Nora Brugman, Paula Barceló, María del Mar Ros, Nicole van der Velde and María Cantero, from left to right.Ugo Fonolla Sail gp (Ugo Fonolla Sail gp)
The purists and traditional sailing and its regattas, and not only those who learned to imagine life reading Salgari, Conrad or Allan Poe and steeped themselves in maritime terms, and their universe without borders, consider the SailGP a sacrilege, its boats with
that fly and don't sail, their insistence on calling it formula 1, their fear of using the language of the sea that creates their world, knots, yards, feet, miles, roll, rudder, rod, regattas, and substituting it for kilometers hour, meters, steering wheel, driver, race.
They accept it and blame the drift because it is the evolution of the species, and so it will be, and they also accept, although they frown, that there are more and more women on the
and that Larry Ellison, the owner of the circuit, has set a female quota and requires each of the nine gigantic and fast boats to have a woman among their six crew members.
The Spanish team goes further.
Not only does he have a woman on the crew, the Mallorcan Paula Barceló.
The CEO who manages it, closes budgets, gets sponsorships and makes it work, is a woman, María del Mar Ros, the only woman in the SailGP, and three more women are joining.
For them, the fee is not a gift, but a right.
“In Olympic sailing there is equality.
There is no gap there”, says Barceló, who combines her position in the Spanish F50, in which she acts as a strategist, with the competition in 49erFX together with Támara Echegoyen, and was world champion in 2020 and fourth in the Tokyo Games.
She and she studies fifth of Medicine, in addition.
“But as soon as you enter the professional world of sailing, the gap opens up.
It is the lack of experience.
We have not been given the same opportunities and that makes many differences.
These initiatives, and those of Volvo, to start introducing women are very good.
Reduce the gap.
And we will learn what the boys already know and we will be able to take boats like a Volvo 65 and an F50″.
In the port of Cadiz, where the base of the races was installed, the Marsellesa sounds, as the French boat piloted by Quentin Delapierre has reached its first day of glory and has won the Andalusian GP.
And the Spaniards descend from their catamaran with their faces as cloudy as the afternoon in the bay, fresh breeze and clouds.
It has not been his best day.
They have entered wind wells, in the void, they have not risen well above the waves, they have not picked up speed.
They have finished seventh out of nine and are eighth in the general classification led by Australia.
Five GPs left.
The next, in Dubai on November 12 and 13.
With Barceló, the only woman to board the boat led by Jordi Xammar, three other women are preparing to enter the world of foiling, and are even thinking about the Copa América in Barcelona 2024, where there will be a women's competition for the first time.
"The world of
is advancing a lot and everyone has to adapt," explains María Cantero, from the Canary Islands, who is also fighting to be at the Paris Games with Patricia Suárez at 49erFX.
“This is a discipline of adrenaline, innovation.
This is the future.
Being in the SailGP project is a privilege for us, and an opportunity to learn and combine it with our respective Olympic campaigns”.
The reason the women weren't on the
is purely physical strength.
Until recently, everything was handled by pure muscle and crank.
And testosterone prevailed.
“When sailing, on the big boats the positions were very physical.
There was not so much technology, so much development”, explains Cantero.
“And now, except for the
the muscle of the cranks, and even Paula can take that position and she has, the hydraulics and battery systems reduce the physical to a button.
You just have to know how to steer the boat and that allows you to do the same positions as everyone else”.
knows more than any Nicole van der Velde, who competed in the Rio Games with Aruba, the country in which she was born, and was its flag bearer in the inaugural parade, as she prepares to arrive at Paris 24 and compete in windsurfing with
a board with a sail and legs, a new Olympic discipline.
“By flying, you go much faster, the forces are different, everything happens faster.
Mentally you have to anticipate, and make decisions quickly.
Speeds have nothing to do with it,” she says, at full throttle.
“But you get used to it, of course.
You normalize everything ”, adds Nora Brugman, who in her Olympic life is looking for a place in the 24 Games together with Jordi Xammar in the 470 mixed.
The first time you get out of the water on a boat, your hair stands on end...”
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