor, Richard Gladwell and SailingIllustrated.com's Tom Ehman compare notes on the current state of the America's Cup Posted on 3 Oct
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team launch their AC75
Play spot the difference with the hull shape After months of simulations and trials on a smaller-scale model while the full-sized model was being built, the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team revealed their new, totally black, AC75 during an official ceremony at their home base in Cagliari, Sardinia. Posted on 2 Oct
Zhik ATR Aroshell SW FOOTERVaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 3RS Sailing 2019 - Footer