Red Bull Youth America´s Cup Sport Directors Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher have announced the 12 teams of sailors aged 19–25 that have been invited to compete in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in Bermuda.
The two Olympic legends from Austria introduced the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2013 to identify outstanding sailing talent and provide a potential pathway to a career in the America’s Cup.
With that continuing objective, in 2017 the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup will for the first time use AC45 foiling catamarans, as used by the America’s Cup teams in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, for the fastest, most breathtaking action yet.
“The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup has changed the America’s Cup world – the teams saw that the new boats fit the young generation, who are very good at handling the speed,” says Steinacher. “The sailing leaders are picking younger sailors than before.”
An extensive trials process has taken place worldwide to identify the teams that will compete alongside the six teams affiliated to the full America’s Cup teams, overseen by Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher. Over 20 teams registered for the selection process, and the final six have now been confirmed, making a total fleet of 12 teams to compete in Bermuda in June 2017.
ORACLE TEAM USA, the Defender of the America’s Cup, will support and mentor both Team BDA, the Bermudian challengers for the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, and Next Generation USA, the American representatives in the 2017 events.
Bermuda typically offers exceptional sailing conditions in June, with sparkling flat water and favorable winds that make the Great Sound a prime location for foiling. At 45 feet, the AC45F boats are the same challenging watercraft used by professional sailors in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. While longer than a city bus, they deliver exceptional speed – potentially over 35 knots – when they rise up out of the water on their foils.
This year’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup teams, which for the first time include entries from countries such as Austria and Spain, are currently evaluating potential crew members and undergoing the training and preparation necessary to be ready for the rigors of the regatta. The teams will announce their six-person rosters in May, ahead of Qualification in Bermuda, when two pools with a maximum of six boats each will sail for a spot in the Finals. The top four teams from each pool will take part in the eight-boat battle for top honors.
“So far, eight sailors from the 2013 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup have found positions on America’s Cup boats, including Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who were on the Kiwi team that won the first Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. They went on to become Olympic Champions and earn positions on Emirates Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup,” Hagara points out. “It’s going to be exciting to see the racing this time around with the added dimension and speed of foiling.”
Red Bull Youth America’s Cup gets underway in Bermuda this summer with Pool A and B Qualifiers June 12th - 16th, followed by the Finals scheduled for June 20th - 21st.
Team List, Red Bull Youth America’s Cup 2017
• Candidate Sailing Team, Austria
• Team BDA, Bermuda
• Youth Vikings Denmark, Denmark
• Team France Jeune, France
• Next Generation - Team Germany, Germany
• Land Rover BAR Academy, Great Britain
• Kaijin Team Japan, Japan
• NZL Sailing Team, New Zealand
• Spanish Impulse Team, Spain
• Artemis Youth Racing, Sweden
• Team Tilt, Switzerland
• Next Generation USA, USA