The winner of the female category of SailGP Inspire's Championship of Champions, Stella Bilger, has revealed how she first got involved with the program.
Bilger, who hails from New Zealand, was crowned the best female sailor alongside American Gavin Ball, after going head to head against the winners from each qualifying event.
Bilger revealed she got into sailing at the encouragement of her father.
“Dad was like, ok, you can do sailing, sailing or sailing,” she said, “so I was like, ok I will do sailing.”
She got involved with the SailGP Inspire program at the ITM New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch, where she was crowned the best female sailor in the WASZP sailing program. From there, she was invited to compete in the Championship of Champions in San Francisco.
“I didn’t really think I was going to go to San Francisco - I just thought I’d do it because it was in New Zealand,” she revealed. “Then I realized I could actually go to America and do it.”
After partaking in the program, Bilger encouraged other girls and young women from New Zealand to get involved with the program.
“It’s been fantastic, it’s such a cool opportunity and I recommend all the other girls back home to get into it because it’s just so much fun.”
Having won the event, Bilger will receive the incredible money-can’t-buy immersive experience of stepping on board the the New Zealand F50 at an event in Season 4.