The First Female at the Helm of an America’s Cup Challenger
America’s Cup is not the one to boast about gender equality. The oldest sailing competition in the world has been so far a ‘Man’s Man’s Man’s World’, with two exceptions. In 1992, Dawn Riley defended the title with America3 syndicate, and in 1995, Mighty Mary female crew competed at the pre-qualification regattas. In 2021, the 36th edition of America’s Cup should have the first female at the helm in the history of the competition. The Dutch syndicate, Dutch Sailing, selected Carolijn Brouwer to be the person at the helm of the innovative AC75 foiling monohull.
Carolijn is a first-class sailor; winner of the last-year’s edition of Volvo Ocean Race with Dongfeng (including another two appearances in an off-shore marathon), two-time winner of the prestigious Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award, and three-time Olympian. ‘Sailing has three major tournaments – the Olympic Games, Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup. For me, the latter was the missing link. I am honoured and lucky to be a part of the Dutch campaign. These are exciting times for women in sailing. The sport is slowly starting to move in the right direction’, said Brouwer. There should be six more syndicates in Auckland besides defenders Emirates Team New Zealand. Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy), American Magic (USA), Stars & Stripes Team USA (USA), Ineos Team UK (UK), DutchSail AC 36 (Netherlands) and Malta Altus Challenge (Malta).
Photos by Volvo Ocean Race