Second generation Mini sailor


The Artemis Offshore Academy's Nikki Curwen tells us of her Mini campaign for 2013
A story to follow in 2013 will be that of new Artemis Offshore Academy recruit Nikki Curwen as she takes to the Mini. For Nikki is a second generation sailor to take to the pint-sized 21ft long ocean racers. Her father Simon still holds the accolade of being the UK’s top placed finisher in the Mini Transat, when he came home second overall in 2001 (beating Mark Turner and Alex Bennett’s fifth-places in 1997 and 1999 respectively), a record that remains unbeaten. The Curwens have been sailing-mad since before Nikki was born, both in dinghies and keelboats. Nikki, the middle of three daughters, reckons that pretty much from the moment she was born she was being taken out in the family boats. In her own right, after some sailing courses in Oppies, she began racing aged 8 with the Cadet fleet on Frensham Pond, close to where they lived just outside Farnham in Surrey. She remained in the Cadet fleet for seven or eight years first crewing and then helming. Nikki was 10-11 when her father undertook his highly successful year-long Mini campaign and the family would occasionally come out to the various events. The Christmas before the Mini Transat their family holiday was in Barcelona, coinciding with a Mini qualification event as well as the start of The Race. As a result Nikki spent her teenage years with posters of the PlayStation and Club Med maxi cats adorning her bedroom walls. The family went to see dad off at the start of the 2001 Mini Transat and subsequently followed his exceptional progress in that race. It came as some surprise that an amateur sailor coming from a Sigma 33 and Fireballs, should beat seasoned pros such as Sam Davies and Brian Thompson, only losing the race to future Vendee Globe

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