GBR Youth Challenge en route to San Francisco

James French tells us of the British challenge for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup
One of the many exciting developments with the 34th America’s Cup is the advent of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. Since it was announced during the America’s Cup World Series event in Venice last May, exact details of this event has been slowly emerging regarding the selection process and teams due to take part in the event, to be held on San Francisco Bay over 1-4 September, immediately before the America’s Cup itself. Youth sailing is a subject close to the heart of Oracle Team USA skipper James Spithill, who before he skippered USA 17 to victory in the 33rd America’s Cup was best known as being the youngest ever skipper in the America’s Cup, after he was initially given the helm of Syd Fischer’s Young Australia at the tender age of 21. The aim of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is to provide more aspiring youth sailors with a similar opportunity to the one provided to Spithill back in 2000. Happily, after they didn’t quite make the list of teams set to take part in the selection trials over 18-24 February in San Francisco, since then GBR Youth Challenge has been given a slot. “Originally we looked at the proposal in August time and it didn’t seem particularly feasible and it wasn’t set out and it wasn’t well planned,” says James French, the 20-year-old who is leading the campaign. “But in about October, the Notice of Race got updated and the selection series was announced. So we put an entry in and unfortunately we weren’t given a place at the selection trials originally when they were first announced, but we were a reserve team and then one of the other teams dropped out, so we got given their place.” The squad of GBR Youth Challenge sailors, who must be under