Log In

Reset Password

Bermudian interns get thrill of lifetime with SailGP

First Prev 1 2 3 Next Last
Millie Lewis works on the Denmark boat during Bermuda SailGP

The GP in Bermuda SailGP could well have stood for Girl Power last week as three teenagers got the chance to experience life with the teams.

Nicole Stovell, Millie Lewis and Laura Hupman were successful applicants to the Inspire Careers programme, run by SailGP, and spent the week interning with the New Zealand, Denmark and France teams respectively.

Stovell, 19, has her fellow applicant to thanks for her time with the Black Foils and feels she had an amazing experience.

“Millie was the one who told me about it,” Stovell said.

“She was doing a gap year abroad and was in Australia for the Sydney event, so she got in touch with Laura and I and said we sould do it. I thought it was a good opportunity and I had done the Waszp racing in 2021 when they were first here. I thought I would switch it up and this time get involved in the careers and I’m glad I did because it was a fun experience.

Nicole Stovell, right, at a team dinner with the New Zealand team

“I worked really closely with the team manager, Anna Tuke and the shore manager, Finn Henry. They were really friendly, really helpful and I was thankful to them for giving me the opportunity. They were nice to be around and fun people.”

The life of a SailGP intern is usually not the most glamorous but Stovell, 19, proved an exception, getting the chance to go out on the water on a support boat during the weekend.

“As an intern I did get a lot of the grunt work, water bottles and packing snacks, but working with Finn, I got to be on the boat a lot and got to do and see a lot of cool stuff,” Stovell said.

“In the first couple of days, we actually helped to put the boat together. There were a couple of pieces that had to be put on and I actually got to go out on the boat while it was on the mooring and help Finn make sure all the lines being used were put away and that there was no water in the bilge. It was nice I got to help with that.

“Finn goes out with the team on race day just in case anything snaps or they need anything on the boat and I got to go out on the chase boat and watch the racing up close.

“It was so awesome to be that close and see them in action, to see the sailors and what they are feeling and thinking out on the water, what they look like in their gear. I’ve watched it on TV before and I’ve seen it from land but it’s so unexpectedly cool. it was so cool.”

Stovell, a successful sailor herself, has many memories to look back on and the experience has her itching to get back on the water.

“I got some amazing videos and photos, it was like an immersive experience,” Stovell said.

“I was really not prepared for it and in no world did I ever think I would be out there with them.

“It really made me just miss the water. I haven’t touched a boat in a few months because I’ve been in Halifax at Dalhousie University and in Canada they don’t sail in the winter because it’s too cold.

“The competition did motivate me to get back into it and to go back to being competitive. It didn’t really set me on the SailGP career path because I think what they do is awesome, but I’m not into that foiling.”

For Lewis, 19, the opportunity came at a perfect time as she undertakes a gap year before heading to Exeter University in the autumn.

“I was taking a gap year and travelling in Australia and it just so happened that I realised SailGP was in Sydney,” Lewis said.

“Tom Herbert-Evans, who used to be at the Yacht Club and is now an integral part of SailGP, reached out to me and said there was an opportunity to apply to Inspire Careers and get an insight into how the event is run and how teams operate, so I got that opportunity and I was so happy and learnt so much.”

Lewis has been based with Team Denmark for two events and managed to form great relationships with some of the stars of the sport.

“I was also with Team Denmark in Sydney, so I felt like I was able to solidify relationships there and started to develop as a person within that team,” Lewis said

“It was quite surreal as when you are behind the scenes and you’re in the positon that I was, you realise that they are just normal people. Yes, they’re incredibly talented in their field but they work as a team in the same way we do and they strive to be better all the time. Yes, they make mistakes but they learn from them. It was incredible to relate to them in that way.”

While Lewis didn’t get to go out on the water on race day, her time on shore was particularly rewarding.

“I cleaned the boat, which I know might sound like a small role, but it’s very important in reducing drag on the water,” Lewis said.

“I helped them tighten the tramp, which connects the hulls together and lets the sailors cross over, and that was really cool as I got to use the grinder and help the sailors on that.

Nicole Stovell got the chance to watch the New Zealand team up close

“I did a lot of water bottle runs, learnt a lot about the foils and how they work and got to spend a lot of time with the team and ask them questions.”

The experience has been the highlight of Lewis’s memorable gap year and something to remember in the future.

“While I did have many great experiences over this gap year, SailGP was one of the most standout parts,” Lewis said.

“First of all, I had no idea I would be able to have this experience and then being told about it and being accepted was surreal. I’m definitely going to take this forward and it’s obviously something I’ll remember many years to come.”

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published May 10, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated May 10, 2024 at 8:43 am)

Bermudian interns get thrill of lifetime with SailGP

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon