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Inspire SailGP

Kiwis take out SailGP's Inspire Racing

Issue date

New Zealand sailors dominated the Waszp Inspire Racing in Sydney last weekend, with Kiwis taking out the boy's and girl's titles.

Stella Bilger finished as top female in the eight-boat final and Sean Herbert and Sam Street were first and second overall.

Four young New Zealanders earned their spots following a qualification round in Auckland and were among 16 sailors who competed in Sydney alongside the first round of the 2020 SailGP. 

The Inspire programme was devised as a pathway to SailGP to give them an opportunity to be exposed to professional sailing and everything that comes with that. The three-day programme involved training, racing, a tour around the F50 bases and a meet and greet with some of the SailGP sailors. 

Three females qualified for the final, including both Bilger and Amelie Back from New Zealand, with Bilger claiming the title in dramatic fashion with a daring late gybe on the finish line of the final race. Remarkably, Bilger has been sailing a Waszp for about only two months after previously sailing a P-Class and 29er. 

Herbert has also been dabbling with the Waszp after previously winning three consecutive Starling national titles. He sailed a little more consistently than Street, who mixed race wins with a handful of crashes but still finished ahead of Australia's Will Cooley who last year won the Nacra 15 world title.

Herbert won a brand new Waszp but it came with a strict policy that if the winner already owned a Waszp they were required to pass their existing boat on at no financial gain to another under-20 sailor. Herbert decided to keep it in the family and passed it on to his younger sister.

Overall Results


1st: Sean Herbert (NZL)
2nd: Sam Street (NZL)

3rd: Will Cooley (AUS)


1st: Stella Bliger (NZL)
2nd: Anna Yamazaki (JON)
3rd: Amelie Back (NZL)