With sailing as my passion, I’ve always dreamt about working with the best in the sailing world. The introduction that SailGP has given me has made my dreams feel possible after giving me the opportunity to work with GBR, who I believe are the best of the best teams competing in the SailGP circuit.
My first experience with SailGP was with their Inspire Waszp Racing Program last summer in Saint Tropez. The experience was priceless and after that event, I was introduced to their Inspire Careers programme, for which I was eager to also get involved.
When I found out that I was going to be given the opportunity to work with Sir Ben Ainslie’s GBR team I was ecstatic. I immediately jumped at the opportunity and I’m so happy that I did. From the first day of joining the team, I was made welcome. The shore team; Matt, Henry, Chappers and Sophie, put me straight to work to get the boat set up for the week. They really immersed me in all aspects of their work, from installing foils and faring’s, fitting the rigging and doing maintenance on the boat. While on site, I was also introduced to the media and admin team: Cam, Dan, Charlotte and Jo. It was fascinating, as well as inspiring, to see the behind the scenes of their work, witness the creativity and be inspired by their work ethic and drive to improve the team.
The opportunity to meet the sailors themselves was simply surreal. Coach Robbie, Sir Ben and his team of Hannah, Goobs, Parko, Nicko, Neil and Shrek were all fascinating to observe and to talk to. All of whom, being heroes of mine, I felt star struck but the made me feel so welcome and answered my MANY questions 😊 .
The highlights of my week included being able to go out on the chase boat and seeing the sailors in action. It was fascinating to listen into the teams coms, and seeing first hand the extent of work that goes in behind the scenes to get the boats out on the water racing. Another highlight was the Inspire Grinding Challenge that the GBR team do with each inspire intern. I was dressed in full sailing gear and did a 3-minute max effort on the grinding machine while the whole team cheered me on. It was amazing feeling being supported by the whole team, and even better to be able to top it off by ranking first on the Inspire leaderboard.
The GBR team oozed enthusiasm, displayed strength, manifested comradery and most importantly practiced kindness in all their aspects of work. It was a real pleasure to work with a team that was so supportive and encouraging.
For me, I dream that one day I might be race in SailGP - each of the sailors’ stories has made me believe more in myself, that one day I will race in SailGP. They have fed my motivation to strive and achieve that ambition.
In the past, I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to meet your heroes. However, I disagree, and I hope I’m lucky enough to meet my heroes again.
Thank you SailGP GBR.