Australia SailGP Team - Sam Newton
We asked Sam Newton, Australia SailGP Team Grinder, about his sailing journey and his experience at the recent Bermuda Grand Prix.
How did you get into sailing?
I started down at the local sailing club on a holiday camp about the age of 5. In the early years I crewed for my older sisters which didn’t last long, but then I continued without them and never stopped after that.
• 2013/17 America's Cup and a win in 2013
• 6 x 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan titles
• Sydney to Hobart wins on Handicap and line honours
• SailGP Season 1 win
How was bubble life in Bermuda? What restrictions were in place?
Essentially the bubble really just stopped us from interacting with any locals. It was really strict. It meant we couldn’t venture out and take in the sights or restaurants or anything during the regatta or its lead up. We also had team bubbles which would reduce or eliminate interaction between different teams and the tech team. The implications to us meant that we would leave our individual hotel rooms and travel to our team base in our private RIB and then go sailing. After sailing, it would be back in the RIB and into your room. All of our meals had to be eaten in our team tent or in our room. On the quiet days it was tough, but when the sailing ramped up, all you really wanted to do after a solid sailing session was go back to the room and relax anyway. And when you have water views in Bermuda things could be a LOT worse, so the whole bubble design wasn’t too bad.
Most impressive thing about the F50?
It's got to be the acceleration, top speed and maneuverability. Especially with the new 18 metre wings. These boats just accelerate so fast on the reach and you get a great “slingshot” on the bear-away. Then couple this with a massive adrenaline rush as 8 boats come into the reach mark side by side. They really are cool machines that are ever-evolving.
Are there any transferable skills from other classes you have sailed?
There is no doubt that you can find something relative from just about every class out there. It might be fleet management or team work skills for example, but the apparent wind sailing boats would certainly be the most relevant for me.
Will you being doing all the events this year?
The COVID travel rules and restrictions are a constant moving target across all the countries we are travelling to, so I will take it as it comes. But I'll certainly be there for the next regatta in Italy next month.
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.