France strategist Maelle Frascari opens up about her first time stepping on board the F50 in Christchurch and looks forward to next month’s Season 3 Grand Final in San Francisco.
Stationed in Cagliari, France strategist Malle Frascari was absorbed in training for her 2024 Olympic campaign in the Nacra 17 when she received a phone call from France driver Quentin Delapierre. Manon Audinet, who was originally confirmed to compete as the team’s strategist in Christchurch, was no longer be able to due to personal reasons. Would Frascari take on the role instead? Despite juggling a rigorous training program for her Olympic campaign, Frascari jumped at the opportunity and ‘said yes pretty fast’.
She flew to Christchurch, meeting Audinet and the rest of the crew on the ground, who helped her up to speed. “They were happy to share their tips and techniques for the boat,” Frascari says. With practice racing cancelled due to a strong wind forecast, Frascari was faced with the prospect of racing on an F50 for the first time with absolutely no training. Instead, the team undertook some ‘dry sailing’ practice, which involves practicing movements and communications on board the F50 while on land, such as running across the boat.
“That was my first time dealing with a six person crew and I loved it,” Frascari says. With so little time to prepare ahead of racing, Frascari ‘didn’t have time to stress out’ and when the French F50 finally hit the water for Race Day 1, she was focused on 'doing my job, not doing too much and just saying the things that are needed’. The super fast speeds of the F50 were ‘fun’ rather than ‘scary’, Frascari says, adding that she was more ‘curious about how [the rest of the team] were handling the boat’.
Reflecting on the first day, Frascari says that she 'made some small mistakes’, and spent the evening ‘thinking about situations so I didn’t make the same mistakes the next day’. “I did all I could do on the second day,” she adds, “I was happy about it and I think the rest of the team were too.”
Looking ahead, Frascari will rejoin the team for the Mubadala Season 3 Grand Final in San Francisco and is looking forward to taking advantage of the training time ahead of racing. “If we keep the same way as operating as a team, then I think everything will turn out for the best.”