Olympian Olivia Price has been officially unveiled as the skipper of the Kleenmaid SuperFoiler, and she’s excited about being the only female steerer in sailing’s version of Twenty20 cricket.
The London silver medallist admits she was hesitant about taking on the responsibility of racing in the Australian series against a field which boasts America’s Cup winners, fellow Olympians and World Champions filled after a global recruitment drive for the series.
“Competing against the best athletes of any gender in the sport – people I have looked up to is daunting,” Price said.
“Although, I am not intimidated by the challenge and I know the crew I have assembled can win races and upset a few of the big names.”
The 25-year old will be joined by compatriots and world champions Josh McKnight and Harry Morton on the Kleenmaid SuperFoiler for the summer Grand Prix circuit which kicks off across Australia from February 2018.
“Being a female I think people will underestimate me, I will give it as hard as I get it. I am going to be aggressive on the start line. I am going to do whatever I can to throw it to those boys.”
“We are definitely in it to win it. It is going to be open slather on the race course. It is going to be whoever learns the quickest and applies it to the races.’
After completing her first outing on Sydney Harbour, the skipper was honest about the challenges her crew will encounter controlling a machine capable of roaring beyond 80 kilometres an hour.
“It is frighteningly fast, but I have every confidence we will be able to master her quickly and perform lightening manoeuvres. The safety systems are state of the art so that takes some of the stress out of it. We are right to fly this series,” Price said.
SuperFoiler COO Jack Macartney believes Olivia is a benchmark for the series.
“I think this machine will have a distinct advantage. The Kleenmaid SuperFoiler weighs less than the front row of the Wallabies. With Olivia driving she will bring a finesse that will surprise many. I’m sure she will score some great results.”
Olivia’s SuperFoiler will be joined on the Grand Prix circuit and on Sydney Harbour for training during December and January by five other SuperFoiler machines – all vying for glory and the storied Ben Lexcen Trophy – which will be presented to the boat with the highest cumulative total after the five regattas.
The racing will be shown nationally on Channel Seven.