Uphill struggle

The Daily Sail catches up with Maiden II crewman and Yngling campaigner Sharon Ferris
When it comes to multi-talented yachtswomen in our sport, there are few with credentials as impressively diverse as Kiwi Sharon Ferris. Tracy Edwards stalwart, Ferris was on board Royal & SunAlliance and spent last season setting the world ablaze on board Maiden 2. She was also on board Amer Sport Too in the Volvo Ocean Race and now has her teeth firmly into her third Olympic campaign - this time in the Yngling. To say the campaign was an uphill struggle would be an understatement. Running a Yngling campaign from New Zealand is a highly expensive business. "When the decision was changed that is was going to become fleet racing [and not match racing] and it was going to be the Yngling, from our position in New Zealand, it was almost a case of ‘no way, can't do it - it’s going to be impossible’," says Ferris. "Because match racing you can train anywhere in the world. You can be in your home town. You can train against guys or girls. The difference between a match racing team and a fleet racing team in a Yngling is about NZ$300,000." She is equally critical about the choice of the Yngling. "The Yngling they bought in because they thought it was a fair boat, but I don’t understand how can you consider a boat being fair when it was designed 35 years ago? They've been sailing them in some countries for 35 years and in others they haven’t ever heard of the thing [New Zealand being one]. "And there are many countries like New Zealand around. I’ve had countries from Asia ring me asking me to be a training partner for them because they wanted to get into the women’s keelboat. They found out it was a Yngling and found out it