Nagel put to the test by changing conditions
Emily Nagel and her 11th Hour Racing Team colleagues are making the most of a variety of conditions on a transatlantic training sail from France to Newport, Rhode Island.
The team are sailing against the prevailing trade winds through Gulf Stream currents and low pressure systems as they put their skills and refitted boat to the test on the high seas.
“Crossing the Atlantic east to west and this far north is probably classifiable as a delivery route; we’re going against the grain in a lot of ways,” Amory Ross, the on-board reporter, posted on the team’s website. “Not only are we sailing into Gulf Stream currents but we’re also going to be bashing through east-moving low pressure system after low pressure system.
“US to France and you’d be looking for one front to ride all the way across and a record to break while doing it. France to US and we’re basically running through a series of strong walls until we reach Rhode Island.
“Maybe not the quickest or most pleasant of itineraries, but that’s what you get out here in the late summer as storms start rolling up the eastern seaboard and then out to sea. On the plus, it does give us a huge variety of conditions to train in, and we will certainly be making the most of it as it’s been seven months since our last offshore adventure.”
Bermudian Nagel is among the six member crew that also includes skipper Charlie Enright, five-times The Ocean Race veteran Simon Fisher, America’s Cup and SailGP winner Kyle Langford and Justin Shaffer, who oversees special projects.
To ensure health and safety amid the Covid-19 pandemic throughout the ocean crossing, the team has created a tight-knit, bubble environment for training and have implemented a detailed team operating policy that is regularly updated according to regional and global regulations.
The American racing syndicate, led by CEO Mark Towill and skipper Enright, departed from Concarneau, France exactly a week ago today to kick off a two-year preparation plan for the next instalment of The Ocean Race in 2022-23.
The team underwent offshore training in Brittany, France in preparation for the transatlantic sail after their boat went back in the water last month following a refit.
En route to Newport the team will put to the test a next-generation wing foil and other new systems from the boat’s recent refit.
The current training boat is one of the first-generation IMOCA 60s to foil, meaning its hull can lift out of the water at high speeds. The new foil has been designed and refined using computer simulation tools. The latest IMOCA rule provides for a “second degree of freedom,” allowing foils the ability to rake backwards and forwards several degrees.
Naval Architect Nagel, who made her debut in The Ocean Race in 2017-18 as a member of Team AkzoNobel, is among a trio of new additions to 11th Hour Racing Team that also includes Fisher and Langford.
The start of the next edition of The Ocean Race was postponed until the Fall of 2022 due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Towill and Enright’s team achieved two In-Port Race victories and also won the final ocean leg to place fifth among the seven entries that competed in the previous Volvo Ocean Race held between 2018-19.
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