News Desk
GB Team Triumphs in the Youth America's Cup

After a nail biting final race, Britain's youth America's Cup sailors from the Land Rover BAR Academy have been crowned the 2017 Red Bull Youth America's Cup Champions in Bermuda.

The British entry completed 12 races against 12 other nations on Bermuda's Great Sound to take the title and finished the event with 50 points, just two points ahead of second placed New Zealand Sailing Team and eight points ahead of Switzerland's Team Tilt.

Annabel receiving her award from Commodore
Karen Henderson-Williams at our 2016 prize giving.

Royal Southern member Annabel Vose competed as tactician, the only female sailor in the fleet. Annabel was the first female sailor to be selected by the Land Rover BAR Academy. Annabel is one of Britain's most talented young sailors; winner of four World Championships, one European and ten National titles, across a multitude of classes and disciplines.

Annabel has just completed her final year of a four year undergraduate masters course in Engineering, the result of a long-term fascination with maths, physics and sailing. Her final design project was a foiling catamaran, so there was plenty of synergy with the Land Rover BAR project.

Annabel Vose grew up in Southampton, and learned to sail on the River Hamble at the Royal Southern Yacht Club "Splash Week" - a week of boating fun aimed at children that takes place every school summer holiday.
"I grew up with sailing, the activity for family holidays was always sailing, and I started racing in Optimists and just carried on racing through many classes and I still love to sail at Southampton University, where I am studying Ship Science - Marine Engineering. I actually had exams just prior to coming to Bermuda, and I was allowed to do the last exam a day early so that I could get out for the Youth AC.
To apply to the BAR Academy I was asked to come in for a sailing trial, and a fitness test and to meet the other sailors. Following the trial, I was told to go away and do some more catamaran sailing and foiling. It was a bit of a set back and I was a little disappointed. I reacted to that by taking an internship with North Sails and starred racing M32 and foiling with GC32s. Looking back on that now, getting involved with those boats has really improved my sailing and I was delighted when I was then selected for the BAR Academy team.

We came out to Bermuda in April for a week's training camp, racing the AC45s, which was really helpful and because most of our team had raced on the GC32s, we had probably done more hours in foiling catamarans than any other team in Bermuda."

Annabel, you are the only female sailor that has been competing in Bermuda, either in the AC50s or AC45s, why is that?
"I guess that is because of the physicality, and it is a bit of an unknown, as to whether a girl could manage that aspect. Hopefully that unknown has now gone away and it will be passed down to the next generation of the BAR Academy and to other nations.
Women sailors can train to get as strong as they need to be to meet the physicality of this type of racing. We have had really good support from conditioning coaches and I have reached the level of strength required so I don't think strength is an issue. As a tactician, when your blood is running a lot faster, trying to stay calm and look at the bigger picture, does become more difficult. However, if you achieve the level of fitness required, you will make better decisions when you are putting in physical effort or when the pressure is on

What advice would you give to a young aspiring female sailor?
"If anyone wants to do this, they can. Hopefully what I have shown here is that given the right opportunity and given the right support, you can be successful. During this whole process, there has never been any gender division, it just came down to who can do the job better, regardless of whether it is a girl or a boy."

What your next sailing competition?
"The Round the Island Race on Louise Morton's Quarter Tonner Bullit, with an all-girls team, which will be very different! After that, well I have been so busy with finishing University and competing in the Youth America's cup, that I really haven't planned any other sailing this summer but I am open to the right offer! I am planning to take a bit of time off from sailing.

I have loved the sailing that I have done with the team and a key things has been to enjoy it but I have also really enjoyed my degree, so my plans are to get a job in engineering and enjoy my sailing at the weekends, for now."

Annabel Vose was speaking to Royal Southern Yacht Club Race Reporter, Louay Habib.

Annabel in action in Bermuda

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Our Commodore Karen Henderson-Williams was recently interviewed by Sasha Twining on BBC Radio Solent's H20 slot.
Karen was asked about her childhood and how she got into sailing with her parents, how she progressed from dinghies into keel boats and about her role in helping to develop youth sailing at the Club. She explained her current role as well as her stewardship of the Royal Southern as only the second lady Commodore in the Club's 179 year history. Karen also discussed her aims and objectives for the Club going forward. It's a great listen, and we hope you enjoy it.

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