Red Bull Youth America’s Cup - Peter Burling and Will Tiller - part of the Kaenon Crew
The Road to the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup came to an abrupt ending yesterday with Kaenon sailors Pete Burling and Will Tiller taking the top two spots of this inaugural championship.
Burling displayed his determination and tenacity with a convincing victory, while Tiller clearly displayed his teams resourcefulness and fight to constantly battle back and make it a clean sweep for the Kaenon sailors who both hail from New Zealand – with a difference in approach to this championship and different paths – each working well.
'It's been amazing to actually take the win,' said London Olympic Silver Medalist Burling who wore Kaenon’s Kore on the water. 'We got a lot better during the racing. It's amazing to take the win and quite humbling to do it under the Emirates Team New Zealand banner. It was really cool that we could get a lot of the Olympic guys together and with a few other keelboat guys to help the mix. It is really amazing for us to have taken this thing out and I think it’s really good for our futures.'
His longtime boyhood rival, Will Tiller, with Full Metal Jacket Racing, completed the Kiwi one-two finish with a strong, consistent performance over the four days of racing. The entire FMJ team wore the new Hard Kore Graphite / Green hit on the water.
'It's exciting. It's wet, fast and fun,' Tiller said, in describing sailing the AC45s. 'There's so much work that has to happen behind the scenes to get to this point. We've had to put together everything ourselves, to be self-sufficient. So we're very proud to get this close to the top.' Tiller, the match racing champion, continued, 'I think the team has adapted really well, I think there is still a way to go to catch the other Kiwi boys, I think they were an amazingly strong team and they showed it out there by being quite dominant but hopefully in the years to come everyone can close in on these top youth sailors.'
The Kaenon Crew celebrate after taking first and second places in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup
American Charlie Buckingham, who wore Trade on and off the water, finished a disappointing 10th, but made it clear that he and his team loved every minute of this journey and were so grateful for the support from family, friends and sponsor supporters: 'Definitely not what I envisioned (results), but I won’t forget the experience, that’s for sure. And I really appreciate the support along the way, and for believing in me,' commented the 2x College Sailor of the Year.
Kaenon chose these three sailors to chronicle their 'Road to The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup' which is the first race of its kind, giving young sailors ages 19-24 an arena to compete and provide a platform to showcase their skills to a world-wide audience with the intention to create a clear pathway to the most iconic race in sailing, the America’s Cup. The RBYAC hosted 10 teams who were hand selected and qualified from 8 nations in an effort to showcase the top youth sailors in the world. In the end it was the two New Zealand teams who came 1-2 and showed that they, along with their big brothers in the upcoming America’s Cup could arguably be the current class of sailing.