Emirates GBR hosts all-female training session in Abu Dhabi

Emirates GBR has hosted a Women’s Pathway Programme training session on its F50, involving female athletes from all 10 SailGP Teams.

Emirates GBR crew Hannah Mills OBE and Hannah Diamond led the session, with support from Emirates GBR coach Rob Wilson and Flight Controller Luke Parkinson. Emirates GBR offered up its F50 to enable SailGP’s female athletes to gain experience and develop in different crew roles. Both Mills and Diamond took up different positions on-board, with Mills as Driver and Diamond as Wing Trimmer.

Mills said it was “awesome” to be back on water with an all-female crew, following a session hosted by the Swiss SailGP Team in Dubai.
“The crew worked really well together and we are creating a playbook for standard practice of manoeuvers for the Women’s Pathway Programme, as there’s so many ways to do things on the F50. It will mean we can move forward together quicker when we get these opportunities for a training session.”

Diamond said the session was “a really great experience”, with the all-female crew even winning one of the practice starts.
“It was a great opportunity to spend a bit more time in a learning environment. We are often very racing focused so it was really nice to take the pressure off and do some good training. It was amazing to learn from the other female athletes and see how they do things a bit differently. Practice time is limited in SailGP, so it’s really important we keep these female sessions going so we can all upskill and learn more roles on-board.”

This weekend marks SailGP’s debut in Abu Dhabi, and whilst SailGP has the most exciting racing on water with record-breaking speeds, the UAE capital has the world’s fastest rollercoaster at the Ferrari World theme park. On Wednesday, Emirates GBR Grinders Matt Gotrel MBE, Neil Hunter and Nick Hutton visited the park at Yas Island and took on the Formula Rossa ride, which reaches 240km/h in 4.9 seconds. Hutton said it was “amazing” to experience the rollercoaster but he “felt much more at home, and less sick” flying on the Emirates GBR F50.

The Emirates GBR F50 will be back on the water for practice racing on Friday, before official racing takes place on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, pop legends Take That will be performing after the racing. The performance will be the first time the global league has combined its high-speed racing action with live music entertainment to create a truly memorable fan experience. Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen will perform a packed set of hits for fans upon the conclusion of SailGP’s high speed racing at Mina Zayed.

UK viewers can watch all the racing action live on ITVX from 10:00 GMT, with a Highlights Show broadcast on Saturday 20 January at 11:45 GMT on ITV4.

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