Vancouver sailor leads Team Canada in the women’s America’s Cup

This fall a women’s team will leave for the America’s Cup in Barcelona. It is the first time that women can participate in the 173-year-old sailing competition.

The Team Canada squad is led by Vancouver’s Isabella Bertold. She says it will be transformative for the sport.

“We often beat the boys in racing. It is a sport where men and women can compete against each other on a level playing field and the fact that this is now accessible is historic,” Bertold explains.

Sponsorship for the competition includes Telus and RBC, with the team flying the Concord Pacific Racing banner.

“Globally, sailing is much more important in other parts of the world than in Canada, but that is going to change. It’s not just about boats in the water,” said Terry Hui, president and CEO of Concord Pacific.

Bertold says “never before has Canadian sailing had so much support” and is excited about what the future holds for the sport.

“One of my favorite sayings is: If you can see it, you can be it,” she says. “Now, in addition to the men, women will take center stage. When I grew up sailing as a little girl, it was nowhere to be seen.”

During the 37th America’s Cup, a maximum of twelve women’s teams will participate in Barcelona. Each women’s team races an identical, brand new sailboat, the AC40.

Bertold says the men and women will learn how to sail the new boats at the same time, so there is no excuse that there won’t be a mixed team in 2028.

The teams will compete against each other in October.