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CoastWaterSports 2014

SailGP & WASZP Women's Invitational Camps a huge success

by Marc Ablett 18 Feb 12:05 GMT
Olympian Nina Curtis ripping on Sydney Harbour for the AUS SailGP Team Women's Camp © Beau Outteridge

In the early stages of 2021 the eight SailGP teams have been assigned the task to form a pathway for elite women sailors. These extremely talented women will earn a spot on the elite professional circuit that is SailGP.

SailGP as an organisation is changing the game and changing the narrative around the sport of sailing, this falls very much in line with the WASZP Class values. Both organisations look at every situation with an attitude of "why not" instead of trying to find reasons why something can't be achieved.

There is an amazing amount of female talent around the world, this has been displayed for years in boats like the 49erFX, Laser Radials and 470s. Now the WASZP is providing a pathway for women to get into foiling and compete on a level platform with the men. There is absolutely no reason, when the global WASZP event circuit kicks off for 2021, that a female sailor wont be at the top of the tree.

Over the last month we have seen 5 of the 8 camps completed, with New Zealand, Japan, Spain, France and Australia all running camps, with Denmark, UK and the USA still to finalise preparations. With at least one female to be selected to be part of the team, on board the boat as a tactician as well as rotating through other roles on the boat through training this is truly a step forward for the sport.

The WASZP class is a huge advocate for female sailors to hone their skills in the class. With affordability and usability a key, in addition to an amazing amount of events put together by associations and global class manager Martin Evans, the WASZP is the perfect place to get continual racing, on a one-design platform and for men and women to compete equally.

We are already seeing strong programs of female sailors in Norway and the UK, with more girls getting into the class in Australia over the summer as well. The Norwegian program in particular is beginning to bear fruit with some extremely talented sailors now taking many races off the boys. This bodes well for the 2021 European Championships to be held in Norway, where we may for the first time see a female sailor take the crown.

With WASZP forming a different type of pathway, aligning with SailGP to create a strong foundation for professional sailing, we can not wait to launch into 2021 with the INSPIRE racing program. We have already seen one female graduate from the INSPIRE racing program in Sydney 2020 into the Womens invitational camp, with Tash Bryant graduating through. This link between the programs shows that the WASZP is the perfect place to cut your teeth in the foiling game, developing a high level skill set and being selected on merit and not on $$.

We can not wait to see the remaining 3 teams host their camps, as well as the 2021 INSPIRE Youth Racing Circuit for U21 sailors. The format for the INSPIRE racing, will be a combination of written applications and qualifying events, so if you are a male or female and want to take your first steps into professional sailing, then get yourself a WASZP and get on the circuit.

See WASZP Events at racehub.waszp.com

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