Team Canada set to compete in first-ever women’s America’s Cup

To shared

A team of women will compete for an America’s Cup trophy in 2024, marking the first female foray into the 137-year-old sailing competition.

Team Canada’s four-person crew will be led by Vancouver’s Isabella Bertold and will train at a yacht club in the city.

‘It’s super exciting,” she said. “Honestly, it feels a little bit surreal still.”

The 37th America’s Cup will feature up to 12 women’s teams in Barcelona. Each women’s team will be racing an identical, brand new sailboat, the AC40.

“So it’s going to be the best sailors on the water that are going to end up winning,” Bertold said, saying this aspect makes it different from the traditional America’s Cup which sees teams compete in a model called the A75 in a more “technology-driven” race.

The AC40s can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h according to Bertold.

“If you blink, you’ll probably miss us,” she laughed.

She also said the men and women will be learning how to sail the new boats at the same time, so there’s no excuse for there not to be a co-ed team by 2028.

“We’re starting from scratch with the men, learning how to sail these boats, getting the same experience and same amount of racing opportunities that men are. So for the first time ever, the line of, ‘You don’t have the same amount of experience is not going to apply,” she said.

“I grew up racing a bunch of guys and beat them all the time. So I don’t see why that’s going to end anytime soon,” she added.

Bertold also wants the sport to be more accessible.

“There’s a whole bunch of young females that are probably much more talented than I am at sailing these boats that just never even heard of it or never even seen it because they’re not at the right place at the right time,” she said.

Vancouver Coun. Brian Montague also expressed his excitement when the announcement was made on Thursday at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.

“Having an all-women team representing Canada at the prestigious America’s Cup demonstrates how women continue to excel in sport,” he said.

“[It] provides inspiration for those who want to follow in their path,” he continued.

Next summer, everyone in Vancouver can take a look at the AC40s as they will be docked at the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

The teams are set to compete in October 2024.

To shared