Nagel grateful for ‘one-off’ experience
Emily Nagel expressed gratitude after completing a transatlantic training sail with 11th Hour Racing Team.
The Bermudian and Naval Architect said she is thankful to have been granted an “amazing unexpected opportunity” to sail with the 2022-23 Ocean Race team from Concarneau, France to Newport, Rhode Island in their refurbished 60-ft monohull.
“As it stands the transatlantic with 11th Hour Racing was a one-off opportunity and I'm not officially part of the team for the 2022 Ocean Race,” Nagel told The Royal Gazette.
“I was fortunate enough to get a last-minute call up from Charlie Enright [team skipper] to join the team for the transatlantic delivery, for which the aim was to primarily relocate the yacht to its homebase in Newport and to also test out the new foils and other updates.”
The experience was the 26-year old's first sailing in the IMOCA 60, one of two classes that will compete in the next edition of the Ocean Race round the world.
“While it was my third transatlantic, it was my first time onboard an IMOCA 60, a boat typically sailed single-handed in the Vendee Globe,” she added.
“This class was originally designed without foils but over the past couple years teams have begun to develop foils to promote foiling. Unlike the America's Cup and SailGP yachts these boats don't fully foil as they don't have T-foils on the rudders. So typically the stern is still in the water most of the time but the front half of the boat is lifted out by the foils to reduce wetted surface area and increase speed.
“However, also differing from the Cup is that the class has fewer restrictions on the design side, which has led to some very different foil shapes between teams.
“The foil on board 11th Hour Racing is unlike any other produced so far which meant we went into this transatlantic with a clean slate ready for lots of testing.”
The team departed France on August 1 and arrived in Newport on August 14 after battling against the prevailing trade winds through Gulf Stream currents and low pressure systems.
“Despite being an incredibly fast platform the trip was fairly long due to the entire trip being in upwind conditions,” Nagel said.
“Wind strength ranged from 0 kts to 35 kts which meant, not only were the mods tested in all conditions, but so was my stomach as with the fully enclosed cockpit I experienced seasickness for the first time ever.
“The boat itself is far from comfortable and it was a tough trip.
“The foiling means much higher speeds than typical offshore yachts and thus much bigger impacts when crashing into waves, which made sleep very difficult and multiple breakages. Although nothing major it did result in a trip up the mast for me in order to fix the wind instruments.”
Nagel added: “Overall the trip was filled with fantastic experiences from foiling offshore in perfect conditions, seeing meteor showers and dolphins and sharks to learning from and working with some incredible sailors.
“Fingers crossed for some more sailing with the team at some point. But for now I am just grateful for an amazing unexpected opportunity with a great bunch of guys.”