The Mirpuri Foundation was one of the first women’s teams ever to race the high-speed, high-performance M32 catamarans in the fight for the GKSS Women’s Trophy, the first all-female tournament in  the World Match Racing Tour, and ended up the event with a Rock Cleaning action.

Mariana Lobato, Skipper of the Mirpuri Foundation Team, said: “It was an awesome opportunity to compete at the World Match Racing Tour in Marstrand and drive for the Mirpuri Foundation Team. The GKSS Women’s Trophy – the first all-female tournament of the World Match Racing Tour – counted with only top 5 teams invited and selected by CV and experience.

Sailing this event on high-speed, high-performance M32 catamarans, it’s one more step to enrich our experience as sailors. 

We were always head to head with the other teams, and fighting till the end.

The event took place in Marstrand, Sweden, between the 4th and the 8th of July. The Mirpuri Foundation Team was led by the Portuguese skipper Mariana Lobato and comprised by  crew members Bianca Cook (NZL), Hannah Diamond (GBR),  Malin Holmberg (SWE),  and Lovisa Karlsson (SWE).

The Team:

Mariana Lobato

The Portuguese skipper started sailing when she was 8 years old as the sport has always been a tradition in her family. Her first European championship was performed in the optimist, the small and single-handed sailing boats for children. After that, she kept on racing in the 420, 470, Match Racing, Snipe and Soto 40 competitions, reaching the podium several times. Mariana Lobato participated in the 2012 London Olympic Games but her greatest achievements came right after as she was proclaimed Match Racing World Champion in Korea in 2013 and European Champion in 2014 competing in Soto 40. She has won several gold medals in national championships in Match Racing and Snipe.

 

Bianca Cook (NZL)

Bianca Cook grew up in New Zealand and before the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018 she had been around the world twice already. She entered the race with 70,000 offshore miles accumulated as she has performed numerous Atlantic crossings and three crossings of the equator; she has traversed the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Arctic Ocean and sailed as well around the South Pacific and Asia. She was part of Yachting New Zealand’s extended squad in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics, but the class was later dropped from the programme. Bianca Cook has a degree in graphic design and dedicated five years of her life to working on superyachts and towards her officer of the watch. However, growing up watching the Volvo Ocean Race fleet race into her hometown of Auckland made her dream of one day being part of the regatta. That dream came true as she gained her spot in the Turn the Tide on Plastic team, with Mirpuri Foundation as the Founding Partner.

 

Hannah Diamond (GBR)

Hanna Diamond was born in Great Britain and started sailing when she was 5 years old in the small and single-handed optimist sailing boats. She started racing at the age of 9 and has never stopped since. Her experience is mostly done in the Nacra 17 class, in which she won a silver medal at the World Championship in 2013. She has furthermore competed around the world and was part of the Vestas 11th Hour Racing team in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018. Diamond has one special superstition: No green on the boat.

 

Malin Holmberg (SWE)

Malin Holmberg started sailing at a very young age, maneuvering as well the optimist and later moving to the 420. She took a break from sailing to pursue her university studies, but passion brought her back to the sport and directly to match racing. Within that class, she has won last year the women’s nationals together with the team New Sweden MRT and has been sailing in the WIM series for the past 4 years, the first and only professional sailing series for women. Growing up in Sweden, Malin Holmberg is now at home for the World Match Racing Tour.

 

Lovisa Karlsson (SWE)

The Sweedish Lovisa Karlsson started sailing at the age of 10 and competing at the age of 12, winning her first race when she was 14 years old at the 2009 Swedish Youth Nationals in the optimist class. Since then she has been competing in several sailing events including World Championships, racing mainly in the class of Laser Radial and 470.