Red Bull Youth AC selections underway
A feature of the next year’s America’s Cup calendar is the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, to be held over 1-4 September. The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup has been created to give youth sailors, aged 19-24, an opportunity to compete in America’s Cup-style racing and to identify the next stars of the sport.
This week competition started for a coveted spot in next September’s races as Oracle Team USA is hosting six teams over three two-day sessions to select the crews that will represent the U.S. and San Francisco in next year’s competition. A selection series for international teams is planned for February 2013.
The six US teams feature sailors from 10 states, all with varied résumés in dinghy and keelboat racing. Each crew is comprised of six sailors, one more than Cup teams because the sailors are 40-50 pounds lighter than a Cup sailor.
After seeing four teams through the first four days of the training camp, Oracle Team USA coach Darren Bundock pronounced it an ongoing success
“We’ve had a bit of fun,” said Bundock. “We’re happy with the level the sailors displayed. We had no idea what level we would see.”
The youth sailors go through an orientation process with the AC45 before they’re allowed to sail. They help rig the boat and launch it. On the water, Bundock rides in the back of the boat with a second Oracle Team USA sailor up front. Each helps the youth sailors with pointers and tips for how to sail the boat.
“We go through the roles on board before going sailing, and when we’re on the water we’re always offering tips on how to setup the boat and how to sail it,” said Bundock. “Their abilities really skyrocketed in the first two days.
“The one thing they all said was that it looked so much easier on video. After an hour and a half of sailing, the loads and the boathandling, they’re just drained.”
The final pair of U.S. hopefuls will be with the team 19-20 November.