Sailor and Year 12 Ascham student, Ella, enjoyed a very special work placement recently with the SailGP Shore teams. For this year’s SailGP Sydney series, Ella was selected as one of ten 18+ year olds from around Australia. She wrote this special report about her time working with the SailGP Shore team…
‘As Ascham’s Captain of Innovation with a strong desire to study engineering at university, and also Ascham’s Vice-Captain of Sailing, this was a dream come true for me, combining my two greatest passions: STEM and Sailing.
It was particularly exciting to be assigned to the Australian SailGP team for the week, not because they currently dominate the league but because sharing a culture and being part of operations during a home-town event was incredibly special. The daily banter, as only Aussies know how, made me instantly feel part of the team. The energy within the Australian team is palpable and this only grew as we head toward race day.
Work-placement within the Shore Teams is an opportunity to support end-to-end operations in real time; this includes the building and maintenance of the F50. For the first four or five days, time was spent unpacking equipment from containers, assembling the boat and ensuring everything was race ready.
Sailing days occurred later in the week and it was at this point the role split between a shore role and an on-water role, where members run through checks and make sure everything is operational. Once ready, we rolled out the boat and launched it. At the end of each day, the shore team packs up; we would run through the jobs list again carrying out full checks of the boat, ensuring the F50 was ready for the next day of sailing.
One of the highlights for me (of which there were many), was being on the chase boat on race day. It was satisfying to observe how the culmination of efforts between the athletes, shore and technical teams came together and the calm energy with which everyone worked together – particularly fixing a maintenance issue that had the boat ready with one minute to spare before the first race. Those guys are impressive!
Other highlights include networking opportunities that have remained well after the week was over, collectively within SailGP itself, the Australian team, other shore teams and interns assigned to other country shore teams.
I would encourage anyone 18 years and older who is interested to apply for SailGP Inspire Careers. It is a genuine opportunity for a career within SailGP and an excellent insight into a thoroughly professional organisation across all departments. I am more skilled for having taken part and most grateful to have been awarded the opportunity.’