Ecocentric Emily Nagel embraces Mirpuri’s change of climate
Emily Nagel says she is excited and keen to help Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team achieve their primary objectives — both on and off the water.
The Bermudian sailor has joined forces on an initial short-term deal with the Portuguese-based team, who are a new addition to The Ocean Race fleet and are “Racing For The Planet” to put climate change on the global agenda.
Led by French skipper Yoann Richomme, the team will compete while raising awareness of climate change at the inaugural The Ocean Race Europe this year.
“With the postponement of the next edition of The Ocean Race to 2022, The Ocean Race has opted to run a European Tour this summer,” Nagel said. “This will involve seven of the eight Volvo 65s in addition to several IMOCA 60s completing a series of legs around the Baltic, North Sea and Mediterranean.
“A prologue event will take place in May, with the official European Tour taking place in June.”
The start of the next edition of The Ocean Race was postponed last year until the autumn of 2022 because of the global pandemic.
The Ocean Race Europe will bring top-flight ocean racing to up to five European cities.
Teams will compete in the foiling IMOCA Open 60s and one-design Volvo Ocean 65s racing from the North Atlantic coast of Europe into the Mediterranean Sea, on a racecourse of up to five legs, each to be scored equally. There will be winners and prizes in each class.
“The present plan is to do all the legs of the Ocean Race Europe, but who knows what can happen,” Nagel added.
“As for the Ocean Race in 2022-23, at present I have not signed any contracts and it is hard to know what’s going to happen.”
The 26-year-old competed with the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team in a number of local events in Cascais, Portugal, last year and is now looking forward to “fit in as much training as possible” before The Ocean Race Europe commences.
“We have a strong team consisting of many previous Volvo sailors and our skipper Yoann Richomme, while new to The Ocean Race, is no stranger to offshore sailing with multiple very successful single-handed campaigns,” Nagel said.
“We are an international team with a range of experience and talent. It’ll be great to get back out on the water and racing after a tough winter of lockdown in the UK.”
Nagel comes with extensive offshore sailing experience having competed in the previous Ocean Race with Team AkzoNobel as well as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race and Fastnet Race.
The naval architect is working as a performance data analyst for Great Britain SailGP Team and was also a member of challenger SoftBank Team Japan’s design team at the 35th America’s Cup, which Bermuda hosted in 2017.
“Emily is very experienced, and has previously raced in The Ocean Race,” Richomme said. “She is a very athletic person and does a lot of sailing.
“I really admire how professional she is in her approach. She wears two hats on board Racing for the Planet — both as a sailor and also as a very skilled data analyst.
“This will be very valuable, as we need to record and analyse the data as we make changes to the sail set. She is a great asset to have on board.”
As well as competing, Nagel is also looking forward to serving the team’s mission of raising awareness of global change.
“One of the things I love about this campaign is that right at the heart of it is our sustainability initiatives,” she said.
“We are called ‛Racing For The Planet’ as we are representing the Mirpuri Foundation and carrying their message of promoting marine conservation by relaying the real perils currently facing our oceans and sea life. All of us on board support the message of promoting both sustainability in sport and protecting our oceans.
“The inaugural Ocean Race Europe is a great opportunity to share this message with a wider audience, while also giving us our first opportunity to line up against the other V65s since 2018 and the end of the last Volvo Ocean Race.”