Red Bull youths look to make lasting impression

GBR Youth Challenge (©ACEA 2013/Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget).


The racing program started today for the six teams in the second selection series of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. In wind conditions that started out light and built to about 17 knots in the afternoon, a total of five races were held in the round-robin format. Three of the teams got in three races while the other three completed two races. With decision day looming around the corner, the racing was intense.

“It all happens so quickly,” said Trystan Seal, the bowman for GBR Youth Challenge. The youths, aged 19-24 are sailing the same course that is used on the America’s Cup World Series. It starts with a short reach to a turning mark that sends the crews downwind to a leeward gate. The crews then sail upwind to the windward gate and back downwind to the leeward gate before a short reach to the finish line.

Switzerland's Team Tilt leads GBR Youth Challenge and Arg Youth Team (©ACEA 2013/Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget).


“The races last no more than 15 minutes,” said the 21-year-old Seal. “In my role as bowman I usually have my head down in the boat and don’t know where we are on the course. It’s an intense racecourse. Any little gain you can get on that first reach, and you’re away.”

The teams are evaluated on both their race results at the selection series, as well as their overall performance on and off the water, including fitness tests, training programs and professionalism. The Brits posted a 1-2-1 on the day, good for 4 points. Switzerland’s Team Tilt posted two bullets in its only two races.

Switzerland's Team Tilt (©ACEA 2013/Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget).


“We had good results today. It’s nice to have a day like this,” said Lucien Cujean, Team Tilt’s 23-year-old skipper.

Cujean said that Team Tilt practiced at home on Lake Geneva before the trials in San Francisco, but sometimes the training was hard.

“It’s winter back home so sometimes the sheets were frozen on the winch,” said Cujean. “But they were good sessions to get us working together. We haven’t raced as a crew much before. We just have to keep our team spirit up and have good strategy, and we’ll be fine.”

Portugal's ROFF/Cascais Sailing Team catches some big air (©ACEA 2013/Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget).


Bernardo Freitas and the ROFF/Cascais Sailing Team also won a race and have 4 points from two races. Team Italy powered by Stig has 6 points from its two races. The Arg Youth Team of Argentina and 36 Below Racing from New Zealand each have 7 points from three races.

The racing program continues tomorrow and concludes Sunday. After the series wraps up on Sunday, the teams will learn their fate the following day. The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is scheduled Sept. 1-4 in San Francisco.

(©ACEA 2013/Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget)