Over a year has passed since the launch of Athena Pathway, and the selection process to identify the squad of sailors who will represent Great Britain in next year’s Youth & Puig Women’s America’s Cup events in Barcelona is well underway.
Over 300 people applied to be considered, with an initial group of sailors longlisted for further trials based on eligibility to compete in the Youth & Puig Women’s America’s Cup, foiling and fast boat experience, and high-level racing results. A series of training camps run at WPNSA over the final months of 2022 followed, which utilised Athena Pathway’s ETF26 to assess the hopefuls’ foiling skills, as well as their ability to adjust to a high-performance team environment on a boat they had most likely never sailed before.
An ETF26 race squad was subsequently selected for the 2023 season, with several different crews, including an all-female configuration of Hannah Mills, Eilidh McIntyre, Kate MacGregor and Nicola Boniface, representing Athena Pathway at events in La Trinité-sur-Mer, Quiberon and Lake Garda. The Pathway is set to compete in the final two ETF26 events of the 2023 series, which are due to take place in La Rochelle and Murcia in September and October respectively.
Alongside ETF26 activities, a series of trials have been run on Athena Pathway’s AC40 simulator for over 25 individuals. These trials have enabled our coaching team to assess the sailors’ adeptness at adapting to the unique skillset required for success in the AC40, including their analytical abilities, theoretical comprehension, tactical knowledge and approach to learning.
This year-long process has culminated in the selection of 20 sailors, who will now undergo further trials, including a series of technical and SIM workshops and training camps utilising Athena Pathway’s ETF26 and WASZPs, with the chance of being chosen to represent Athena Pathway and Great Britain in the 2024 Youth & Puig Women’s America’s Cup events.
The quality of applications was incredibly high, and there will be multiple future opportunities for sailors who have not been brought forward for further selection at this time to get involved in Athena Pathway, both on and off the water. Current opportunities include the chance to utilise the Pathway’s WASZPs, and the Athena Foiling Pathway, which will involve a series of training camps delivered by the ASC Performance Academy with the aim of providing a platform for junior and youth sailors to develop their foiling abilities.
To keep up to date with future opportunities and Athena Pathway’s activities in the run up to next year’s Cup, please keep checking our website, or follow us on Instagram @athenapathway.