Hannah Diamond

/Hannah Diamond
Hannah Diamond 2018-08-28T11:56:06+00:00

Hometown: Southampton
Career Highlights:
British Sailing Team 2012-2016
World Championship Silver Medal Nacra 17 Class 2013
Team GB Representative Rio Pre-Olympics 2015
Leg Winner Volvo Ocean Race 2017/2018

Hannah Diamond started sailing at 6 years old, having been brought up surrounded by boats and began racing at 9 years old. Her first international competition was at the age of 12 and then Hannah went on to represent Great Britain at World and European Championships at both junior and youth level, twice winning the Female Youth European Championships in the double handed 29er class. Hannah then transitioned into a Laser Radial, a single-handed class where she moved into the Senior Olympic class and qualified for Gold fleet at just 19 years old. During this time, she was also studying Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Exeter where she went on to study for a Masters Degree in Sports Medicine. After graduating from her MSc, Hannah began a full-time campaign for the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class. This was the first compulsory mixed class in sailing at the Olympic Games and Hannah and her helm went on to win a silver medal at the World Championships and several other international medals.

In September 2015 Hannah changed to a new helm and they were under huge time pressure to be good enough to be selected for the Olympic Games. They went on to win selection to the Pre-Olympics, against the odds and established themselves as the top British team. The Olympic trials held over the winter of 2015/2016 were one of those events where anything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong. Illness in Rio in the lead up to the first trial event affected Hannah and her helm’s performance and then being crashed into by another boat took them out of several races in the second event and the gap became too much to make up for the third and final selection event. They were devastated at losing the trials after showing so much promise so early on in their campaign.

At this point Hannah decided to take a bit of time away from Olympic Sailing and move into bigger boats, to try and learn as much as she could from more experienced sailors from around the world. She was lucky enough to sail with some incredible people and gain some useful contacts when the Volvo Ocean Race announced that they would be introducing a rule to encourage female participation in the race. There was already an Under 30 rule and being a 28-year-old female, Hannah thought that this was her chance to be part of this around the world race. Hannah’s trial to join Vestas 11th Hour Racing was a transatlantic – over 3000 miles of job interview! Fortunately, they signed Hannah up after her performance there and she joined the team later in the year. The race was 9 months long and covers 45000 miles and Hannah shared her time on board with another young female sailor. They had a lot of ups and down in the race and it taught Hannah a huge amount to take forward both in her life and in sailing. Hannah learnt that it was more than a race but also a huge adventure and she is now sailing professionally for a number of teams around the world and looking for the next big challenge!