Wingsail-powered youths excel—A view from afar

 
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 27 Feb 2013
 

Wingsail-powered youths excel—A view from afar


Our North American readership is in fact almost three times that of our local Aussie audience. Today we are giving our Australian readers a glimpse of how the US sees the sailing world with a guest editorial by David Schmidt, our Seattle based Sail-World USA editor.

Today David wrote ...

Despite the media hoopla, few people initially expected much from the upcoming Red Bull Youth America's Cup (September 1-4). For starters, there was the serious question as to if 'youths' could handle the power and the loads of an AC45-class catamaran, not to mention questions about the skill level of each team. But the past two weeks' worth of the Red Bull Youth America's Cup Selection Series proved the Doubting Thomas's sorely incorrect.

According to reports, twelve teams from eleven countries descended upon San Francisco Bay for the trials, and five have been selected to sail in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup against five other youth teams, which are supported by adult teams racing in the America's Cup World Series. Teams from Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland all made the grade during the Selection Series and can look forward to an amazing summer of sailing.

Interestingly, even the coaches and the support staff were blown away by the youth teams' level of professionalism and their top-notch sailing skills.

'We went into this with a plan not to let them sail in over 15 knots of wind and to keep the teams inside the Bay Bridge,' said double Olympic Gold medalist Hans-Peter Steinacher, who is one of the Sports Directors for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup. 'We broke both of those rules on the very first day! Fortunately, the teams have shown us they are able to handle the boats in conditions that are on the limit.' Get the full report, inside this issue.

Meanwhile, in actual America's Cup circles, Artemis Racing-the Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup-has made the bold step to swap precious on-the-water training time for another chance to modify their AC72 in the hopes of higher performance. This decision comes after the Challenger of Record recently spent some time sparing against the Defender-Oracle Team USA-on San Francisco Bay.

08/02/2013 - San Francisco (USA) - 34th America's Cup - ARTEMIS and ORACLE TEAM USA AC72 training in San Francisco Bay  Artemis Racing

'When you've got two boats together, you can take the good points that you see from both,' said Ian Percy, the team's sailing director. 'You learn from each other and make improvements and that's the power of sailing against another boat... We've learned we needed to make some changes to the boat and hence she's come into the shed.'

The team's top brass agrees. 'It's going to be a full team effort,' admitted Artemis CEO Paul Cayard. 'We have the shore team, the design team and everyone is enthusiastic and we are going to roll up our selves and get into it before we get back out on the track.'



Giltinan Invitation - 18ft Skiff Championship 2010  Frank Quealey © /Australian 18 Footers League

Also inside, be sure to get the latest news from the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean (March 11-15), the Rolex Fastnet Race (August 11-17) and the post-racing reports from the JJ Giltinan Trophy.

- the 18 footer World Champions - Gotta Love it 7 - winners of the 2008 JJ Giltinan Shield  Christophe Favreau ©


Thurlow Fisher Lawyers had a spectacular capsize by Shark Island - 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championships2013 - Race 7  Beth Morley


On board NZL5 as Emirates Team New Zealand practice race against Luna Rossa on the Hauraki Gulf. 20/2/2013  Chris Cameron/ETNZ©

And finally, be sure to spend some time scrolling through photographer Chris Cameron's amazing image gallery of Emirates Team New Zealand lining up against Luna Rossa Challenge on New Zealand's beautiful Hauraki Gulf. Enjoy!

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



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