Australia SailGP Team - Nina Curtis
We asked Nina Curtis, Australia SailGP Team member, about her sailing journey and her experience at the recent Bermuda Grand Prix.
How did you get into sailing?
Sailing is in my blood. Both my parents love sailing and they each had a parent that was a keen sailor. I was on boats from when I was born and started racing when I was 7 years old on Pittwater in Sydney's Northern Beaches.
• London 2012 Olympic Silver Medallist in the Women’s Match Racing
• Volvo Ocean Race 2017/18 Team Brunel - 3rd Place
• Australian Female Sailor of the year 2009 + 2012
Sport / Sailing idols
Adrienne Cahalan, Abby Ehler, Darren Bundock
Any superstitions before a big race/event?
I'm not a huge fan of bananas being on a race boat.
How was bubble life in Bermuda? What restrictions were in place?
Bubble life in Bermuda was pretty manageable. We had to stay in our hotel rooms for the first day until we received a negative COVID result upon arrival then we were grounded for 2 days when Bermuda went into lock down. Apart from that the measures in place included us going straight from our hotel rooms to our base and back via team RIB, then staying within our team base until the boat was launching. On the water things were completely normal, we were able to operate without masks and that was a relief. I think the biggest thing I noticed is that I didn’t get to catch up with friends who are on other teams, each team was kept very isolated. It was pretty impressive of SailGP to pull off such a great event in the middle of a global pandemic.
What specialised training is involved before jumping on the F50?
For my personal preparation I spent some time sailing a WASZP to get my head back around foiling. I also tried to get as fit and strong as I could. Then I spent a lot of time watching the racing and any sailing footage I could find, asked a lot of questions and got as much information about the boats that I could. Before the next event I will be doing similar things and maybe a bit of grinding training too!
Most impressive thing about the F50?
The most impressive thing about the F50 is absolutely the speed that these boats are raced at. Team Australia hit 50 knots whilst racing in an 8 boat fleet multiple times during racing in Bermuda. The technology on these boats are really impressive as well, every boat on the water is constantly gathering data that is available to every team live and summarised at the end of a day in a report. It keeps the playing field really even and helps create the close racing.
Are there any transferable skills from other classes you have sailed?
I did an Olympic campaign in the Nacra 17 and there are some transferrable skills from that class into the F50. My time with Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race also prepared me for how elite teams operate. Apart from that it has been a really steep learning curve, I really love being thrown into the deep end and will enjoy getting up to speed quickly over the next few events.
Sail Racing is the official clothing partner and technical gear supplier for the Australia SailGP Team. You can explore the Australia SailGP Team Collection here.