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South Florida sailors win Red Bull Foiling Generation U.S. Qualifier to clinch berth in World Final

by Dan Palumbo 5 Nov 08:00 PST 9-11 November 2018
Competitors in action during the Red Bull Foiling Generation in Miami, Fl, USA on 4, November 2018 © Rob Tringali / Red Bull Content Pool

After 12 months of competition, the lineup for the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final is complete, as Ian MacDiarmid and Nicolas Muller emerge victorious at the Red Bull Foiling Generation U.S. Qualifier.

The pair had sailed together on-and-off for years in their home state of Florida, with MacDiarmid growing up in Delray Beach and Muller in Fort Pierce. Those past experiences worked to their advantage as MacDiarmid and Muller prevailed over a strong field of competitors who came from all over the nation to sail in the regatta.

Their path to victory was not without its challenges, but cool heads and the familiarity of sailing with one another helped propel the pair to a comeback victory after their catamaran flipped over in their semifinal race.

"It was good to be sailing together again and a ton of fun competing against everyone," the 19-year-old Ian MacDiarmid said. "After we flipped, Nick kept us really calm and got us back up. Both his trap wires broke, but we got untangled and once we got going, we were confident."

Designed to find the best youth sailors aged 16-20, the first Red Bull Foiling Generation national regatta ever held in Miami challenged teams with strong winds that saw the catamarans flying on their foils. It was in these conditions that the 16 two-person teams were coached throughout the week by the event founders and sports directors Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, to pilot the Flying Phantoms – the fastest boats of their size.

MacDiarmid and Muller both competed in the 2016 Red Bull Foiling Generation US Qualifier in Newport, Rhode Island. Neither advanced, but used their previous experience and chemistry to advance. In less than a week, Ian MacDiarmid and Nicolas Muller will face off with sailors from 15 other nations, going head to head on the same Florida waters to crown new overall Red Bull Foiling Generation World Champions.

Red Bull Foiling Generation is the world's largest youth sailing program, and was launched by Hagara and Steinacher in 2015. The goal of the program is to build high-level skills that help participants advance toward professional careers and Olympic-class programs for the 2020 Games.

"The competition was great and the conditions on land and water were perfect. It was a great final race and exciting to watch," Hagara, who won Olympic Gold with Steinacher in 2000 and 2004, commented.

Now it all comes down to the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final which will be held November 9 – 11. It will be there where the best young sailors from five continents will race in front of Miami's knowledgeable crowds, including talent scouts and professional coaches looking for tomorrow's sailing stars. New Zealand's Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson, who took the crown at the inaugural World Final in 2016, have gone on to successes such as winning the Flying Phantom Series of the Extreme Sailing Series for Red Bull Sailing, as well as racing GC32s in the Extreme Sailing Series itself.

"It really was a great week. It was great talent, and the winner will do well in the World Final," Steinacher stated. "The level will go up quite a bit, and we'll see great racing next week here in Miami."

The World Final will be begin at 10:30 AM Friday, November 9 at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. The Parking lot is located at 4020 Virginia Beach Dr, Miami, FL 3314, where free shuttles can bring you to the event site. All rounds will be held at East Fishing Pier in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final sailing schedule:

  • Friday, November 9th: Qualification round, 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM EST
  • Saturday, November 10th: Knockout series and Repechage, 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM EST
  • Friday, November 11th: Semi-finals and Final, 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM EST
Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final Teams 2018:

Australia, The Netherlands, Argentina, New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, France, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, United Kingdom, Italy, United States.

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