Youth America’s Cup Profile: Connor Astwood

May 21, 2016

In the latest of a series of profiles of members of Bermuda’s team in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, we spotlight Connor Astwood, who provided insight into the dedication and training that it takes to represent one’s country at the very highest of levels.

A former Saltus Grammar School student, Mr. Astwood says “the prestigious event definitely heightens your sense of nationalism, whether you’re in Bermuda or not.”

Team BDA Profile Connor Astwood

Q: Tell us something about yourself.

A: I am 21-years-old and currently finishing my final year at Boston University, studying Chemistry. I went to Saltus Grammar School until the age of 14, when I went away to boarding school.

Q: What does it mean to you to be a Bermudian, racing in Bermuda for Bermuda in such a prestigious event?

A: The concept of racing in Bermuda for Bermuda is not new to me, but the prestigious event definitely heightens your sense of nationalism whether you’re in Bermuda or not. As for racing – I think our home field advantage will support us during the races.

Q: Now that you are in Team BDA what do you hope to achieve – you want to win, but do you think you will take sailing even more seriously and look for a career in it, or at least to get more involved in it?

A: It’s only just 14 months away and I am preparing myself to win the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup for Team BDA. As for my sailing career, I have fortunately been accepted onto SoftBank Team Japan so I will hopefully continue with them after the Youth Cup.

Q: What made you try out for Team BDA in the first place?

A: I grew up sailing at the RBYC since I was eight-years-old and had successes in the sport growing up. After Optimists in Bermuda I continued sailing 420’s in the ‘States for my high school and university, so when the opportunity arose to try out for Team BDA I thought “I have to make this team!”

Q: Do you think that taking part in an event like this is something that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your lives?

A: Taking part in an event like this will teach me valuable lessons in both professionalism and sailing for sure. The way I see it, the America’s Cup is one of the most prestigious Cups in the world and everyone involved with it leaves no stone unturned when it comes to professionalism and doing things well.

Q: What excites you most about the lead-up to race time?

A: I am excited to see how our team develops into professional athletes as each of us gets a chance to show our stuff. By race time, our goal is to make our team a weapon.

Q: Do you think the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup [RBYAC] has the potential to leave a lasting legacy for Bermuda?

A: The RBYAC has a positive impact on the current youth of Bermuda because everyone can see first-hand the professionalism outside our country that is being brought in. As for a lasting legacy, that is up to the younger generations to aspire to and I believe the RBYAC has made a strong catalyst for just that.

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Team BDA is Bermuda’s entry into the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup that will take place in the Great Sound in June 2017. They are mentored by Oracle Team USA and will race on the same high-speed AC45F catamarans seen during last October’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Bermuda.

The team comprises of 15 young Bermudians who will form the crew, the back-up crew and shore crew. Team BDA is being funded entirely by donations.

Team members are Connor Astwood, Mackenzie Cooper, Peter Dill, Preston Farrow, Na’eem Griffith, Philip Hagen, Kalin Hillier, Mustafa Ingham, Emily Nagel, Daniel Pell, Nicholas Pell, Owen Siese, Dimitri Stevens, Shomari Warner and Cecilia Wollmann.

click here Bermuda Youth America’s Cup

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