Emily Nagel ready to get back in ‛work mode’ for Ocean Race Europe
Emily Nagel can barely wait for the warning signal to fire, commencing the start of the inaugural Ocean Race Europe next month.
The Bermudian sailor and naval architect has rejoined the Portuguese-based Mirpuri Foundation Racing team, who are among the seven entries competing in the one-design VO65 fleet.
The Ocean Race Europe will commence at the end of May from Lorient, France, and finish in Genoa, Italy, in June with stops in Cascais, Portugal, and Alicante, Spain along the way.
Nagel comes with extensive offshore sailing experience having competed in the previous Ocean Race with Team AkzoNobel as well as in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race and Fastnet Race.
“I’m very excited to get back out to Europe and finally get racing again, it’s been a long winter without any racing,” she told The Royal Gazette. “We head out to Cascais first for a month of training and then at the end of May begin the Ocean Race Europe, which lasts for a month, finishing in Italy.”
The Europe race is a new event designed to showcase top-flight, fully crewed, competitive ocean racing featuring the best international sailors.
The foiling IMOCA 60 is the other class represented in the series where there will be winners and prizes in each class.
Mirpuri Foundation Racing 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 Ocean Race Europe.
“I’ve been racing and training with the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team on and off for a year now,” Nagel added. “We first competed last June in the Mirpuri Foundation Trophy in Cascais and since then have had a couple of training camps.
“It’s a great team to be a part of with so many of my former competitors from the previous Ocean Race, each sailor brings a unique skill set and experience.
“The plan is to sail every leg, provided there are no injuries or Covid issues.”
Nagel anticipates the transition back to offshore racing will be a smooth one.
“It’s quite an easy transition,” she said. “I love the offshore sailing as well as the foiling and inshore racing, so it’s quite easy for me to switch into that offshore mode.
“As it is a fully professional campaign, it does require some serious hours both onshore and off, and I am very much in work mode when I’m away training with the team.
“A general day consists of a team gym session first thing in the morning, breakfast and briefing, boat work and then at least four hours on the water training. Once we get back off the water, there’s always more boat work and post-sailing debriefs and data analysis.
“Days off are a pretty rare thing, so it’s a very intense period of training and working. But the whole team is very determined to win the Ocean Race Europe, so we put in the hours needed.”
As well as competing in the offshore race, Nagel intends to spend as time as possible in the foiling Moth dinghy in preparation for her upcoming trial with the Great Britain SailGP team led by Sir Ben Ainslie.
She is one of six female sailors vying for a spot on the team as part of the SailGP’s gender-equality initiative and will complete her trial when Ainslie’s team host the third round of the championship at their home port in Plymouth, England, on July 17 and 18.
Nagel previously worked as a data analyst with the British team, who pulled off a stunning comeback to win the inaugural Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess in the Great Sound at the weekend.
“Obviously very proud of the team and their brilliant comeback on ‛Super Sunday’,” she said. “It’s a brilliant start to the season and I hope it continues.”