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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Australia's sailing squad for America's Cup in Barcelona announced

by Team Australia Challenge 20 Apr 13:13 PDT
Australia's sailing squad for America's Cup in Barcelona announced © Team Australia Challenge/Nic Douglass

The sailing squad for Australia's 2024 America's Cup challenge in the Unicredit Youth and Puig Women's competitions in Barcelona has been announced, with a combined team of 13 sailors including several Olympic and Sail GP athletes.

The final Team Australia Challenge combined squad members are Tash Bryant, Nina Curtis, Lisa Darmanin, Miles Davey, Jack Ferguson, Sarah Hoffman, Tom Needham, Max Paul, Olivia Price, George Richardson, Cole Tapper, Zoe Thomson and Annie Wilmot.

America's Cup winning skipper and Campaign Patron John Bertrand AO applauded the performances from the finalist field of 17 sailors saying the process of selection involved many analytical points from data and coaching observations to interviews, team building and skills assessment in order to assemble a formidable squad.

The training program will now intensify on the squad's high-tech simulator to identify the team positions, with three female sailors also eligible in the under 25-year-old Youth category. The campaign also now aims for on water experience in the exceptional AC40 foiling monohull yachts that will be raced at the 37th America's Cup where 12 nations will compete in the Youth and Women's competitions.

The Emirates Team New Zealand new one-design AC40 foiling yachts, named World Sailing Boat of the Year in 2023, races with a crew of 4, two skippers and two trimmers, reaching speeds three times the wind speed up to 85klm an hour. The controls run on hydraulic power and lift is off twin canting T-foils and steel foil wings. The cockpit crews are literally flying on water through the unique custom sail design. The yachts are supplied to each of the 12 teams as part of entry in the competition.

The Youth regatta starts in Barcelona on September 17th with the final scheduled for September 26th. The Women's regatta starts racing on October 5th with the final to be staged amid the main AC75 America's Cup racing program, on October 13th.

Bertrand declared "It's game on!" now the sailors have been selected. "Barcelona is going to be a big deal. There's no question about it. I believe this project is of national importance. Our young athletes are red hot the way they come together."

America's Cup Regatta Director and legendary Australian sailor Iain Murray AM said this was a watershed moment in the race's history to introduce women and youth at the elite level and an opportunity for Australia to re-engage with the sports pinnacle event.

"It's important to make the most of that contest and build for the future. You know, we have everything we need in this country. We just need to put it together, direct it, harness it, and get momentum. We want to bring the young sailors on, get them experience.

"We're at the top of the wave. We've got to paddle like hell. We're showing that we're serious as a (sailing) country again," he said.

Australia's squad have been selected from over 130 original applicants. The two Australian teams will compete against host nation Spain and Cup holder New Zealand as well as UK, Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, USA and France.

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