The entry of the women’s competition at the 37th Copa America in Barcelona 2024 has raised great expectations around the world and the teams that will compete are already preparing their crews. In the case of Spain, which will do so with a youth team (men or mixed teams with crew members under 25 years old) and in the women’s category, the oceanic sailor from Barcelona Guillermo Altadill is already training the crews, who will represent Real Club Náutico de Barcelona also working On finding sponsorships.
Altadel hopes that the Cup will be announced as an event of exceptional public benefit so that corporate sponsors can apply the tax cuts. In the case of the teams that will compete in Barcelona: Emirates Team New Zealand (defender), Ineos Britannia, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, American Magic and Alenghi Red Bull Racing, whose budgets range from 80 to 150 million euros, one match is for those young teams and women’s teams.
In the case of INEOS Britannia, with the financial backing of INEOS owner, billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, he is already working on developing the teams and doing so by recruiting the best young and women sailors from his country.
The Athena Pathway program promoted by the English institute INEOS Britannia, which was set up in August this year, has already selected a group of twelve sailors to form the youth (under 25) and women’s team for the competition.
Out of a total of 300 applications to participate in teams, the selected twelve participate in three pools in Weymouth (UK) until December, entering with the multi-structure EFT36.
There are other selection phases planned, with many opportunities for ground crew building. Those not selected will still be eligible for these next phases of the project with the goal of expanding the impact of the project.
The first group of sailors, who had the opportunity to sail the ETF26 and competed for a test in La Rochelle, France, will remain with the team and help the new sailors through the following training camps.
The Athena Pathway Program Manager (Sendero) is the double Olympic champion of the Class 470 at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 and triple world champion, Hannah Mills, 34, OBE member and best world sailor in 2021.
She was chosen directly by the general manager and sponsor of INEO Britannia, Sir Ben Ainslie, and it does not rule out that she will not be in the British women’s team that will be in Barcelona. Unlike the male (under 25 years old) there is no age limit for the female.
Their work is really difficult because in the Copa America the teams can be mixed. The person who competed in La Rochelle was made up of: Hannah Diamond, 32, runner-up in the 2016 Nacra17 World Championships, Volvo Ocean Race – Around the World – 2017-2018 and is part of the British Sail GP team. .
With her was Nikki Boniface, a 32-year-old Olympian who is currently a member of the SailGP GBR team as a strategist; Hattie Rogers, 21, British WASZP Class Champion 2021 and 2022 and Ross Banham, 22, WASZP National Class Champion 2022. These two could be the last in the England youth team.
With them on the ground and the support team is Sophie Heritage.
The training boat waiting for the AC40 is the ETF26, the frustrated boat designed by Guillaume Verdier, the marine engineer who designed the winning boat for the Emirates team in New Zealand for the 34th America’s Cup, and by Jean-Pierre Deck, a four-time winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre.
It is designed for high-speed racing, being able to travel 2.5 times higher than the speed of the wind.
Its length is 8.10 meters, its width is 4.30 meters, and its mast is 13.70 meters. Weighs 350 kg carbon fiber composite with S-shaped ‘fingers’ and two fixed carbon/epoxy T-shaped rudders.
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