- Published on Thursday, 17 May 2012 18:42
- Written by Josh Courter
By Jane Eagleson
17-05-2012 For the first time in the history of the America’s Cup, young, talented sailors have a clear pathway towards competing for one of the most prestigious trophies in sport. The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, launched today with ceremonies in Venice, Italy and San Francisco, USA, opens the door for young sailors to gain the experience they need to contribute to a Cup team.
“I think this is one of the most exciting developments in the America’s Cup in a very long time,” said ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, who became the youngest skipper to win the America’s Cup at age 30 in 2010.
“Breaking into the America’s Cup is hard. I was very fortunate when I was 19 to get a break with the Young Australia team, which allowed me to get into the game and get noticed. But this is going to give many more young sailors the same type of opportunity. We are talking about literally turning tradition on its head by opening up the America’s Cup to younger sailors, rather than it being closed off and difficult to get a foot in the door.”
Racing will take place in the same high performance, wing-sailed AC45 catamarans currently used in the America’s Cup World Series. The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is scheduled for August/September 2013, in San Francisco, during the heart of the 34th America’s Cup racing season.
Red Bull has a long tradition in giving wings to young talent, athletes or even whole disciplines. The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is opening up the highest level of sailing to young people - on new catamarans that are extreme performance machines.
The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is open to up to 10 national teams of six sailors, aged 19 to 23 in 2013 (full requirements are detailed in the Event Notice). Teams can apply for entry to America’s Cup Race Management beginning this summer. One team per country will be accepted and each crew member must conform to nationality requirement..
The event will benefit from the global attention the existing platform receives, including television, web and mobile coverage. The sailing stars of tomorrow will be born in the spotlight in San Francisco next summer.
Equipment, including the AC45 platform and wing, will be supplied to teams who have their entry accepted. More details about the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup are available in the Event Notice.
Ben Ainslie, skipper, BAR: “The Red Bull Youth America's Cup is a great new initiative. When I was a kid I had two aims, to win an Olympic medal and the America’s Cup. The route into the Cup has always been tough, but this will give a whole new generation of sailors the opportunity to get into the America’s Cup early in their sailing careers.”
Nathan Outteridge, skipper, Team Korea: “I think the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is a great chance for younger sailors to explore the avenue of the America’s Cup. Up until now, it's something that's been so difficult to get in to. I feel lucky that I was in the right place at the right time to be approached to be here with Team Korea. To get on to one of these teams has been nearly impossible until you're in your late 20s or early 30s, so this gives young sailors that chance. I think you'll see a lot of talented sailors come out of this.
Chris Draper, helmsman, Luna Rossa: “I wish I was younger! This is really good news for youth sailors. The change to catamarans means the teams are already looking for younger people, with skill on fast boats. The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup will bring the best young sailors from around the world to one place – San Francisco – where they’ll be able to show us all what they can do.”