Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

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

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

America's Cup: Valencia Revisited?
A report in the Spanish media indicates that a new bid is in the running for the 37th America's Cup A report in the Spanish media indicates that a new bid from Valencia, Spain is in the running for hosting the 37th America's Cup. Posted on 15 Oct
America's Cup: Big calls ahead for Superstars
Tough calls ahead for Burling and Tuke as they try to balance their 2024 dance card Peter Burling and Blair Tuke announced their arrival back into New Zealand, this week, with a media release making it clear the duo had not re-signed with Emirates Team New Zealand. Posted on 15 Oct
Gladwell's Line: Life in Lockdown Land
In the alternate universe - Planet Cherub - it is great to see the Lockdown being put to good use In the alternate universe - Planet Cherub - it is great to see the Lockdown being put to good use, where the home-build virus seems to be running amok. Fortunately no vaccination is available, and frankly the more who catch it the better. Posted on 12 Oct
Start of a 35yr America's Cup dynasty
New Zealand's now 35 year America's Cup dynasty began October 5th 1986 on Gage Roads, Fremantle New Zealand's now 35 year America's Cup dynasty began October 5th 1986 on Gage Roads, Fremantle, when KZ-7 faced Heart of America in Race 1 of Round Robin 1 in the 1986/87 Louis Vuitton Cup. Posted on 5 Oct
America's Cup: INEOS Britannia announce line-up
America's Cup: INEOS Britannia reveal their Formula 1 and America's Cup line up INEOS Britannia, the Challenger of Record for the 37th America's Cup have announced their design and management team lineup at a live broadcast from Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team's headquarters at Bracknell UK. Posted on 4 Oct
America's Cup: Two F1 teams set to enter AC37
Sail-World understands that two F1 teams are set to partner up with challenger teams for AC37 Sail-World understands that two Formula One teams are set to partner up with challenger teams for the upcoming America's Cup. Posted on 4 Oct
America's Cup: American Magic's defining moment
American Magic's capsize on Day 3 of the Prada Cup was one of the unforgettable moments of AC36 In this new video, American Magic's skipper Terry Hutchinson and others share their memories of the campaign-defining mark rounding and subsequent events, at the end of the penultimate leg of Race 3 of Round Robin 2 of the Prada Cup. Posted on 3 Oct
America's Cup hosting costs overcooked
A change in the financial analysis method for AC36 has upped the "cost" by several hundred percent Significant issues have emerged in the post-event reporting on the 36th America's Cup. They have been highlighted by Irish media reporting a stellar "cost" of staging the next edition. The Event only cost was €27million. Posted on 1 Oct
America's Cup: ETNZ gybes of Kiwi Defence maverick
ETNZ dumps a maverick group claiming to be able provide funding assistance with AC37 AC37 Defenders Emirates Team New Zealand has dumped a maverick kiwi group claiming to be able provide funding assistance with an Auckland Defence of the America's Cup. Posted on 22 Sep
Gladwell's Line: Irish caned over Cup indecision
Irish media cane Ministry of Sport bureaucrats over "indecision" on AC37 hosting The Irish editions of the weekend and Sunday newspapers have taken the Ministry of Sport bureaucrats to task over their "indecision" on the America's Cup hosting bid for Cork. Posted on 20 Sep