clearn.png
Saturday December 4th, 2021 6:23PM

Aussie sailor could be going for cousin's job on SailGP boat

By The Associated Press

Lisa Darmanin is eager to break the glass ceiling on the Australia SailGP Team, even if it means dislodging her cousin and Olympic sailing partner, Jason Waterhouse.

Darmanin was one of three top Aussie women sailors who participated in an invitational camp recently in Sydney as part of a new program aimed at accelerating the inclusion of female athletes in SailGP, the global league co-founded by New Zealander Russell Coutts and tech titan Larry Ellison.

The women sailed WASZP one-person foiling dinghies, giving skipper Tom Slingsby the chance to assess their potential ability on the 50-foot foiling catamarans used in SailGP.

Darmanin said she’d be interested in being the flight controller or wing trimmer with the Australian team. The Aussies dominated the inaugural season in 2019, including a victory in the $1 million winner-take-all season finale.

Waterhouse, who is Darmanin’s first cousin, is currently Australia SailGP Team's flight controller. They’ve sailed together for years, including winning the silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in the high-performance Nacra 17 mixed gender catamaran class.

“We’ve already had that discussion,” Darmanin said in an interview. “I said, ‘I don’t want to take your job, mate.’ He said, ‘Well, if it’s not you, it could be somebody else, so definitely give it a go.’

“That’s the cool thing,” she added. “I’ve learned a lot about the F-50 from Jason, just because I’m interested in the technology. It’s the pinnacle of sailing. He a fantastic teacher. Yeah, it would be tough for him, but he has had experience in the America’s Cup; he had a bit of a coaching role there. He just wants to see the Australian team do well. He’ll do whatever’s best for the team. It’ll be interesting, but he’s cool about it.”

Darmanin and Waterhouse won the ISAF Youth Worlds in 2009 in a Hobie 16 and later moved into the Nacra 17. She pointed out that all their successes have been shared.

“He’s just had a few opportunities that I haven’t had, like Youth America’s Cup, the Extreme 40 Series, which then gave him the door opening to get into the America’s Cup, which gave him the door to get into SailGP,” she said. “It’s that one door that opens, opens the rest. For me, none of those doors has opened, so I haven’t had the chance to get any big boat experience, fast boat experience to then get on the SailGP.

“That’s why as a female who’s really passionate about women in sport, I don’t want to have to be mandated. That’s not the way we really want to do things. To be realistic, that’s the only way it’s going to happen. We’re too far behind.”

If Darmanin is given a door, “I hope I kick it down pretty hard,” she said.

Others participating in the camp were Nina Curtis and Natasha Bryant. Mara Stransky and Hayley Outteridge were also selected for the camp but were unable to attend due to COVID-19 border restrictions in Australia.

Outteridge’s brother, Nathan, is skipper of Japan SailGP Team, as well as an Olympic gold and silver medalist in the 49er class. The Outteridges campaigned in the Nacra 17 for a spot in the delayed Tokyo Games, but Darmanin and Waterhouse were selected to make a return trip to the Olympics.

Curtis also is an Olympic silver medalist and sailed with Team Brunel in the 2017/2018 Volvo Ocean Race, which allows teams to have bigger crews if they add women. Bryant was named the Youth World Champion in 2016 for the 29er class and also recently campaigned for the Olympics in the FX class.

Two of the women will be selected to join the Australian team when SailGP’s pandemic-delayed second season restarts in Bermuda on April 24-25. Following the preseason training and development in Bermuda, at least one of the athletes will be selected to join the team for the rest of the season.

“I think it’s a good thing to open the pathway for women. Unfortunately, they probably haven’t had the opportunities as the men have had in the past,” said Slingsby, who won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics and then helped Oracle Team USA win the America’s Cup in 2013 with a stunning comeback.

Slingsby said he’ll likely let the women pick which role they’d like to try out for and then give them plenty of training time. The F-50s are supercharged versions of the cats used in the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda.

“They could do it for sure,” Slingsby said. “There’s a lot of training ahead. We’ve seen some amazing male sailors who have been dropped out of SailGP because they just couldn’t keep up. By no means is it going to be easy, but I just think it’s great to give them the opportunity for them to come and live and train with the team and see what it’s all about and then if they’re good enough, they’ll make it.”

Marie Riou was France’s flight controller during the inaugural season and is one of the women being considered for the French team for this season.

___

Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
North Carolina at No. 9 Virginia highlights ACC weekend
No. 9 Virginia is in the middle of a tough stretch likely to go a long way toward its hopes of winning the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season crown for the third time in four seasons
3:09AM ( 47 minutes ago )
Myanmar coup leader: 'Join hands' with army for democracy
Myanmar’s coup leader has used the country’s Union Day holiday to call on people to work with the military if they want democracy, a request likely to be met with derision by protesters who are pushing for the release from detention of their country’s elected leaders
2:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
China bans BBC news broadcasts in apparent retaliation
China has banned BBC World News from airing in China, a week after threatening to retaliate for the revocation of the British broadcasting license for China’s state-owned CGTN
2:33AM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Curry goes off again with 10 3s as Warriors hold off Magic
Stephen Curry knocked down 10 3-pointers on the way to 40 points and also contributed eight rebounds and five assists to lead the Golden State Warriors past the undermanned Orlando Magic 111-105
1:48AM ( 2 hours ago )
Tokyo Olympics: Mori to leave but gender issue remains
Yoshiro Mori has resigned as the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee following sexist comments implying women talk too much
1:23AM ( 2 hours ago )
Australian Open: No-look shot in Serena's win; COVID fan ban
Serena Williams used a no-look shot to help complete at comeback at the Australian Open, where spectators will be banned as of Saturday because of a local five-day lockdown
1:20AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
North Carolina at No. 9 Virginia highlights ACC weekend
No. 9 Virginia is in the middle of a tough stretch likely to go a long way toward its hopes of winning the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season crown for the third time in four seasons
3:09AM ( 47 minutes ago )
Myanmar coup leader: 'Join hands' with army for democracy
Myanmar’s coup leader has used the country’s Union Day holiday to call on people to work with the military if they want democracy, a request likely to be met with derision by protesters who are pushing for the release from detention of their country’s elected leaders
2:42AM ( 1 hour ago )
China bans BBC news broadcasts in apparent retaliation
China has banned BBC World News from airing in China, a week after threatening to retaliate for the revocation of the British broadcasting license for China’s state-owned CGTN
2:33AM ( 1 hour ago )
Portugal's relief at falling COVID-19 cases tempered by fear
Dr. Nuno Germano had a nagging fear when Portugal’s January surge of COVID-19 cases threatened to overwhelm his intensive care unit at Lisbon’s Curry Cabral Hospital: he was afraid he wouldn't be able to care for his patients
2:25AM ( 1 hour ago )
Tokyo Olympics: Mori is leaving but gender issues remain
Yoshiro Mori has resigned as the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee following sexist comments implying women talk too much
2:07AM ( 1 hour ago )