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Lymington’s Rogers selected for history-seeking British Youth America’s Cup team

LYMINGTON’S Hattie Rogers is part of the British team seeking to make history at the Youth America’s Cup.

Rogers will be part of a star-studded 12-strong squad – which includes the Youth and Women’s America’s Cup squad – that boasts six Olympic and 22 world championship medals.

The Royal Lymington Yacht Club sailor has been showing incredible form, and she recently stormed to a WASZP World title triumph to become the first-ever woman to win the world, European and national female titles in one season.

Lymington's Hattie Rogers will race for the British team in the Youth America's Cup
Lymington's Hattie Rogers will race for the British team in the Youth America's Cup

At the WASZP International Games in Sorrento, she finished as the highest-placed female ever at a WASZP Games, the first female to achieve the triple crown in a year, and number one in the female global WASZP rankings.

The Puig Women’s America’s Cup and Youth America’s Cup take place alongside the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona in September and October 2024.

Hannah Mills OBE and Sir Ben Ainslie – an honorary life member of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club – announced the Athena Pathway squad in the race to win the inaugural Puig Women’s America’s Cup and retain the Youth America’s Cup for Britain.

In response, Hattie remarked: “To be selected as part of the British Athena Pathway Squad for the 37th America’s Cup is an absolute honour.

The Athena Pathway AC40 boat which can sail at speeds of up to 62 mph (Photo: Cameron Gregory/Athena Pathway)
The Athena Pathway AC40 boat which can sail at speeds of up to 62 mph (Photo: Cameron Gregory/Athena Pathway)

“We have a strong group of sailors from different backgrounds within the team, and each brings their own strengths. I can’t wait to learn and work with them all over the next nine months.”

The Athena Pathway was launched in August 2022 by Mills and Ainslie, the world’s most successful Olympic sailors, with the aim of fast-tracking development in high-performance sailing and bringing diversity into the sport.

Ainslie, who is an Honorary Freeman of Lymington and Pennington, spoke about what he sees as an immensely exciting year ahead for Athena Pathway: “We couldn’t be prouder of what Athena Pathway stands for – giving youth and female sailors more opportunity in our sport.

“We have selected a high-calibre squad and will set our expectations high.”

Over 300 sailors applied to be in the squad, with an 18-month trial period whittling the hopefuls down into women’s and youth teams.

Hattie outlined her pathway to put her in the best place for selection: “I always knew after my ship science engineering master’s degree, I wanted to go into professional sailing.

“The foiling scene was starting to build huge momentum and is now at a global scale with the likes of the America’s Cup and the SailGP circuit, so I decided to learn how to foil competitively on the WASZP dinghy circuit.

Last year, I also started sailing the International Moth, which has provided a different arena of racing within foiling. The Moth is a technical boat and has been great to hone in on these aspects of foiling.”

The trials comprised on-water and simulator-based analysis, used to assess the hopefuls’ abilities to adapt to the unique skillset required to sail at speeds of up to 100kph in an AC40, a highly technical foiling monohull, which will be used in the women’s and youth regattas.

The process was led by Olympian and former Royal Naval Officer Penny Clark, who has extensive experience coaching the British Sailing Team from youth to podium level, and Olympic 49er bronze medallist Chris Draper, an America’s Cup veteran.

About the selection, Mills said: “It’s great to see the level of talent coming through in the UK, and Athena Pathway is focused on supporting and developing this talent both on and off the water – with the longer-term aim of inspiring the next generation into, and through, the sport of sailing.”

With most of the team’s training to date having taken place on the simulator, preparations are due to intensify over the coming months, aided by the arrival of Athena Pathway’s AC40 in Barcelona.

To follow Hattie’s AC journey, go to her Instagram @hats.sailing

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