Olympic Profile: Lisa Darmanin, Nacra 17 Crew

Jessica Watson
Posted August 4 2016

With only a few days until the Olympic opening ceremony, it’s time to get to know another of our sailing team. Lisa Darmanin is crew in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull class and was named 2015’s Australian Sailor of the Year. The 24-year-old grew up sailing on Sydney Harbour and holds a Bachelor of Commerce.

Lisa’s skipper Jason—who also happens to be her cousin—is a talented multihull sailor competing in the Red Bull Extreme Sailing series and sailing with an America’s Cup campaign. Having won the Rio 2015 test event on Olympic waters last year, Lisa and Jason are well positioned to take home medals. Jess put a few questions to Lisa earlier this week.

Jess: What is it about sailing that you love?

Lisa: The thing I love most about sailing is the freedom that you get when you are on the water. Nothing else in the world at matters in that moment. You are free and are in the hands of the elements.

Jess: What’s your idea of perfect sailing conditions? Do you have a competitive advantage in any particular conditions?

Lisa: I love flat water and 18knots—it’s just the prime conditions for foiling the Nacra 17. You can push it to the limit without too much fear and you reach top speeds. Jason and I are really strong in the marginal trapezing conditions as we are really good at working as a team to get the best out of the boat so about 7-8 knots, but also if it blows 25+ I trust Jason so much to get us around the race track safely!

Jess: Multihulls vs monohulls, you’ve sailed both, which do you prefer and why?

Lisa: I have done a lot of multihull sailing and a lot of skiff sailing growing up. They both have different sensations but the multihull—especially the Nacra—is an amazing boat that always keeps you on your toes. Flying a hull is a great feeling and the speeds we get to on the multihulls is also incredible. I’m so excited to see all the America’s Cup, Extreme Sailing Series and World Match Racing all tearing around on amazing multihulls.

Jess: What do you do to prepare yourself mentally for a big race?

Lisa: I just stay calm and be myself. I race so many times throughout the year, and we always race to be our best with the goal of being on top of the podium so a big race is just another race to me! It’s harder on shore to keep a cool head, as soon as I step on the boat I’m in the zone and the winning mentality is there.

Jess: You’ve sailed with Jason for a long time. Is this an advantage and has your teamwork and communication changed over the years?

Lisa: Our team has always been a strong team but we have definitely developed since our youth days - we are very different people and very different sailors, and although we complement each other perfectly I think we have learnt from each other and bring the best out of each other. Our teamwork and communication is so strong; we really help each other out on the water.

Jess: Can you ever see yourself as a cruising sailor? Can you relax on the water or is it all about the competition?

Lisa: I can definitely see myself cruising some amazing parts of this world! I love being on the water; it is the one place I can 100% relax. I’m not sure I will be going solo around the world anytime soon, but the cruising life might find me some time.

You can follow Lisa and Jason on Facebook and wish them luck!

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