Isabella Bertold: Progress in the process

Published on December 13th, 2023

Following the reveal that Canadian teams would compete in the Women’s and Youth America’s Cup, women’s skipper Isabella Bertold describes the selection process for who will join the four-person crew to race the AC40:

It’s been a year since we first learned that Canada would be competing in the inaugural Women’s America’s Cup and the Youth America’s Cup in 2024. The interest from Canadian sailors nationwide has been incredible, with many seizing the opportunity to up their foiling skills and train with Team Canada camps and or individually since January.

Over the past year, our team training sessions have taken place in various locations including Florida, Vancouver, Lake Garda, Toronto, and Barcelona. Athletes have trained in many foiling classes showcasing the breadth of talent and dedication within our ranks.

Since September, our team candidates have been fine-tuning their skills in the AC40 simulator based in Barcelona, Spain. Hailing from across Canada, our candidate athletes proudly represent various Canadian yacht and sailing clubs across the country including:

• Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
• Royal Victoria Yacht Club
• Royal Canadian Yacht Club
• Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club
• Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron
• West Vancouver Yacht Club
• Calgary Yacht Club
• Chester Yacht Club
• Hubbards Sailing Club

Throughout the training period, the focus has been on evaluating on-water sailing ability, the capacity to contribute to a team environment, and the rate of improvement. While in Barcelona, athletes have maximized their time on the simulator alongside time on the water in Moths, Nacras, Waszp, and Wing Foiling (thanks to Nexen).

And, as the weather gets cooler—still much warmer than Canada—we’ve unpacked the 3mm Vaikobi wetsuits. They’ve also been keeping fit in the gym and cycling in the virtual world thanks to ZWIFT.

As we transitioned into December, the evaluation process moved towards AC40-specific assessments on the simulator with athletes invited to Team Canada Simulator Trials. Sailors participated in two coaching camps leading up to the trials, where their skills were assessed based on a comprehensive rubric.

The Simulator Trials invitation selection process prioritized:
• Athletes demonstrating commitment to foiling or high-performance sailing
• Proven results in high-pressure scenarios
• A progression in understanding AC40 foiling principles
• Effective collaboration and communication within a team

In the Simulator Trials, each athlete was tested in both trim and helm positions. Noteworthy, many of our top-performing sailors have backgrounds in STEM or are pursuing relevant studies at the university level.

Looking ahead with anticipation, the Youth and Women team members will be announced early in the new year. The level of dedication and talent displayed throughout this year has been inspiring, and we are confident that Team Canada is well on its way to a podium finish in the Women’s America’s Cup and the Youth America’s Cup in 2024. Cheers to a year of progress and a new year of sailing excellence!

Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, 2021, the AC75 Class Rule and AC Technical Regulations were finalized on March 17, 2022. The entry period opened December 1, 2021 and runs until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup may be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the venue reveal, confirming it would be Barcelona on March 30, 2022. The 37th America’s Cup begins October 12, 2024.

Teams to challenge defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
• INEOS Britannia (GBR)
• Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI)
• Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
• NYYC American Magic (USA)
• Orient Express Racing Team (FRA)

2023-24 Preliminary Regattas
September 14-17, 2023 (AC40): Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain
November 30-December 2 (AC40): Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
August 2024 (AC75): Barcelona, Spain

2024 America’s Cup
August 29-October 7: Challenger Selection Series
October 12 – ?: 37th Match (Best of 13)

Additionally, 12 teams will compete in the 2024 Youth & Women’s America’s Cup.

Additional details:

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