The British Annie Lush has signed with Offshore Team Germany. In 2021/22 she will contest her third Ocean Race on board the "Einstein".
"After the two participations in 2014/15 and 2017/18 I had closed the chapter for the time being and wanted to concentrate on my role as a mother. But with this team I like to attack again. Great people have come together here, and it is a great job to be able to help build the team from the start, "said 39-year-old Lush.
The relationship with the German TOR campaign was already established in 2012. As part of the British match race team, she sailed off Weymouth at the Olympic Games and immediately found a good rapport in the Olympic Village with Robert Stanjek, who was sailing in the star boat for Germany at the time. For both of them it was the first Olympic Games and at the same time the supposed last chance to sail under the five rings, their disciplines for 2016 were deleted from the Olympic program. Both have ideas to switch offshore after the Olympics and to sail around the world in the Ocean Race. "I had seen the Ocean Racer stage finish in Brazil and immediately thought: Wow, this is the top of team sport. I have to be there," said the Briton.
For Annie Lush, the door to the Ocean Race opened quickly after the 2012 Games. Sponsor SCaus Sweden built an all-women team for the 2014/15 race. And Lush, match race world champion from 2005, 2006 and 2010, was immediately part of the selected squad after the trials. "400 women wanted to be there. I was immediately fascinated after the first day on the VO70. We rushed over the waves at 18 knots. It was a whole new world for me, until then I was only used to boat speed of four knots." The team had to prepare for a completely new challenge:
"I'm happy on the water. But until the Ocean Race, I also enjoyed sitting in the pub with friends in the evening. Suddenly it was time to focus completely for nine months - always keeping an eye on the team, on trim and speed. But I quickly realized: That's what I like."
And Team SC developed rapidly: "Compared to the other teams, we started with little experience. At the beginning it was frustrating, we were behind the top of days in the first stages. But in the course of the race it turned into hours, and we even won the eighth stage. " The crew members of Team SC made a name for themselves in the offshore scene, and Annie Lush continued her ocean racing career in the 2017/18 edition on board Team Brunel with skipper Bouwe Bekking, sailing alongside superstar Peter Burling to three stage wins and third place overall, but also had painful experiences. On the third leg from Cape Town to Melbourne, the boat was hit by a hard wave in the Southern Ocean. Annie Lush on the grinder was knocked over and severely injured in her back. Finally, in Melbourne, fractures were found. But Annie Lush survived this injury and is now back in the mood for offshore sailing. "Robert invited me to Kiel last year to christen the ImocOpen 60 of the OTG," smiles Lush, who won her fourth World Championship title in match race in 2018 and has since won 18 medals at World and European Championships. "Then we sailed the Welcome Race, and finally Robert offered me to sail the Imoc60 'Einstein' in the Fastnet Race." The temptations paid off
"It's a great boat, it's a lot of fun. And we really learned a lot from this race."
Annie Lush caught fire again for her third participation in the Ocean Race and the first of the Offshore Team Germany:
"I am very excited to be part of the OTG. We are in a great situation: We have a boat, a team and time to prepare. We are ready to put Germany back on the Ocean Race map after 20 years!"
According to the team, the Open 60 "Einstein" is currently being prepared in southern England for the installation of the latest generation of foils. In addition, the team has ordered a Dehler 30 od and wants to use it as a training platform in Germany.