Youth America's Cup 2013. The American Youth Sailing Force (The Force) greeted twelve international youth teams vying for four spots in September's main regatta in last month’s trials. With the competitors now selected, The Force gets down to work training on the AC45 this Friday. They know what’s needed to win the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.
The Force begins training - Youth America’s Cup 2013
During the international trials, The Force’s yacht management and local skills made them instant experts while forging friendships with many of the would-be competitors. Team member, Mikey Radziejowski is excited about The Force meeting the international sailors, 'It was awesome getting to spend some time around our future competition. Whether they made into the Red Bull Youth America's Cup or not, it was great to get to know fellow youth sailors who were all here with the same goals.'
The Force’s detailed knowledge of the high-performance AC45 catamarans made them the go-to guys on the compound. 'Being in charge of the two Oracle Team USA AC45s and already being selected, instantly made us experts in front of all the international teams, and we had a lot of questions being asked about rigging and sailing the boats, even though we had only three days of sailing beforehand. The other really cool thing is, we ended up bonding with some of the other teams, and becoming good friends with some,' Mikey explained.
During the two weeks of the international trials, The Force hosted parties for the visiting teams. Mikey reports, 'The parties…were a total success. It was very valuable for the team, we managed to create some awesome contacts as well as meet some great people like (multi-hull legend) Loick Peyron and the Maserati team who had just shaved 11 days off the New York to San Francisco record. It was also a great place for all the teams unwind and mingle…swap sailing stories.'
To get ready for racing this summer, The Force will begin with mock drills on stationary AC45s. Due to the, 'logistical hurdles of launching an AC45, our time on-the-water with these boats is rather limited', says sailing team manager, Ian Andrewes. To address this, 'We do mock sailing scenarios on the boats which include grinding weighted tires 15 meters on each side. We have a line setup at centerline to mimic the height of the wing and do drills which require running across boat, loading the winches, grinding the tires in, run across the boat again and do the same thing over and over until we completely run out of steam. This sort of training really fine tune's the teams ability to carry a high heart rate and still complete the tasks that each of us are required as part of sailing these boats'.
Getting on the water is vital to making these big powerful catamarans go fast. The Force will spend the next three days sailing the AC45’s under the watchful eyes of the Oracle Team USA coaches. The team concentrate on how to make the boats go fast with sail trim and good boat handling, the same boat handling that they’ll refine in their dry land practices. Time in the boat is key to standing on the podium at the conclusion of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in September.
In addition to the time on the AC45, The Force practices three days a week on an SL33, essentially a scaled down version of the AC45 that some of the professional teams have used to get ready to compete in the America’s Cup World Series. Ian continues, 'this really helps round out our team's training regimen…As much as we are a part of Oracle Team USA, we are also our own team and having access to the SL33 allows us to work/train on our own terms.'
Red Bull Youth Americas Cup