Less than 3 months until the start of the Puig Women's America's Cup

Less than 3 months until the start of the Puig Women's America's Cup

Less than 3 months until the start of the Puig Women's America's Cup


11/07/2024 - 16:28

With the stunning trophy from the world-renowned architect and designer Patricia Urquiola now the centrepiece of the Puig Women’s America’s Cup, training for victory has been the focus for all of the teams in June. The British, Americans and Swedish have all been training out of Badalona to the north of Barcelona, the Swiss and Italians out of the Port Vell whilst the Kiwis winter-trained in Auckland, it has been a busy month all round and plenty of off-water simulator time for all the Women’s Teams including both a formal practice regatta and plenty of unofficial racing between the teams. It’s all hotting up in the race to win the inaugural Puig Women’s America’s Cup:


The Emirates Team New Zealand Women’s Team have been putting in huge hours on the water in chilly Auckland with a programme that saw them going out just after dawn for training, followed by on-water instruction and race observance alongside the senior team before sailing through to dusk – if they had nav lights they would have stayed out all night!

Gemma Jones got incredible trim practice with Josh Junior and Sam Meech being brought on to the AC40 in pre-start practice against Peter Burling and Nathan Outteridge whilst the likes of Jo Aleh, Olivia Mackay and Molly Meech have all been pushing hard both on the water and in the simulator throughout June.

Jo and Molly are now training at the Paris Olympic sailing venue in Marseille where they will represent New Zealand in the 49erFX class joining Veerle ten Havre in the iQFoil and Erica Dawson in the Nacra 17.  


June has been a busy month for the Athena Pathway team. We've been transitioning from the learning phase on the AC40, focusing on up-skilling our crew, and now we're entering the racing performance phase. This has involved fine-tuning our sailing days, racing on courses, and pushing the limits of the AC40. The sailing team and shore team's dedication and hard work are truly paying off as we keep building on our collective performance. We're now sharing the base with the Artemis Swedish Challenge and NYYC American Magic who have been a great addition to our Badalona base.

Athena Pathway Women’s Team Members Anna Burnet (Nacra 17), Saskia Tidey (49erFX), and Ellie Aldridge (Formula Kite) are all up in Marseille preparing to represent Great Britain at the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games and everyone in the team wishes them the very best of luck in their quest for GOLD!

In addition to our on-water activities, we've also embarked on an exciting outreach initiative. We've kicked off our STEM Crew Roadshows in York, in partnership with the 1851 Trust and Cobham-Ultra. These roadshows aim to inspire the next generation to pursue STEM subjects and careers in the marine industry. We're thrilled to bring this program to various locations across the UK throughout the year, fostering curiosity and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics among young students.


The Swiss have been hard at work in Barcelona, completing over ten days of on-water training in the AC40s with a few capsizes thrown in – which is all part of the learning process. The Youth/Women team are in a super-positive mood now that they are getting real sailing hours in. Huge improvements all round from the daily operations and routine through to the sailing skills being developed and the team are getting valuable time in the simulator during maintenance days or whenever the weather is inclement.

With safety being the number one concern, the Alinghi Red Bull Racing Youth Team received full safety training with spare air bottles and simulations of emergency situations. The team have also been broadening their communication skills, sharing their passion with Red Bull athletes and welcoming some famous names and sponsors to the base.

The four members of the Shore & Tech Pathway have been fully integrated to the America's Cup team. Aside from training in Barcelona the athletes have also been competing around the world at regattas and preparing for the upcoming Paris Olympic Games, as follows: Final preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games for Maja Siegenthaler (470) & Arno de Planta (49er). Laurane Mettraux represented Switzerland at SailGP and Laurane Mettraux (Decision 35) and Alex De Weck (K2 Monohull) won in their categories in the Bol d'Or Mirabaud on Lake Geneva


June marked a significant milestone for our Women's and Youth teams as we began training together on the AC40. For the next two months, we will be based in Badalona, along with the Athena and Artemis Women's and Youth Teams, and we will be sailing as much as possible.

We have had a great first two weeks with excellent weather conditions, a breeze ranging from 5-10 knots, and sea states from 0.3m to 1.3m—fantastic conditions for learning the boats and training! All of our sailors have now sailed on the AC40, and we will continue to intensify our race training over the coming weeks. All eyes are on September and October for the UniCredit Youth and Puig Women's America’s Cups!


Having completed the final training period in Cagliari, Sardinia, the team shipped its AC40 to Barcelona to resume sailing sessions in Spain on June 24th, notching up a total of 3 days (6 hours) on the water in the month of June. During this period the team encountered a variety of weather conditions, ranging from sustained breezes from SW (12/18 knots) and light Easterly winds (7/12 knots).

The women's team alternated roles on board to evaluate the best starting crew for the Puig Women's America's Cup. On the days with strong winds the focus was on boat handling, foil transitions and manoeuvring, with several bear-away and tacking exercises. In lighter wind conditions, however, the focus shifted to pre-start and racecourse geometry.

Simone Salvà, the Youth & Women's team coach commented: “We’re really pleased to see the crew improving day by day and the quality of sailing is steadily growing, as well as the team bonding, both onboard and on shore. The women crew has become familiar with the Barcelona waves, and they are all performing manoeuvres with confidence and speed. During practice we are not allowed to line up with the other teams, but we’ve had a few crosses with our opponents and are very happy with our performance. As for the schedules, we will train in the first week of July, then have a week of break and boat maintenance. We will resume sea sessions from July 15th until the 27th.”


Unfortunately, no AC40 training in June for the Women’s Team but the months of July and August will be devoted to intensive sailing, with major training sessions for both the Women and Youth squads. The team did however complete plenty of Simulator sessions and data analysis.

Three of the French Women’s Team women were part of the Olympic torch relay including Amélie Riou and Lara Granier in Marseille in May, Aloise Retornaz (Bronze medallist in Tokyo) in Les Sables d'Olonne on 4 June. Kitesurfer Jessie Kampman, 3rd in the World Championships and Silver medallist at the European Championships, won the 2nd leg of the Engie Site Tour in the women's category.


For Odile van Aanholt(49FX), Annette Duetz(49erFX), Bart Lambriex (49er) and Bjarne Bouwer (Nacra17) the focus is entirely on the Paris Olympic Games in Marseille. Although we noticed Bart secretly putting in some pre-starts on the SIM last week before going out to sea playing with his wing foil, when he was back home for a few days.

For the Youth team Paul Hameeteman, Aleksandr Moliakov, Eliott and Wiebrand are spending time on the water in the 69F, WASZP, Moth and 49er. For them it’s after a long winter of mostly only virtual sailing in the sim important to be out and racing in or above the water again. In addition, they certainly also spend hours on the sim but that’s almost more maintenance than actually doing or learning new things. 


The team have been clocking significant simulator hours with the Youth and Women and combinations of both working well together. We have also started WASZP on-water training through a new partnership with the Australian designed foiling yachts. 

This is supplementing other on-water training including Elliot 6s. We have been hosting some other famous Australians at the simulator including Sydney Swans AFL players, and solo round the world yachtswoman Jessica Watson who undertook the voyage aged just 16.

We had our women’s squad do a fabulous photo shoot with Vogue Australia coming out in October edition and Women’s Sponsor PUIG in Australia hosted a glamorous dinner on Sydney Harbourfront- picture above. Two of our female sailors have been selected to sail for Australia at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games - Olivia Price and Zoe Thomson.

We have also been doing a number of information events with the athletes at yacht clubs from Perth to Sydney - recent coverage at Belmont on TV to a good crowd including a keynote from former Australian America’s Cup legend Adam Beashel sharing his original Boxing Kangaroo self-made flag from the 1983 America’s Cup win.

Concord Pacific Racing

Concord Pacific Racing athlete Maura Dewey takes us behind the scenes in Barcelona as preparations intensify ahead of the inaugural Puig Women's America's Cup.

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 8:30am, 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 manoeuvres and strategies, which has helped us gel as a team.

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.


In June, during a Foiling regatta, the AC Team Germany Women had a talk about the female pathway and partly participated in the regatta too.

Additionally, there was an important sponsor shoot at our newly established Foiling Academy, where the women were present, and Tina Lutz was accompanied by a film crew. 


The incredible news in June was that Tamara Echegoyen has been selected as one of the flag bearers for the Spanish Olympic Team and will carry the national flag down the River Seine at the unique Opening Ceremony of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games. We wish her and Paula Barcelo well as they go for GOLD in the 49erFX class at the Olympic venue of Marseille.

In June the SailTeam BCN Women’s Team completed an intensive five days on the team’s Simulator going through plenty of pre-start and course management practice before gaining a valuable three days on the water in the AC40.


June has been an exciting month for the Swedish Challenge. Early this month we relocated from Belfast to Barcelona and have now built a “new home” in Port de Badalona. The Youth team and part of the Women’s team have settled in, spent many days on the water in the AC40 plus also finding new favorite places around the city for having tapas and almost every morning the team are exploring the area by bike.

In total we have sailed 12 days having 8 of our 10 sailors onboard during these days. Almost all days we have used our simulator too. Both practicing communication and racing other teams.

Part of our Youth team did the RC44 event with Artemis Racing at Marstrand, Sweden middle of June. Our Olympic women in our team are onsite in Marseille at the Paris 2024 Olympic venue, Vilma/Rebecca (49erFX) and Lovisa Karlsson (470 mixed). We wish them best of luck and looking forward welcoming them after the Games.

We all celebrated Swedish midsummer and the Swedish National Day at the base and besides a lot of sailing we have also built IKEA furniture and the base is now very Swedish and good looking.



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