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Kiwi sailors Erica Dawson and Micah Wilkinson focus on Nacra 17 world champs

by Suzanne McFadden 29 Aug 15:08 NZST 29 August 2022
Micah Wilkinson & Erica Dawson (NZL) - Nacra 17 - Day 4 - NZL Sailing Team - Semaine Olympique Française de Hyères - April 2022 © Sailing Energy/FFVoile

Kiwi sailors Erica Dawson and Micah Wilkinson are a real medal chance at the Nacra 17 world champs in Canada this week, after a hot streak in Europe. Erica Dawson tells Suzanne McFadden she's loving the ride on a new pro route for women.

From Palma de Mallorca to Marseille, Nova Scotia to Saint-Tropez; Erica Dawson's latest passport stamps read like the lives of the rich and famous.

But it's not champagne and super yachts that have lured Dawson from one beautiful port to the next over the past six months. She's plying her trade on board super-swift foiling yachts - and fast becoming one of the world's best at it.

Convincing her she's rightfully at the front of the fleet, though, is a work in progress.

Having put behind her the disappointment of last year’s Tokyo Olympics – where she competed just over a month after breaking her leg - the 28-year-old Auckland sailor is finally living her dream.

Three years ago, LockerRoom spoke to Dawson about her research travelling the country talking to girls about why they went sailing, the obstacles they faced, or why they’d dropped out altogether. The answers she collected helped form Yachting New Zealand's women and girls strategy to help keep females in the sport; making sure they could see a pathway.

Now Dawson is trailblazing that pathway for women in professional sailing.

And she’s got the 2024 Paris Olympics, the SailGP circuit and even the America’s Cup on her radar.

“A few years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed I’d have all these opportunities to sail around the world - sailing fast foiling cats and picking up new skills,” she says. “I’m definitely living the dream.”

For the rest of this story newsroom.co.nz/erica-dawsons-blazing-new-sailing-trail

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