Red Bull Youth America’s Cup - Common Guys, Uncommon Goals + Video

American Youth Sailing Force (The Force)
Erik Simonson
The Force to compete in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (RBYAC), is just two days away from becoming reality. The journey began nineteen months ago when a group of sailing friends, led by team manager, Ian Andrewes, decided to try to qualify for the upcoming RBYAC.

Today, as practice time in their AC45 high-performance catamarans winds down, the team’s focus is on winning races and the regatta. They know they wouldn’t be here without the help of their Elite sponsors Less Event, Accelerate Sports Performance, Zhik and Jim Dewitt.

The Force is made up of regular guys. Very talented guys mind you, but really just your average 19 to 24 year olds chasing a dream. Like many who have chased a dream, this team had to learn how to do pretty much everything on their own. 'Early on in our minds it clicked, ‘I need to look at a problem and quickly see what it needs to get fixed. Then I can go sailing.’' says sailor David Leibenberg.

This can-do attitude has touched on all aspects of The Force’s approach to the question, 'What will it take for us to win the RBYAC?' They quickly realized that they needed to raise money, lots of money and they learned what was needed to bring in the money, from budgeting to public speaking. They also realized that there was a tremendous amount of organization and planning needed to make sure everything they would need was on hand at the moment they needed it and they covered the walls with lists of things to buy and jobs that needed to be done.

Over the past nineteen months, The Force has become a community of nine racers, a dozen shore team members and countless friends and family working daily to make this quest a reality. And as they prepare to start the first RBYAC race it is all beginning to sink in. 'I wake up each day and think, ‘Never again am I going to get a chance to sail a million-dollar boat with my six best friends, managing every aspect without an owner looking over our back.’ To me, that’s what is unbelievable.' says sailor Cooper Dressler.

On what the RBYAC really means, Leibenberg says, 'No one knows how to perceive this regatta because it’s never happened before. But, it is probably the most exciting thing to happen in this America’s Cup and it will hopefully be what sticks in people's minds.'

What’s important now is winning the RBYAC.

Our new video of Cooper Dressler’s Invitation to NBC’s Todd Harris