Inspire Careers Candidate Sabrina Smith recounts her experience with the program, which she joined at Season 3’s events in St Tropez, Cadiz and Singapore. In Saint-Tropez and Singapore, Sabrina assisted the boat building department, while in Cadiz she was paired with the USA shore crew.
I've always been captivated by the world of sailing! From my early days of racing dinghies to sailing in the Atlantic on board a 40m tall ship. And now, brace yourselves, for the culmination of my nautical odyssey: an electrifying collaboration with SailGP as an Inspire Careers Candidate - an opportunity I couldn't possibly resist! Picture this: I found myself smack in the middle of not one, not two, but three sensational SailGP events as part of the Inspire program! My stints with the boat building department took me to St. Tropez and Singapore.
On my first day, Joel and Luke took me under their wing and gave me a tour of the whole operation. From calibrating boards to diving headfirst into the heart of the action, there was something new to experience and learn every day!
Daily tasks with the boat builders varied depending on the operations for the day. As the F50s came to life, every day was exciting and included: weighing, assembling, repairing – you name it, we did it! Ever imagined learning how to fix cracked stern tubes? I can now proudly say I've been initiated into that club!
Training and race days had a different rhythm. I was aboard the ‘mothership’ - a floating command center with a stash of spare parts and the technical team ready to perform on water repairs. Plus, did I mention the jaw-dropping views of the F50s? It was like having a front-row seat!
For my next event, I was invited to join the USA team as their intern for the Cadiz regatta. The vibe in Cadiz was fun and I got on well with the team’s shore crew. I often helped with the finishing touches on the F50- taping, clysar, and making sure every inch was polished to perfection.
On the morning of race days, I would help bring the U.S. F50 to the craning area. Once the boat was in the water, we finished setting up the other F50s by dropping rudders into the water and attaching fairings under the main wing.
Now, one of my favorite experiences: I had a seat aboard the USA chase boat during racing. Imagine being in the company of the brilliant shore crew, the sailors, and the USA coach. Sharing insights, witnessing training sessions, and conversing with these individuals was an opportunity of a lifetime!
In the end, my time as an Inspire Careers Candidate with SailGP turned out to be much more than a simple work experience. It was a dynamic whirlwind that immersed me in a realm where passion, precision, and exhilaration converged into a captivating maritime symphony. From admiring the sheer grandeur of the F50s, to forming bonds with the crew, each passing moment held a unique fascination. This journey wasn't just a single chapter; it became the foundation for a lasting connection with SailGP, which even saw me complete my Master’s thesis in partnership with the innovative minds at SailGP Technologies.
SailGP Inspire is the community, education and outreach initiative of the global racing league. The program delivery is supported by key partners, including global sponsor Mubadala, and WASZP, Rooster, MarkSetBot, Armstrong and Epropulsion.