America’s Cup is welcoming the next generation of racing with open arms. For the first time ever, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup will be held on San Francisco Bay September 1-4, 2013.
Sailors ages 19-24 will race the same AC45s used in the America’s Cup World Series Tour in order to get Cup-level experience for future regattas.
“Development experience for youth sailors is a crucial aspect of making a successful jump to the world stage, which is the great part of this new America’s Cup event,” says Charlie Ogletree, coach of Team USA45 Racing, one of two American teams competing.
Along with the other U.S. team, American Youth Sailing Force, both are participating under Cup World Series team Oracle Team USA. They’ll compete against eight other teams from Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.
The cats and wings will be provided to the teams, but other than that, individual funding is largely self-supported. Some teams, like USA45 Racing, are looking for donations and sponsorship.
“We are confident in our sailing experience and team chemistry, but we need support for travel, training sessions and equipment to make our goal of winning the Youth Cup,” says Jake La Dow, Team USA45 Racing’s manager.
Wedged right in the middle of a break in activity during the Summer of Sailing on the Bay, the race is a special opportunity for young aspiring world-class sailors. Being able to compete right after the Louis Vuitton Cup and right before the start of the 34th America’s Cup is the “opportunity of a lifetime,” La Dow says.
To learn more about the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, click here.
Photos courtesy of Team USA45 Racing