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Vancouver sailor leads Team Canada in Women's America's Cup

Vancouver sailor leads Team Canada in Women's America's Cup

The women's team will sail to the America's Cup in Barcelona this fall. This is the first time that women have been able to compete in the 173-year-old sailing competition.

Team Canada's crew will be led by Isabella Berthold of Vancouver. She says it will be transformative for the sport.

“Often we beat the boys in the race. It is a sport in which men and women can compete head-to-head on equal terms, and access to it is now historic,” explains Berthold.

Sponsors for the competition include Telus and RBC, with the team sailing under the Concord Pacific Racing banner.

“Globally, sailing is a much bigger deal in other parts of the world than in Canada, but that will change. It's not just about boats in the water,” says Terry Howe, president and CEO of Concord Pacific.

“Canadian sailing has never had such support,” says Berthold, who is excited about what the future holds for the sport.

“One of my favorite quotes is that if you can see it, you can be it,” she says. “Now, there will be women taking center stage alongside the men. When I grew up as a little girl sailing, there was nowhere to be seen.”

The 37th America's Cup will feature up to 12 women's teams in Barcelona. Each women's team will race aboard a brand new sailboat, the AC40.

Men and women will learn how to sail the new boats at the same time, so there's no excuse for not having a mixed team by 2028, says Bertold.

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The teams are scheduled to compete in October.

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