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Excited Emily Nagel counting down the days to SailGP in Bermuda

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Photograph by Mark Lloyd
Photograph by Matt Knighton
Photograph by Mark Lloyd
Emily Nagel

Emily Nagel gets an adrenalin rush as she visualises the F50 “flying” around the Great Sound again when the SailGP makes its debut in Bermuda next spring.

The island will host the Bermuda Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess on April 24 and 25 featuring the wing-sailed foiling catamarans designed for and raced at the 35th America’s Cup, which the island also hosted in 2017.

“The F50s used in SailGP were first launched in Bermuda in 2017, so it seems fitting that they will be back once again,” Nagel said.

”If spectators of the AC17 thought it was cool to watch two F50s match racing around the Great Sound, wait until they see eight of these machines on one start line.

“The Great Sound offers the ultimate stadium race course and, as we saw in the lead-up to the America’s Cup in 2017, April offers great conditions for the F50s.”

Dubbed as the fastest sail race boat in the world, the high-performance F50 catamaran is the first boat to hit 50 knots during racing and was crowned World Sailing’s 2019 Boat of the Year.

Coincidentally, it was Nagel and her Great Britain SailGP Team colleagues who achieved the historic feat of breaking the sport’s elusive 50-knot speed barrier during training ahead of the Cowes SailGP event, which they hosted in August 2019.

The team’s F50 was clocked travelling at a record speed of 50.22 knots (58mph or 93km/h).

Nagel initially volunteered her services as a performance data analyst for SailGP’s series-opening regatta in Sydney, Australia, which ultimately led to a role serving in the same capacity with Great Britain SailGP Team.

“I was lucky enough to secure a spot with SailGP GBR and since then it has been an epic rollercoaster ride visiting some awesome venues and watching the boys improve event to event,” she said.

The team, who were led by helmsman Dylan Fletcher, the former 49er world champion, finished fourth among the six nations that competed for the SailGP Championship trophy and $1 million, the largest monetary prize in the sport.

“I'm so proud of what the guys have accomplished on the water and it has been fantastic working with the legends on shore,” Nagel added.

SailGP, co-founded by software billionaire Larry Ellison, is an annual global event involving eight national teams boasting 18 sailors with Olympic medals.

Each grand-prix event includes two competition days, featuring five fleet races leading to a final match race between the two leaders. Points are accumulated at each event throughout the season, culminating in a $1 million winner-takes-all championship race at the Grand Final.

Australia SailGP, helmed by Olympic champion Tom Slingsby, were the inaugural winners.

“I am very excited about the announcement that Bermuda will be hosting the SailGP season two opener,” Nagel said. “It has been in discussion over the past few months and I am so pleased that it is finally official.

“I am looking forward to seeing all of these brilliant teams flying on home waters and very proud of Bermuda for hosting what I am sure will be a world-class event.

“On a personal note, it will be amazing to get to return home after being stuck over in the UK for this past year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I along with many others whose entire season of work was cancelled this year are incredibly grateful to the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, Wedco [West End Development Corporation], BF&M, the Butterfield Group and RenRe for making this event possible.”

The 2020 SailGP Championship was due to commence in Sydney in February, but was postponed because of Covid-19.

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Published November 25, 2020 at 1:22 pm (Updated November 25, 2020 at 5:02 pm)

Excited Emily Nagel counting down the days to SailGP in Bermuda

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