Nagel takes a bow with female team
A “last minute” invite to join forces with a star-studded professional all-female sailing team in Venice, Italy, proved to be an extremely rewarding one for Emily Nagel.
The Bermuda sailor and naval architect competed on Wind of Change, led by Italian Olympic sailor Francesca Clapich, who achieved two podium displays in two separate regattas held in the famous city last weekend.
Competing under the banner of the Yacht Club Portopiccolo on board the 90-foot Super Maxi Golfo Di Trieste, Nagel and her team-mates finished second behind winner Way of Life in last Saturday’s Venice Hospitality Challenge to start their campaign off on the front foot.
They then improved on that impressive showing the next day by winning the Veleziana to cap a successful weekend of sailing.
“This past weekend, I received a last-minute call-up to join Francesca Clapich and her all-female team to compete in two one-day regattas in Venice,” Nagel said.
“I was very excited to get to join the team especially as it is a fully pro, all-female race team and not every day you get the chance to race on board a Super Maxi 90ft race boat.
“It was even more incredible to be racing right in the heart of Venice. I didn’t expect 14 90ft-race boats to have enough room to manoeuvre in there but it created a tight racecourse full of quick manoeuvres and sail changes making for some epic stadium racing. As I took on the ‘bow’ role, I was certainly kept busy.
“The second day of racing began outside the city in the lagoon and we lined up with over 200 boats on one start line.
“We took the lead from the beginning and ended up match racing one of the other super maxis all the way to the finish. Taking the win was a fantastic way to round off the weekend.”
The team also included American Olympian Sally Barkow, the 2004 and 2005 ISAF Women’s Match Racing world champion, and Britain’s Denise Caffari, the first woman to sail single-handedly and non-stop around the world “the wrong way” (westward against the prevailing winds and currents).
Clapich, the team skipper, has won numerous Italian, European and World Championship titles along with compatriot and fellow Olympian Giulia Conti in the newly formed 49er FX class.
Nagel competed against Clapich and Caffari in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.
“It was an incredible opportunity to race alongside some great female sailors, including Sally Barkow and Dee Caffari,” Nagel added. “Very excited for more racing with the team next year.”
Nagel’s latest success follows hot on the heels of her involvement in the inaugural SailGP global series as a performance data analyst for the Great Britain SailGP Team.
She and her team-mates finished fourth among the six nations represented that competed for the SailGP Championship trophy and $1 million, the largest monetary prize in the sport of sailing. The team, led by helmsman Dylan Fletcher, the former 49er world champion, made history after breaking the sport’s elusive 50-knot speed barrier during training ahead of the Cowes SailGP event, which they hosted back in August.
Their 50-foot foiling catamaran, the racing class used for the 35th America’s Cup, which Bermuda hosted, was clocked travelling at a record speed of 50.22 knots (58mph or 93kph).
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