Dream come true for Julia Lines in Bermuda Gold Cup debut
The International One Design class is the first keelboat that Julia Lines ever sailed.
Therefore, it is perhaps only fitting that the 23-year-old would make her debut in the sloop at this year’s Bermuda Gold Cup, which is also serving as the one-off Open Match Racing World Championship.
Lines is fulfilling a lifelong dream of competing in the prestigious regatta as a member of Anna Ostling’s Team Wings.
“They are a Swedish team, so I am learning Swedish slowly this week,” Lines said. “They are a great team and they work well together.”
It is the first time the daughter of Bruce Lines, the former Royal Bermuda Yacht Club commodore, has competed alongside Ostling, a two-times world champion who is also making her debut in the Gold Cup this year.
“The bow person Janel [Zarkowsky] and I both haven’t sailed with them before,” Lines added. “But we’ve sailed against them, so we kind of already knew how their team works.
“They talk a lot to each other in Swedish and we just kind of fill in. But we know what needs to happen, so it’s been working just fine.”
Lines finally realised her dream of competing in the Gold Cup during yesterday’s opening group round-robin qualifying stage in which she and her team-mates posted a 1-3 record in Hamilton Harbour.
“I have been watching Gold Cup since I was like 4 years old,” she said. “Every single year, I watch it with my parents or whoever and just kind of dreamt of this day my whole life.
“We had an extra hour of practice in the morning, so by the time our first race came, the adrenalin that I had all morning and all day yesterday [Sunday] had kind of calmed down a little. I wasn’t as nervous and it felt like any other regatta almost.”
She added: “It’s really great to be able to sail against Ian Williams [defending Gold Cup champion] and Taylor Canfield [two-times winner].
“I have done a few regattas against them already. But on home turf it’s even more special to be here and in the IODs, too.
“I have had a lot of time in the IOD. They were the first keelboat I ever sailed, so I’m kind of right at home.”
Ostling is one of two female skippers participating in the Open Match Racing Worlds for the first time ever. Pauline Courtois, of France, is the other.
Lines’s team is competing in the same qualifying group as compatriot Kelsey Durham, who recorded a 0-4 record yesterday.