Top Youth AC Sailors To See Intense Competition

March 5, 2016

The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup will bring the best national youth teams to Bermuda for racing in 2017 during the 35th America’s Cup.

“Six youth crews will compete in Bermuda through their affiliation with current America’s Cup teams. Up to 10 additional teams will be selected by Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Sport Directors Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher before the end of the November 2016,” the organisers said.

Youth AC Sailor Bermuda Mar 1 2016 (1)

“These top teams will then race in a Qualifying Series to determine the top eight who will face off in two days of fleet racing scheduled during the week between the America’s Cup Finals.

“All racing in Bermuda will be in the same one-design AC45F foiling catamarans the America’s Cup teams compete with in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.

“The selection of crews for the Qualifying Series in Bermuda in 2017 will be made by the double Olympic Gold Medalists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher.

“In 2013 we proved the talent level of the sailors in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, with Peter Burling, the winner, now helming the Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup challenge to the top of the leaderboard,” said Hagara.

“And he’s not the only one: Blair Tuke and Guy Endean are also with the Kiwi team; Cooper Dressler has joined ORACLE TEAM USA and Luke Parkinson is with Artemis Racing. For 2017 we are focused on bringing in more sailors, from more countries, and I’m sure down the road we will see even more making the move from the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup event into the America’s Cup.”

Youth AC Sailor Bermuda Mar 1 2016 (2)

“The challenge gets even harder and more exciting as we add the foiling element to the equation,” said Steinacher, talking about the AC45F foiling catamarans. “I know we will be pushing these sailors outside their comfort zones, but that is why this is so compelling for the athletes.”

The inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup champion was a Kiwi team skippered by Peter Burling, now the helmsman of Emirates Team New Zealand. He has advice for aspiring teams.

Youth AC Sailor Bermuda Mar 1 2016 (3)

“It’s a great opportunity and you have to make the most of it,” he said from Oman this week, where he has helmed Emirates Team New Zealand to the top of the overall Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series leaderboard. “You may only get one opportunity like this – get out there and have fun.”

“I have no doubt the teams that make it to Bermuda are going to feature some of the best young sailors in the world,” said Jimmy Spithill [AUS], skipper of ORACLE TEAM USA. “There is now a pathway that leads to the America’s Cup and the first step is with the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.”

- Photos courtesy of Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool

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