Despite the media hoopla, few people initially expected much from the upcoming Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (September 1-4). For starters, there was the serious question as to if 'youths' could handle the power and the loads of an AC45-class catamaran, not to mention questions about the skill level of each team. But the past two weeks’ worth of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Selection Series proved the Doubting Thomas’s sorely incorrect.
According to reports, twelve teams from eleven countries descended upon San Francisco Bay for the trials, and five have been selected to sail in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup against five other youth teams, which are supported by adult teams racing in the America’s Cup World Series. Teams from Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland all made the grade during the Selection Series and can look forward to an amazing summer of sailing.
Interestingly, even the coaches and the support staff were blown away by the youth teams’ level of professionalism and their top-notch sailing skills.
'We went into this with a plan not to let them sail in over 15 knots of wind and to keep the teams inside the Bay Bridge,' said double Olympic Gold medalist Hans-Peter Steinacher, who is one of the Sports Directors for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. 'We broke both of those rules on the very first day! Fortunately, the teams have shown us they are able to handle the boats in conditions that are on the limit.' Get the full report, inside this issue.
Meanwhile, in actual America's Cup circles, Artemis Racing-the Challenger of Record for the 34th America’s Cup-has made the bold step to swap precious on-the-water training time for another chance to modify their AC72 in the hopes of higher performance. This decision comes after the Challenger of Record recently spent some time sparing against the Defender-Oracle Team USA-on San Francisco Bay.
'When you’ve got two boats together, you can take the good points that you see from both,' said Ian Percy, the team’s sailing director. 'You learn from each other and make improvements and that’s the power of sailing against another boat… We’ve learned we needed to make some changes to the boat and hence she’s come into the shed.'
The team’s top brass agrees. 'It’s going to be a full team effort,' admitted Artemis CEO Paul Cayard. 'We have the shore team, the design team and everyone is enthusiastic and we are going to roll up our selves and get into it before we get back out on the track.'
Meanwhile, in Grand Prix One Design news, Roberto Tomasini Grinover and his 'Robertissima' crew won the Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series Event No. 1, which was hosted by the lovely Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) on Virgin Gorda, BVI. According to reports, the regatta offered some of the tightest and finest racing that the class has seen in years. Ultimately, Grinover and company were joined on the podium by Alex Jackson’s 'Leenabarca' and Ryan DeVos’ 'Volpe' crew. Get the full report, inside this issue.
Also inside, be sure to get the latest news from the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean (March 11-15), the Rolex Fastnet Race (August 11-17) and the post-racing reports from the JJ Giltinan Trophy.
And finally, be sure to spend some time scrolling through photographer Chris Cameron’s amazing image gallery of Emirates Team New Zealand lining up against Luna Rossa Challenge on New Zealand’s beautiful Hauraki Gulf. Enjoy!
May the four winds blow you safely home,