Red Bull youths back in action

GBR Youth Challenge (©ACEA/Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget).


GBR Youth Challenge skipper James French at the helm of the AC45 (©ACEA/Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget).


36 Below Racing from New Zealand (©ACEA/Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget).


AC45s racing on San Francisco Bay (©Balazs Gardi/Red Bull Content Pool).


After a day spent shoreside, the six teams in the second selection series for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup took to San Francisco Bay today for their first sail aboard the AC45s.

The teams were blown off the water yesterday when a cold front passed through the area and brought heavy rain and winds to the Bay. The AC45s were pulled from the water in the interest of safety, and the youth sailors spent the day in briefings.

Idyllic weather greeted the crews this morning when they returned to Pier 80. Each of the six crews got two rotations in the AC45s to make up for lost time, and with the wind between 8 and 12 knots they all came back singing the praises of the AC45.

“It was a fantastic day on the water,” said Finn Drummond of 36 Below Racing from New Zealand. Drummond is the son of Mike Drummond, a member of three different America’s Cup-winning design teams.

“We started out and basically took a while to get into our first roles and maneuvers, but everyone settled in and it all started feeling natural for the guys,” said the 21-year-old Drummond. “It was a wicked day today, absolutely awesome.”

James French, the 20-year-old skipper of GBR Youth Challenge, echoed Drummond.

“The AC45s are cool boats,” said French. “It was our first time out, our first experience in the fast, big cats. We spent most of the day flying a hull. It was awesome! They were easy to get into. We’re excited to get some racing going.”