The first trials for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup concluded on Tuesday in San Francisco with six teams battling for two spots representing San Francisco and the United States.
For the young sailors, the trials have been an opportunity to learn what it takes to compete at the highest level, with lessons from the best sailors in the world.
“It's been incredible," said Mikey Radziejowski, a 20-year old who works the bow for the American Youth Sailing Force. "These last few days have definitely been the best days of sailing in my entire life. Regardless of how we did, I will forever remember this and it will always be an experience that (I've been) fortunate to have."
ORACLE TEAM USA has been organizing the trials and is expected to announce the results in the coming days. The youth sailors have been put through their paces under the watchful eyes of team coaches Philippe Presti and Darren Bundock, who said he was impressed with what he saw on and off the water.
“It’s been a really good week. We’ve had two busy days of training and evaluation for each of the six teams so it’s been pretty intense for the sailors,” he said. “But I think it’s been a good introduction and we’ve seen a lot of talent come out from these young sailors. We’re looking for teams with potential to win the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in September.”
While the young American teams were vying this week for spots supported by ORACLE TEAM USA, international teams will take part in a selection series in San Francisco in February. Racing for the inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup takes place in September 2013, between the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup Finals.
Each youth crew is comprised of six sailors, one more than America’s Cup World Series teams because the sailors are, on average, 40-50 pounds lighter than a Cup sailor. All crew must be between the ages of 19 and 24 and meet nationality requirements.
The six U.S. teams have sailors from 10 states, all with varied résumés in dinghy and keelboat racing. ORACLE TEAM USA will now identify two youth teams, one to represent the U.S. and another to represent San Francisco. The selected crews will be provided with coaching and instruction by ORACLE TEAM USA through to the finals in September 2013.
“We’ll forward our evaluations and recommendations to the management of ORACLE TEAM USA,” Bundock said, explaining the process. “We’ve seen a lot of good individuals on these teams, so we might suggest a few moves across the teams. And I think even on the teams that might not be selected there is some good individual talent that we’ve identified and hopefully those sailors find their way into the competition.”
Red Bull Youth America’s Cup information can be found on team websites:
http://ociusracing.com/ - !/about
Team America Racing (no website)
Still images from the sessions are available from the America’s Cup media site.
Updates, including videos and social media posts from the teams, are also available via the event Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/redbullyouthamericascup
And at www.ORACLETEAMUSA.com
Red Bull Youth America’s Cup - Upcoming milestones:
November 2012 – Training camp / trials for USA teams with ORACLE TEAM USA
Early December 2012 – Confirmation of youth teams invited to Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Selection Series
February 9-24, 2013 – Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Selection Series in San Francisco
September 1-4, 2013 – Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in San Francisco