Team Australia Challenge – Selection Camp

Team Australia Challenge is the official entry for the Youth and Women’s regattas in the 37th America’s Cup, Barcelona 2024. Since announcing the national entry in April 2023 and opening applications from sailing athletes around Australia we have had an impressive roll call of some 132 leading sailors for women and youth.

The criteria for applicants is designated by ETNZ for AC37 with a youth category age of 18 to 25 and an open women’s category – with women eligible to compete in both if they qualify.

With the AC competition being staged in the 4 person AC40 craft for each regatta, the selectors, headed by Patrons John Bertrand AO for women and John Winning for youth, had a daunting culling process over the past months. They and the selectors assessed a fairly even mix of male and female athletes from every state in Australia.

Every single valid application was rated on a matrix for their submission reviewing their application feedback, their resume and their World Sailing profile where applicable. The scoring was conducted by at least two volunteers for every entry and followed with a review by the nine-member Selection Panel.

The first-round scoring reduced the applicants to 85 who were asked to enter a personal video responding to several question. Independent voting by the panel was compiled and 44 athletes invited to complete a Deep Sphere behavioural profile, a fitness assessment and provide 2 further sailing referees.

In the third round the selectors identified 32 athletes invited to the Selection Trials Camp being staged in Sydney from September 13 to 15, with on water and off water activities – including assessment time in the all new AC40 simulator now based in Sydney.

Selectors are anticipating selecting their training squad soon after the Camp, coinciding with the 40th Anniversary of the Australia II history making America’s Cup win. It is expected that the official training squad will be announced before the end of October 2023. A final team to head to Barcelona for the competition is expected in the first half of 2024 ahead of the regattas in September and October.

Athletes or the Selection Training Camp in Sydney include 18 Male and 14 Female athletes with 7 female participants eligible for both youth and women’s regattas.

By State

Tas: Charles Zeeman, Will Cooley

NSW: Miles Davey, Cole Tapper, Paddy Butler, Harry Hall, Harry Smith, Ruben Booth, Jack Hilderbrand, Max Paul, Brin Liddell, Finn Alexander, Jake Liddell, Otto Henry, Ryan Littlechild, Jack Ferguson, Will Sargent, Madeline McLeay, Annie Wilmot, Evie Haseldine, Rita Booth, Tash Bryant, Olivia Price, Lisa Darmanin, Lucy Copeland, Nina Curtis, Jess Grimes, Jamie Ryan

Qld: Tom Needham, Mara Stransky,

Vic: Laura Harding

WA: Zoe Thomson

Panel members at the Sydney selections camp are John Bertrand, AO, John Winning, Yvette Heritage, Victor Paya, Haylee Outteridge, Sam Newton & JC Raad (Deep Sphere).

Story by Carolyn Grant

www.teamaustraliachallenge.org

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