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Engineering

International sailing success for Southampton Ship Science student

Published: 19 May 2022
Hattie Rogers

Southampton Ship Science student Hattie Rogers recently represented Great Britain claiming victory in the SailGP Inspire WASZP Grand Final sailing championships in San Francisco, an international circuit akin to F1. 

Hattie, a fourth-year student, beat off stiff competition to become the first ever SailGP Inspire WASZP Female Champion and Fastest Female F50 Helm. 

The 21-year-old, from Lymington, was among youth sailors from around the globe that were selected to compete in their national SailGP Inspire event, with the winners from each nation going on to compete in the Grand Final. 

The event ran over three days and Hattie won nine out of her 11 races, coming second in the other two. 

As she was lining up to compete in the championships, Hattie received a surprise phone call asking her to step up to Sir Ben Ainslie’s British SailGP Team in place of an unwell female SailGP GBR member. Without hesitation, she took the opportunity with both hands and went on to complete two days training with the team and had the opportunity to drive the F50 – one of the fastest racing catamarans – reaching a speed of 48.2 knots and becoming the world’s fastest woman helm in a F50. 

She said: “Just a few minutes after I took the wheel, a gust came through and we bore away and hit 48.2 knots! It was a bit surreal with Ben looking back at me from the grinding position with the biggest smile on his face. I was unaware of the exact speed until the shore team told me I was unofficially the fastest women helm in an F50! 

“The week in San Francisco was one of the best weeks of my life. From helming the British SailGP F50 to becoming SailGP WASZP Grand Final Women's Champion for Season 2, was absolutely insane. I can't thank enough my family, my sponsors, the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, the RYA, the University of Southampton and all my coaches over the years for believing in me and helping me to chase my dreams. I can't wait for the next chapter, wherever that may take me.”

 

Hattie Rogers

Hattie learnt to sail at the age of two and was crowned British Optimist Junior Ladies National Champion in 2012 and British Optimist Senior Ladies National Champion in 2013. She went on to be successful in the 29er skiff, qualifying for the Youth Worlds in 2017, before moving into the foiling WASZP class. She is in the fourth year of her MEng Ship Science degree at Southampton and hopes to win the America’s Cup and SailGP for Great Britain in the future. 

She said: “The University of Southampton have been a vital part of my sailing journey. It’s always been extremely important to find a good balance between training hard during the week and studying. I have been part of the sports bursary program for the past four years and we have been working hard to build up my fitness for the SailGP WASZP Grand Final in San Francisco. All the coaches and staff have been so supportive whilst I’ve been at Southampton. I couldn’t have really asked for a better four years. 

“I knew I wanted to study engineering after college and Ship Science at the University of Southampton was my one and only choice! I knew that the course content would feed directly into my sailing from a technical perspective, the facilities were second to none and the University’s location could all blend completely with my sailing close by. 

“Innovation and technology are the backbone of the America’s Cup and SailGP, and I have particularly enjoyed understanding more of the physics behind the sport which has enabled me to see sailing in a different way.” 

Follow Hattie’s sailing journey here.

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