Seventeen-year-old Ruth Mello-Cann has described seeing SailGP’s supercharged, identical F50s up close as part of her role as shore team member during the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix.

Mello-Cann had the chance to work with the F50s and support the shore team operation after she was selected as a SailGP Inspire Careers candidate and paired with the Switzerland team.

“It’s unreal to see an F50 a few feet away from you - they definitely move a lot faster in person than what you see on the TV screen,” she said.

As part of her role, Mello-Cann assisted in the build and maintenance of the Swiss team’s F50, which included washing and maintaining the winches, rigging and fairing.

She also supported the shore team operation, which included responsibility for the F50’s wing, foils and support boat throughout the event.

Mello-Cann described being part of the Inspire Careers program as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ that she would ‘never regret’.

“The SailGP Inspire Careers program has definitely given me a different perspective on sailing and how it can benefit other parts of life - not just learning how to sail but how to be hands on and learn different skills,” she said.

Mello-Cann began sailing in 2017 and later joined Bermuda's youth sailing group Endeavour.

“It’s pretty cool to have started out in a tiny little dinghy and then to come here and see the F50s - it’s been really cool to see my progression in sailing.”

Established in 2019, the Inspire Careers program offers students and young professionals aged 18-23 a work experience opportunity within SailGP across all departments ranging from sustainability and photography and technical team roles.

The pool of candidates has a 50% female and 50% racially diverse requirement to help build a more inclusive talent pool for SailGP and the wider marine and sports industries.