by Irene Corosu
Invitations have been extended to twelve of the best national youth sailing teams on the planet to compete in the February Selection Series for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.
Red Bull Youth America’s Cup - US teams testing / SFO Nov Testing Session / Oracle Team USA
The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, scheduled September 1-4, 2013, begins with the Selection Series in San Francisco in February. With the goal of ensuring the best of the best are on the starting line of the main event, the Selection Series will narrow the field through a rigorous training workshop and regatta, February 9-24, 2013.
Double Olympic gold medalists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, the Sports Directors for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, have selected the 12 teams invited to the February Section Series.
'There were a lot of applications to compete in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup – over 30, in fact,' Hagara said.
'We looked at the teams to evaluate how they worked as a crew, to check their fitness level – as the AC45 is such a physically demanding boat – and of course they had to be very good sailors. The top 12 teams have been invited to continue their journey.'
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'This is the best thing that could ever happen for youth sailors. It’s like a dream for me,' said Thomas Mermod of the Swiss youth team, TILT, invited to the February Selection Series.
'This is a great way to improve our level and to become a professional sailor. It’s the best opportunity for young sailors.'
Working in parallel to this selection process for international teams, Oracle Team USA recently held its own trials to select two American teams to support with coaching and mentoring in advance of September’s regatta which has been specially created to give sailors, aged 19-25, a career pathway towards the oldest trophy in international sport: the America’s Cup.
Team America Racing (representing the USA), and American Youth Sailing Force (representing San Francisco) will both spend the next nine months training for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup under the tutelage of Oracle USA.
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Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing, China Team and Team Korea have also indicated they are supporting teams for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. Youth crews with the support of an America’s Cup World Series team are eligible for direct entry in September’s regatta, at the discretion of the Regatta Director.
The Selection Series in February will be held on the same AC45 wing sail catamarans the teams will race in September. These are also the same boats the America’s Cup crews race in the AC World Series.
Teams invited to the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Selection Series:
Etchells Australasian Winter Championship 2014. Team Australia's Iain Murray back on an Etchells. - Etchells Australasian Winter Championship 2014
Session Number 1 – February 9-15:
Australia - Objective Australia
Austria - Team Austria
Denmark - Danish Vikings
Germany - STG/NRV Youth America's Cup Team
New Zealand - Full Metal Jacket Racing
South Africa - Team i’KaziKati
Session Number 2 – February 18-24:
Argentina - Argentina AC45 Youth Team
France - French Youth Team
Italy - Team Italy
Netherlands - Flying Dutchies
Portugal - Team Cascais
Switzerland - Team TILT
Americas Cup website