Please select your home edition
Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

British sailing star says Women's America's Cup is 'mind-blowing'.

by Richard Gladwell, 12 Sep 2021 04:05 PDT 12 September 2021
Tokyo2020 - Day 4 - July, 28, - Enoshima, Japan. Hannah Mills & Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) Womens 470 © Richard Gladwell - / nz

Hannah Mills, the most successful female sailor in Olympic history has enthusiastically welcomed the announcement of the AC40 foiling monohull, and the creation of a Womens America's Cup event as part of the regattas surrounding the 37th Match for the most prestigious trophy in sailing.

"It's a bit mind-blowing, but I think it's exactly where the sport needs to go," the British sailing star told the Times (UK).

The announcement of the new Womens event, which will be sailed in a 40ft version of the AC75, America's Cup class, has answered calls for women sailors to have a pathway into the high-profile America's Cup.

Mills who is already part of the Great Britain SailGP team, has been non-committal about continuing for a fourth Olympic cycle in the what used to the Womens Two-Person dinghy event, sailed in the 470 class. As part of sweeping changes made by World Sailing, the event in which she won two Olympic Golds and a Silver, will change to a Mixed Two-Person dinghy for the 2024 Olympic Regatta to be sailed in Marseille.

Last October the SailGP circuit, backed by IT mogul Larry Ellison and contested in 50ft foiling wingsailed catamarans, announced that a requirement for Season 2, would be the inclusion of at least two women in each of the now-nine national teams.

Mills joined the Ben Ainslie led British SailGP team prior to the Tokyo2020 Olympic regatta, where she won her second Gold medal last month. She would logically combine her SailGP career with the Womens AC40 event, and become one of the first women to enjoy a regular, year in year out, professional sailing career.

The Volvo Ocean Race, now rebadged as The Ocean Race, was the first to create required opportunities for professional female sailors with the introduction of male/female crew ratios for the 2017/18 race. However racing 40,000nm around the world is not everyone's cup of tea, and it would seem that the Olympic's loss is SailGP's and the America's Cup teams' gain.

Of course, professional female sailors now enjoy almost the same options as their male counterparts, and can elect to be part of an America's Cup and SailGP team. Or run an Olympic program into an America's Cup campaign, or join one of the teams in The Ocean Race - following the lead of Martine Grael, double Olympic Gold medalist in the 49er FX.

Given that few of the sailors at Tokyo2020 showed any interest, when questioned in the Medalists Media conferences, in moving across to one of five new events, it will be interesting to see who is selected for the AC40, which will start sailing in October 2022. Before that, there will be several months of long days on the AC simulator before stepping on board the real thing.

Certainly there would seem to be no shortage of candidates for the AC40 crews, with the revamped Olympics likely to become just a staging post for professional sailing careers of both genders.

The AC40 is all electric, meaning that there is no requirement for grinders, and for the female crews it means that sailing ability rather than physique will determine selection - playing nicely into Hannah Mills and others of her ilk.

For the full Times UK story click here

Related Articles

Cup Critiqued: Coach Barker joins Alinghi
Rumours that Dean Barker had signed with Alinghi Red Bull Racing, were confirmed at the ARBR launch The rumours were confirmed at the launch of Alinghi Red Bull Racing's newly acquired AC75, that Dean Barker a veteran of seven America's Cups, has shifted to the ARBR coach boat. Posted on 9 Aug
America's Cup: First team ready to foil at venue
The first boat has already splashed in the just four months after the Barcelona venue was announced The first boat has already splashed in the coming America's Cup cycle - just four months after the venue was announced for Barcelona. Twice Cup champion Alinghi Red Bull Racing, was rolled out of the shed and christened in Barcelona. Posted on 8 Aug
America's Cup: Alinghi confirms Barcelona roll-out
Alinghi Red Bull Racing confirms almost ready to go in Barcelona - more action later this week? Via social media the Swiss America's Cup Challenger Alinghi Red Bull Racing have advised they are almost ready to launch their AC75, formerly Emirates Team NZ's Te Aihe, in Barcelona. Posted on 8 Aug
America's Cup: Multiple changes made to Protocol
Significant changes made to the Rules governing the 2024 America's Cup and Surrogate Boats Some of the changes relate to the announcement of Barcelona as the Host Venue, others close loopholes that could have been exploited, and there is a substantial section on Hydrogen-Powered Support vessels. Posted on 5 Aug
America's Cup bases now being allocated to teams
Defender has first choice on site in Barcelona Dalton: "All of the bases are located in the Barcelona Port Vell area along with the dedicated America's Cup race village, hospitality and fan zone areas which will create an amazing atmosphere in the lead up to and during the event in 2024." Posted on 2 Aug
America's Cup: First AC40 in fit-out - Video
The first AC40 multi-use yacht for America's Cup 2024 is being fitted out at the McConaghy Boats The first AC40 multi-use yacht for America's Cup 2024 is being fitted out at McConaghy Boats. The video and still images show the deck/cockpit layout for the first time. Posted on 23 Jul
America's Cup: No more Spy versus Spy
The America's Cup reconnaissance rules are changing for America's Cup 2024. The America's Cup reconnaissance rules are changing for America's Cup 2024, to be sailed in Barcelona, Spain in September/October 2024. America's Cup Media's Magnus Wheatley tries to explain: Posted on 19 Jul
America's Cup: Alinghi Red Bull Racing's new era
Alinghi, twice winners of the America's Cup, will return to the event after 15yr absence In the next few weeks Alinghi, twice winners of the America's Cup, will start sailing after an absence of almost 15 years. Just over two years remain before most prestigious trophy in sailing is contested in Barcelona in September-October 2024. Posted on 16 Jul
Letter from the Antipodes: COVID time-out ends OK
The effect of a nearly three-year exclusion from the international racing scene has been answered The effect of a nearly three-year exclusion from the international racing scene has been answered over the past few days, with strong performances by Kiwi sailors, in several World and European championships. Posted on 8 Jul
Emirates Team NZ base relocation comes at a price
Emirates Team NZ paying $550,000 pa rent for former INEOS Team UK base One of Auckland's premier waterfront venues is set to reopen for business and events in early 2023, with confirmation today that Emirates Team New Zealand is to relocate its base within Wynyard Quarter. Posted on 6 Jul
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 002 gif BottomZhik 2022 Choice of Champions FOOTERCyclops 2022 May FOOTER