I’m back! Ever since my time with the British team in St Tropez I became hooked and have been eager to join them at another event. It was an incredible privilege to work with such a tenacious team and I couldn’t wait for my next experience with SailGP. Luckily, someone upstairs must have been listening as I received the call up by Sir Ben Ainslie himself to join the team for another event this season.
Hello Dubai – the first SailGP event in the Middle East, I already knew it would be a special one. Day one began and I suited up in my team kit and immediatelygot to work. A day in the life of SailGPGBR Intern starts out usually at 8am. The shore crew all meet in the tent and set a plan out of the jobs to do for the day. From there, we get to work on prepping the boat, doing checks and general tasks around the tent – we all muck in and that’s what makes you feel even closer to the group. The Dubai heat made it a bit more challenging but, a team who sweats together has success together!
Later that morning, the athletes arrive and you feel their competitive and focused energy emanate across the base as they help with the boat setup before prepping to take the F50 out on the water. Unsurprisingly, there are always guests whether that be new commercial prospects, owners or family and friends coming in and out of the tent having a look the beauty that is the GBR F50 and getting insights into SailGP from the athletes and Marcomms team before we roll the boat out.
And then, it’s time to race! I’m not yet involved in this part, but I dream of getting onboard the F50 one day as I loudly cheer from the shores for my British teammates! The efforts that the shore team put in ceases to amaze me. Their work ethic is truly admirable, striving for perfection. Their passion for the team and the sport, is very evident and is hugely motivating. Their friendly nature, continuing to welcome me to the team, getting me involved and giving insights into their wealth of knowledge and experience, made the week so great and can’t thank them enough.
This attitude stems through the entire team from the Marcomms team of Jo, Celina, Louis and Charlotte. They really immersed me in their work this week and invited me to a special evening where they collaborated with the GREAT campaign and Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. Here I got to see Ben Ainslie alongside co-owner Chris Bake and Roy Bedlow, CEO of Low Carbon and Trustee of the 1851 Trust, give a panel on ‘How Sport can play a pivotal role in the journey to net-zero.’ It was insightful and motivating for all of us in the room and I felt proud to represent the team here. The cherry on top of this week was seeing my friend and competitor – Hattie, sail with the team... Having a friend on the team, who I’ve raced against for years, was inspiring.
I had the privilege to be on the chase boat to watch Hattie helm the F50. Thankfully everyone had headphones on, as when I saw her foil gybe the F50, I was ecstatic! Not only because it’s incredible to see your friend get such an opportunity, but as a sailor myself who races with Hattie, it’s given me more motivation to work towards my dream of racing in SailGP one day.
Another highlight of the week was most definitely getting the chance to do the water safety training - an opportunity I’d never thought I would get to do as an inspire intern.
Finally, it comes to the athletes I look up to day in and day out - Sir Ben , Hannah, Neil, Shrek, Nikko, Goobs, Parko and Hattie. Their performance on the water this week was stellar, and beautiful to watch. After working and getting to know them all, you become like a little family over the week. They had a tough finish in the final, but their performance this weekend showed that they are the best in the fleet.
The groups professionalism and how they approach the various aspects of the sport has taught me a lot. They set themselves a high bar and are incredibly critical of themselves constantly striving to be better. And I am thankful to have been a part of it even in a small way.
Without the Inspire programme these experiences would not have been possible so I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. For now, its head back into the books to catch up with some university work, but I can’t wait for my next trip with SailGP GBR.