ORACLE TEAM USA hosting teams for Red Bull Youth America’s Cup

© Guilain GRENIER / ORACLE TEAM USA


© Guilain GRENIER / ORACLE TEAM USA


© Guilain GRENIER / ORACLE TEAM USA


© Guilain GRENIER / ORACLE TEAM USA


A feature of next summer’s America’s Cup calendar is the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, scheduled Sept. 1-4, 2013. The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup has been created to give youth sailors, aged 19-24, an opportunity to compete in America’s Cup-style racing and to identify the next stars of the sport.

A selection series for international teams is planned for February 2013, but this week and into next ORACLE TEAM USA is hosting six teams over three two-day periods to select the teams that will represent the U.S. and San Francisco in next year’s competition.

The six teams – American Youth Sailing Force, Ocius Racing, Quest for the Cup, Team America Racing, Team City Front and Winged Victory – feature sailors from 10 states, all with varied résumés in dinghy and keelboat racing. Each crew is comprised of six sailors, one more than Cup teams because the sailors are 40-50 pounds lighter than a Cup sailor.

American Youth Sailing Force and Ocius Racing completed their sessions on Monday and Tuesday, and ORACLE TEAM USA coach Darren Bundock pronounced it a success.

“We’ve had a bit of fun the past two days,” said Bundock. “We’ve only had two teams in but we’re happy with the level the sailors displayed. We had no idea what level we would see.”

The youth sailors have to go through an orientation process with the AC45 before they’re allowed to sail. They help rig the boat and launch it. On the water, Bundock rides in the back of the boat and a second ORACLE TEAM USA sailor up front. Each helps the youth sailors with pointers and tips for how to sail the boat.

“We go through the roles on board before going sailing, and when we’re on the water we’re always offering tips on how to setup the boat and how to sail it,” said Bundock. “Their abilities really skyrocketed in the first two days. The one thing they all said was that it looked so much easier on video. After an hour and a half of sailing, the loads and the boathandling, they’re just drained.”

Ian Andrewes, the 22-year-old skipper of American Youth Sailing Force, said he came away confident. “I was probably more timid than normal doing the first bearaway, jibe and tack, but I got more aggressive on the helm. It wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be and I feel confident in our team and what we can do.”

ORACLE TEAM USA will host Team America Racing and Team Cityfront today and tomorrow, while Quest for the Cup and Winged Victory will go through the drills next week on Monday and Tuesday.