Not going to the Bull

James Boyd Photography /
Laser ace and former German Youth America's Cup skipper Philipp Buhl on pulling out of September's Red Bull AC45 event
Philipp Buhl this week faces a rather different challenge to what he is used to. One of the world’s top Laser sailors, the German is in Langenargen, Lake Constance at the wheel of a Bavaria 40S keelboat competing at the Alpari World Racing Tour’s season opener, Match Race Germany. However Buhl, 23, has been more in the news over the last few days since the management of the Sailing Team Germany (STG) and the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) Youth Team, Germany’s entry that qualified in February for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, pulled the pin on this otherwise promising campaign. In a statement last week, the campaign management, including Klaus Lahme, Director of Sport at the NRV and Oliver Schwall, Managing Director of the STG and a former Tornado World Champion, stated that they had unanimously decided not to risk the lives of their youth sailors. But it seems this decision was not so unanimous among the STG/NRV Youth Team sailors, among whom Buhl is skipper. “Unfortunately our team management decided after the incident with Andrew Simpson and the Artemis boat that the German team would pull out of the finals to make a sign that the America’s Cup is too dangerous and that it is too dangerous for us,” Buhl told us. “But our crew is very, very motivated and still wants to go there, so we haven’t given up yet. We are trying to talk to our team management again and maybe make them decide differently and perhaps if they see that we really really want to go – as we do - then maybe we’ll get the spot again.” In addition to the terrible drowning last week, we understand that another reason for the German withdrawal has been a continual reduction in the amount of training time offered to the