Her euphoria is contagious, her confidence convincing. Rosalin Kuiper jumped from zero to one hundred in the popularity scale among Ocean Race sailors. The 28-year-old Dutchwoman not only brought a breath of fresh air to the Team Malizia, but was also involved in the world speed record during the Ocean Race as co-skipper in the team with Boris Herrmann, Nicolas Lunven and Will Harris.
She was the only woman (one of the three sailors) to sail all legs and completely circumnavigate the globe in The Ocean Race. Even before her Malizia engagement, she had more than 55,000 nautical miles under her keel, collected in offshore races such as the Fastnet Race, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race or the Ocean Race Europe 2021.
In mid-September, it was announced that she would be joining Nicolas Lunven as a double-head on Holcim-PRB’s Imoca, skippering the 2025 Ocean Race Europe.
float: Rosalin, you now have a wonderful opportunity to start your career at Holcim-PRB. The news struck like a bolt of lightning. I was taken with it because it’s such a good follow up to The Ocean Race on Malizia. You really take off as the female star of The Ocean Race. You’re young, fun, outgoing – and strong, which we saw in the Southern Ocean when you climbed the mast. You’ve done all the stages. And you’re only 28 years old. How do you manage to do that?
Rosalin Kuiper: Thank you very much for the great compliment. I really felt like the best version of myself in the Ocean Race. I almost took wings. Especially in Team Malizia I felt like I was in the right place: strengthened by everyone who works there in this open-minded team. They think a bit outside the box.
The role I had in Team Malizia was perfect for me because I could develop it myself. Everyone had the opportunity to do that. I think when you work and live in an environment where everyone can be the best version of themselves, you can create beautiful things together. That’s how I experienced it.
At Team Malizia we had a very young team. Sometimes we were about 40 people. At The Ocean Race we had five sailors, the technical team and one commercial teams. The average age was 31 years old. We counted 11 nationalities and the gender ratio was almost 50/50. All these points make it a well-functioning team.
This was palpable by following you on social channels. What does it take for a woman to compete in the racing scene?
You have to be mentally strong. You should believe in yourself, because the road can be pretty lonely. Believe in your own strength, your own power and the things you’re good at. I mean, women are different than men. I see a lot of women who only see what they don’t have compared to a man. Embrace what you do have! The positive things you have as a woman. Stay positive. Every time I get knocked down, I try to get up with a smile and try again and again and again.
It sounds like you’re a very optimistic person who doesn’t have any problems …
Well, I think that when you sail, you follow the rules of nature. You eat, you sail, you go to the bathroom, you sleep. You just follow very basic principles. And then there’s not much difference between men and women. I never felt like I was the only woman on board when we sailed. I only felt this way when a journalist asked me: What is it like for you to be the only woman on the ship, I said: ‘Well, I don’t know how it is to sail with only man, because I’m not a man’. So just believe in yourself and go for it. Don’t think about it too much.
You are building your own team now?
Yes, Nicolas Lunven and I are very lucky to be able to build a new team. There are still some people from the old team, but not many. For me, one of the challenges is to build an environment where everyone feels the best version of themselves. My desire is to create a lot of diversity, to think open-mindedly, to be unconventional and to be refreshing. That’s a nice challenge at the moment, and I’m taking it on one hundred percent.