Sailing

Nagel bidding to race in Volvo Ocean Race

  • Nagel is taking part in trials with Team AkzoNobel (Photograph by Matt Knighton)

Emily Nagel has set her sights on competing in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.

The Bermudian sailor is taking part in trials with Team AkzoNobel in the hopes of making the final cut and competing in the prestigious race around the world.

Team AkzoNobel is a newly formed Dutch racing syndicate led by two-times America’s Cup winner Simeon Tienpont who is competing in the race for the third time but first as a skipper.

Nagel, 23, started sailing at the age of ten in the developmental Optimist dinghy out of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club.

She experienced her first taste of offshore sailing in November last year when she sailed from New York to Bermuda in a 46ft foiling catamaran accompanied by Oracle Team USA pair Jimmy Spithill and Rome Kirby.

More recently she helped Team AkzoNobel to third place in a race around the Isle of Wight during last week’s Lendy Cowes Week regatta and yesterday set sail from England with the Dutch entry in the 603-nautical mile Rolex Fastnet Race.

In 2014 Nagel won the International University Sports Federation Women’s Match Racing World Championships in Italy as a member of Team Vose-Glamour Racing and has also competed in the ISAF Team Racing World Championships.

Nagel earned a Master’s degree in Engineering with Naval Architecture from the University of Southampton which she put to good use after giving up her place on Bermuda’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team to work full-time with the America’s Cup challenger SoftBank Team Japan.

The thirteenth Volvo Ocean Race, which will start on October 22 in Alicante, Spain, and finish at the end of June next year in the Hague, Netherlands, is a global competition formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race and is held every three years.

The 11-stage race will be contested over the longest distance in race history, covering around 45,000 nautical miles. The longest stage will be Cape Town to Hong Kong, which will cover over 12,000 nautical miles, taking up to 37 days at sea.

The team with the least number of points at the end of the race will be the overall winner.

The racing class is the high-performance one-design Volvo Ocean 65, designed by Farr Yacht design and built exclusively for teams competing in the Volvo Ocean Race.

There is growing speculation that Bermuda could submit a bid to host the Volvo Ocean Race.

The tender process for host cities for the 2019-20, 2021-22 and 2023-24 competitions is now open and it is believed that Bermuda has shown an interest in hosting a leg of the prestigious race.

Last month Kevin Dallas, the Bermuda Tourism Authority chief executive, confirmed that an ambitious proposal to have a Bermudian entry taking part in the next Volvo Ocean Race had fallen through.

“The Bermuda Tourism Authority was involved in a conversation regarding resources for a Bermuda team in the next Volvo Ocean Race,” Dallas said.

“To the best of our knowledge, that conversation is not proceeding. There will be no Bermuda team in the next Volvo Ocean Race.”