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Quickfire Q&A: Grinder Nick Hutton and athlete Nikki Boniface from Great Britain SailGP Team

10 MAY 2022News
by Miranda Blazeby, Digital Editor
Tags:
  • Great Britain

Fresh from helping Australia to victory in Season 2, Nick Hutton joins Great Britain as trimmer/ grinder for Season 3 bringing a wealth of F50 expertise with him. Originally from Devon, UK, Hutton grew up sailing on the River Dart and made it his ambition to 'get paid to race boats' at the age of 12. He has since built an illustrious career on just that, becoming a twice-winner of the America’s Cup.

Q: What is your first sailing memory?
A: Being on the River Dart in my ‘blue cloud’ sailing boat.

Q: What got you into sailing?
A: The ability to be able to go out on the water by yourself. It brings a huge sense of freedom.

Q: What is your career highlight so far?
A: Winning SailGP Season 2 with Australia. But continuing to do well and keep on the path of success is what it’s all about. I believe I have more defining moments in my career to come!

Q: Who is your sailing icon and why?
A: One of the coolest people I’ve met is Peter Cunningham who owns the Powerplay Trimaran. He is 82 and loves sailing more than most people. He loves going sailing, being out on the water and pushing the boat really hard with his friends and that is so inspiring. Peter loves the whole process of sailing and being able to see someone who enjoys the sport so deeply after all his experience in the working world is something that is very inspirational to me.

Q: Tell us about your scariest sailing moment?
A: There are quite a few scary moments in sailing. It happens offshore, at night, when you’re pushing 40 knots in the dark - that’s the scariest for me.

Q: What is your top ambition for Season 3?
A: Win.

Q: What is your favourite SailGP race location?
A: Plymouth, UK – in Devon, it’s my hometown!

Q: Best SailGP moment so far?
A: Winning Season 2 in San Francisco

Q: What team would you most like to beat and why?
A: I think this is pretty obvious, we have to beat the Aussies. We can’t let them win again.

Q: What is your favourite thing about SailGP?
A: I love that all the boats are the same, we know all the data. It’s not about the best boat and the best gear, it’s all about the ones sailing the boat.

With plenty of sailing accolades under her belt, including winning the NACRA 17 European Championship in 2019, Nikki Boniface joined the Great Britain team through SailGP’s Women’s Pathway Program. After working her way up through youth championships and Olympic campaigns, Boniface now joins the British team full time for Season 3.

Q: What is your first sailing memory?
A: I learned to sail at my local sailing club on a Topper. I really didn’t enjoy sailing alone so my dad came with me and then would fall off so I would have to sail the boat back to the beach alone.

Q: What is your career highlight so far?
A: Winning the NACRA 17 European Championships.

Q: Who is your sailing icon?
A: I have so many sailing icons that I don’t have one favourite!

Q: Tell us about your scariest sailing moment?
A: While sailing the NACRA 17 and you go over the front beam and get dragged underneath the boat.

Q: What is your favourite SailGP race location and why?
A: Bermuda.

Q: What is your top ambition for Season 3?
A: To win!

Q: Best SailGP moment so far?
A: Being selected to join the team for Season 3. I’m looking forward to seeing where the Female Pathway Program goes!

Q: What team would you most like to beat?
A: Australia!

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional sailor?
A: A paramedic - I like adrenaline and helping people.

Q: What is your favourite thing about SailGP?
A: The fast, quick racing is really fun, as well as the changing dynamics within the sport.

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