ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami is hosting the first regatta for the Nacra 17 mixed multihull and whilst most of the seven competing crews bring in multihull experience, Canada's Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke are newcomers to the discipline.
Although they're new to the class they bring Olympic experience to the fleet that can only be rivalled by the experienced Enrique Figueroa (PUR) and Sarah Lihan (USA). Ramsay sailed the 470 at London 2012 and Girke first sailed 470 at Athens 2004 before two RS:X experiences at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Now they've teamed up for a new chapter in their sailing career as Ramsay said, "For me it was the challenge of doing something new. I really wanted to switch to a faster and more exciting boat and there was an opportunity to sail with Nikola and she's someone I always wanted to sail with and looked up to as an athlete."
Ramsay sailed with Michael Leigh at London 2012 and finished 25th whilst Girke made the Women's RS:X Medal Race to finish 10th overall. Shortly after the Olympic Sailing Competition the pair joined forces as Girke explained, "Once the Olympics were over I didn't know where to begin. But on the last night Luke's coach said, 'What about Luke and you in the Nacra?' It hadn't even crossed my mind and the more I thought about it, it was something I could actually do and it would be exciting."
After three days of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami the duo sit in sixth place but at such an early stage in the their own personal development, it's not all about the results just yet. "Having both sailed double handed classes before we know what the communication needs to be like so it's just figuring it out for each other and it's been really good," said Girke. "It's a really steep learning curve, there's so much with the boat, technical wise and setting it up. It's so opposite to everything we learnt before. Flat is not fast."
For now the pair trail some of the experienced multihull sailors, but with Olympic know-how and good support behind them the only way is up.
View an interview with Ramsay and Girke on the ISAF TV Player here.
Nacra 17 Results from ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami