In front of a global audience, brains and brawn were on show as sailors pitted their wits in what is regarded as the pinnacle in team racing competitions.
From groundbreaking engineering to raw grit and athletic prowess, in nearly all aspects of the event the University of Southampton was playing its part.
Southampton alumni were leading teams, from technical direction with Dr Dan Bennasconi (PhD, 2006) at triumphant Emirates Team New Zealand, to coordinating design with Adam May (MEng Aerospace Engineering, 1999) at Artemis Racing, as well as through intern placements with Ben Ainslie Racing – our people have been at the cutting edge of the elite sport.
There are few that have made more of an impact than Southampton’s very own Annabel Vose who just finished her four-year undergraduate masters degree in ship science. She is due to graduate this summer, but first had the small matter of competing in – and ultimately winning – the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.
In a nail-biting finale 23-year-old strategist Annabel, the only female member of the Land Rover BAR Academy team, and her colleagues, won the title after holding their nerve against nearest rivals the New Zealand team.
A delighted Annabel, pictured above celebrating with her team, said: “I think all the effort we’ve put in throughout the year just meant that we could pull together as a team and get the results that we needed to take the win and we are absolutely thrilled by the result.”
Southampton alumni also made a difference off the water by taking advantage of the University’s links with racing teams including BAR.
Behind the scenes Research Fellow Dr Laura Marimon-Giovannetti (MEng Ship Science, Yacht and Small Craft, 2013; PhD Mechanical Engineering, 2017) spent a year with the Land Rover BAR team as an intern running simulations around designs aimed at making the foils more efficient.
In fact her placement not only benefited the BAR team, but furthered her own sailing ambitions. As a world-class sailor herself, Laura hopes to be winning medals for the Great Britain sailing team in Tokyo 2020.
She says: “I came to Southampton to study ship science because it was the best in the world. It was my dream come true to be a ship scientist and being an international level sailor myself it has benefitted my campaign to be at Tokyo 2020.”
Laura is one of many talented PhD students in the field of sports performance emerging from the University, enhancing Southampton’s reputation as world-leading in the field.
Current work overseen by Dr Joe Banks includes taking research into the field to improve sailor performance by studying how their positions can be measured and analysed while actually out on the water. To find out more about how our work is improving sports performance, read our Research highlights article.
Read a full interview with Annabel here