— Internet News

Top Aussie female sailor Curtis picked to join SailGP squad

Nina Curtis has been picked to join the defending champion Australian team for the rest of SailGP’s second season as part of a developmental program to fast-track women into the global league. Curtis, who won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics and sailed with Team Brunel on the final five legs of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, beat out Lisa Darmanin in a training camp during the season-opening regatta in Bermuda two weeks ago. After returning from Bermuda, Curtis got the news from skipper Tom Slingsby during her mandatory 14-day quarantine in a Sydney hotel.

“I was so excited to hear the news, so it’s brightened my quarantine,” Curtis said in a phone interview. Curtis said she could make the most of their limited time on the foiling 50-foot catamaran. It was the first time Curtis sailed on an F50, a turbocharged version of the catamarans used in the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda.

SailGP squad

“I can’t even explain how awesome these boats are. They’re spaceships on the water,” she said. “They’re cool. There’s a tremendous amount of G-force. You can feel the speed, but what surprised me is that once the boat is up and foiling out of the water, you get slightly disconnected from the speeds you’re going until you look down. In Bermuda, I went the fastest I’ve ever been on a boat before in my life. It wasn’t a big deal for the boys, but for me, I’ve never been this fast before.”

She said the boat hit 30 to 40 knots or 34.5 to 46 mph speeds.

Team Australia’s current flight controller, Jason Waterhouse, is Darmanin’s cousin and her Olympic partner in the Nacra 17 catamaran class. Waterhouse and Darmanin won a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics and competed in the Tokyo Games this summer. She and Darmanin both got training time as flight controllers, the position that controls the foils, and spent time as the sixth sailor, observing how the rest of the crew operates. Curtis said flight controller would be a natural position for her because it’s not physically demanding. However, she said there has been talking of using her as a grinder in light-air conditions. If crews ever expand to six, she said there’s the possibility of serving as tacticians.

There’s no timetable for when women will sail in a race.

“We want to set all the females up for success and not a failure in these boats,” Curtis said. “It will take one or two more events to get that knowledge together and get it on the boat. As a female sailor, I want to be an asset to the ship and not bring the performance down. For me, it’s all about fighting for time in training so that I can benefit the team.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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