Preparing for the Women’s America’s Cup

Published on July 10th, 2024

The inaugural Women’s America’s Cup will have 12 entrants – six teams supported by America’s Cup campaigns and six independent crews. Each effort is doing what they can to prepare for the October event (click here), with Concord Pacific Racing athlete Maura Dewey taking us behind the scenes with the Canadian team in Barcelona:

June was a really good month for us. After an intense training camp in Barcelona, it was great to get everyone together as the final team. The trials and selection process had been long and stressful, especially for me as a single-handed sailor proving I could work within a team. But now that we’re selected, it’s a relief to shift focus from proving ourselves to working together, and it felt amazing to focus on serious work and build our team dynamics.

Our team structure is pretty flat, with team captains Isabella Bertold and Andrew Wood leading, but everyone else is on an even playing field. This setup fosters a collaborative environment, which is crucial for our success.

‍The new simulator in our office setup has been a game-changer. Before, we were in a dark room in an Airbnb, so the new space makes us feel like a real professional organization. Without a physical boat, the simulator is crucial for us, letting us train extensively and refine our skills.

A typical day starts around 8:30 am, and we spend the entire day on the simulator with a lunch break. We start with warm-up drills, then move on to specific skills like light wind takeoffs or start routines, and finish with racing.

The simulator is cool because it’s online, so we can race against other teams in real-time and see how we stack up against the competition. It’s challenging because the view is limited, so it’s not like sticking your head out of the boat to get a view of what’s happening, but it’s great training.

Working with Chris Nicholson, our coach, has been fantastic. He brings so much experience, and his collaborative coaching style suits us perfectly. Chris helps us leverage everyone’s knowledge and leads without forcing, which is really effective.

His background with F50s and other foiling race boats has been particularly valuable. Chris’s experience reassures us that we are on the right track, especially since this type of regatta is so different from traditional sailing.

Communication has been a major focus during our training this month. On the simulator, we’ve been fine-tuning what we say and when we say it to ensure efficiency and clarity during races. We’ve also worked on specific sailing maneuvers and strategies, which has helped us gel as a team.

Our team-building activities have also been crucial. We did personality assessments and group exercises designed to improve our communication and trust, led by the fantastic Marjoleine Hulsof. These activities, although they might seem silly, have been instrumental in helping us understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses and in building a cohesive team culture.

One of the exercises involved being blindfolded and having to line up with a rope, which really highlighted the importance of clear communication and trust. We even had a laugh about how stereotypically polite we Canadians are, often avoiding saying anything harsh or controversial. But in high-pressure situations, we need to be able to communicate openly and directly, and these exercises really helped with that.

Summarizing the month, we’ve made significant technical improvements and become a more unified team. Although we have limited time on the water compared to some other teams, our progress on the simulator has been really encouraging. We need to focus on clean, simple racing strategies that play to our strengths and maximize our performance.

Looking ahead, we know we face a big challenge, especially against teams with more time on their boats. But with our solid preparation, team cohesion, and strategic approach, we’re confident we can be competitive. It’s a big hurdle, but we believe it’s one we can overcome.

Thanks to all the partners of Concord Pacific Racing for your support. Having your backing and encouragement means a lot to us as we strive to perform on the world stage.

‍Let’s do this!

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 was from December 1, 2021 until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup could be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the reveal, finally confirming Barcelona on March 30, 2022. The 37th America’s Cup begins October 12, 2024.

Teams revealed 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 22-25, 2024 (AC75): Barcelona, Spain

2024 Challenger Selection Series
August 29-September 8: Double Round Robin
September 14-19: Semi Finals (Best of 9)
September 26-October 7: Finals (Best of 13)

2024 America’s Cup
October 12-21: 37th Match (Best of 13)

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

Event details:

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