by Irene Corosu
The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Selection Series will feature 11 national teams battling in two qualifying sessions in San Francisco from 9-24 February.
Red Bull Youth America’s Cup - US teams testing / SFO Nov Testing Session / Oracle Team USA / San Francisco (USA)
A British team, the GBR Youth Challenge, has been added to the roster to take the place of the previously invited French Youth Team, who now qualify directly for September’s event after gaining support from the French America’s Cup World Series entry, Energy Team.
'The America’s Cup is the greatest thing you can do in sailing,' said Adam Lees, of the British team. 'The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is about getting more people involved in the competition and making it more accessible to young sailors so the next generation is involved early on.'
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 two rigorous training workshop and regatta sessions from February 9-15 and February 18-24, 2013.
'The goal of the selection process is two-fold,' said Hans-Peter Steinacher, a double Olympic gold medalist who shares the role of Sports Director for the event with Roman Hagara.
'First, we want all of the teams at the selection series to learn and improve and maximize their potential. At the same time, we must evaluate the crews over the course of the week so that we can invite the top teams to race for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in September. This is such a great chance for these young teams to launch their careers.'
'We will have this one chance to see the youth teams train and compete under high-pressure situations during the selection camp,' agreed Hagara. 'It’s a fantastic way to assess who can perform to their best and to select those who deserve to qualify for the main event.'
Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing, China Team and Energy Team have all 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 to September’s event via the Regatta Director.
ORACLE TEAM USA, the current holder of the America’s Cup, conducted its own training camp before Christmas to select which American teams it would support. USA45 Racing (representing the USA), and American Youth Sailing Force (representing San Francisco) will both spend the coming months training for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup under the stewardship of the American Cup defender.
The Selection Series in February will be held on the same AC45 wing sail catamarans the youth crews will race in September. These are also the same boats the America’s Cup teams race in the AC World Series.
Teams participating in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup:
Selection Series Session 1 - February 9-15
AUS - Objective Australia
AUT - Team Austria
DEN - Danish Vikings
GER - STG-NRV Sailing Team
NZL - Full Metal Jacket Racing
RSA - Team i’KaziKati
Selection Series Session 2 - February 18-24
ARG - Argentina Youth Team
GBR - GBR Youth Challenge
ITA - Team Italy powered by Stig
POR - ROFF-Cascais
SUI - Team TILT
Youth crews supported by America's Cup World Series Teams
CHN - China Team / Name TBC
FRA - Energy Team / Name TBC
NZL - Emirates Team New Zealand / Name TBC
SWE - Artemis Racing / Swedish Youth Challenge
USA - ORACLE TEAM USA / American Youth Sailing Force (SFO)
USA - ORACLE TEAM USA / USA45 Racing (USA)
Youth Americas Cup 2013