Athena Pathway head to La Rochelle for first race in the ETF26 Series
- Athena Pathway head into battle for their first race as part of the ETF26 Series
- The team will race in the Grand Pavois Foiling Event in La Rochelle, September 27th - October 1st
- Crew on-board: Hannah Dimaond (skipper), Nikki Boniface, Hattie Rogers, Ross Banham
Athena Pathway head to La Rochelle to compete in the ETF26 Series Grand Pavois Foiling Event. As their first event in the series, Hannah Mills comments:
" Im really excited to see the Athena Pathway up and running and a team attending the final ETF 26 event of the series. These amazing athletes haven’t had much time to get to grips with the boat so it will be a bit of a baptism of fire, but I know they are really excited to learn and progress. Getting stuck into racing, around other boats and teams will be the best way to fast track this process.”
The ETF26 series is in La Rochelle this week for its fifth, and last, regatta of the 2022 racing year. With 10 boats on the course, there is going to be guaranteed action and tight racing out on the race course.
The racing kicks off on Wednesday, September 27th, with five races a day, weather permitting. The teams will race for four days, with the final race on October 1st.
An example of the course is as follows:
How to Watch:
All results will be posted on the Athena Racing Instagram Stories at the end of each day of racing. Live results will be posted on the ETF26 Twitter page. The last race of the regatta will be on Instagram LIVE on the ETF26 Instagram account.
After multiple training camps down in Weymouth Harbour, on the south coast of England, sailors Hannah Diamond, Nikki Boniface, Hattie Rogers and Ross Banham will be the sailors representing the Pathway this coming week in La Rochelle.
Hannah and Nikki are both a part of the SailGP Women's Pathway Programme, which recently had its one year anniversary. Athena Pathway is supporting the SailGP Women’s Pathway programme. Hattie and Ross are both aspiring to compete in the Youth America’s Cup and are a part of the initial group of Athena Pathway programme set up by SailGP.
Hannah Diamond: Hannah is from Warshah on the south coast of England. Hannah took home silver at the 2016 World Championships in the Nacra 17 class. She then moved into ocean sailing where she competed in the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race. Hannah is now a member of the SailGPGBR team as strategist.
Nikki Boniface: Nikki grew up sailing on the south coast of England, where she represented GBR at 3 ISAF Youth World Championships. Nikki recently stepped back from Olympic sailing after 10 years on the British sailing team and now is a member of the SailGPGBR sailing team as a strategist.
Hattie Rogers: Hattie has had a very successful youth sailing career, becoming Junior and Senior Girls Champion in 2012/13. Earlier this year, Hattie won the SailGP WASZP Inspire Grand Final Ladies Championship in San Francisco.
Ross Banham: Ross grew up sailing on the south coast of England, where he also attended Southampton University. Earlier this year in July, Ross became the mens WASZP UK National Champion.
About the ETF26:
The ETF26 foiling catermaran was born in 2017, designed by Guillaume Verdier, the naval architecte who designed the winning boat Emirates Team New Zealand for the 34th edition of the America's Cup, as well as Jean-Pierre Dick, four times winner of the Jacques Vabre Race. The ETF26 is aimed for high-speed races, being able to reach 2.5 times the wind's speed, as well as adapt to different weather conditions, being able to foil between 8 - 20 knots. The boat weighs just 350 kilograms, and requires three to four sailors on-board. All boats raced in the league are one-design, with a fully carbon mast, and carbon-epoxy S-foils.
Launched in August 2022, at Cowes Week, Athena Pathway is fast-tracking the development of youth and female sailors into high-performance foiling sailing, including both SailGP and the America’s Cup