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The Austrian Ocean Race Project

Winning the first leg The Austrian Ocean Race Project (VO65 boats) sailboat has won the first leg of the Ocean Race Europe with Annika Möslein (2019, DPhil Engineering) as the sail trimmer.

The Austrian Race Project syndicate is a young and ambitious team of international sailors with a shared enthusiasm for big boat sailing. Their stated goal is to race around the world in The Ocean Race 2022-23 and their entry into The Ocean Race Europe is a major milestone on the way to achieving that goal. For The Ocean Race Europe the team will operate a core crew of sailors with others rotated in on each of the offshore legs.

AnnikaAnnika won The Vincent’s Avery W Broadbent Scholarship for Sailing at the 2019 Vincent’s Club Awards. She has been captain of the Oxford University Yacht Club. When she’s not sailing, she works on her DPhil researching the near-field characterisation of hybrid nanomaterials, polymer films, and tuneable nanocomposites useful for emerging technologies such as photonics sensors and optoelectronics. Annika previously studied Engineering Science at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany.

Annika’s first experience racing on a yacht was in Oxford when came on her year abroad, as she writes, “At Freshers’ Fair, I signed up to the yacht club, joined their first sailing weekend – and I got hooked! I was truly passionate/a little bit crazy about sailing, took every opportunity to gain more racing experience through University sailing and beyond, and within a year, I had sailed more than 6000 nautical miles and was competing on an international level. The opportunity to combine both academics and competitive sailing was the main reason for me to come back to Oxford.”

“It can be quite intense, there are no breaks, especially because I have to use all my holidays for offshore racing, where we push ourselves to the limits (without any sleep lasting longer than 2.5 hours – at least I am prepared for the night shifts during our experiments in the particle accelerator!). It never gets boring – I absolutely love sailing and engineering and I feel very lucky to be able to pursue both passions at a high level!”

You can follow Annika and her progress on Twitter. You can also view the boats’ progress on the Ocean Race website.

Published: 9 June 2021

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