Energy-drink maker Red Bull has long promised to give its customers wings—a marketing claim that it carefully polished by sponsoring adrenaline-infused events such as the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. Now the Austrian-based company has announced the Red Bull Foiling Generation 2015, which will serve as a talent pipeline for the Red Bull Extreme Sailing Series team, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (open to sailors 19 to 24 years old), and—ultimately—the America’s Cup. The new series—open to select sailors 16 to 20 years old—will be contested in four new Flying Phantom One Design catamarans and is being led by Red Bull’s Foiling Generation sports directors Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, both double Olympic Gold medalists.
Red Bull has planned seven events for 2015, which started in Wakayama, Japan (April 17-19), and which will progress to the UK (June 26-28), Italy (July 10-12), Sweden (August 7-9), Denmark (September 4-6), Russia (September 25-27) and France (October 19-21). Thanks to the Flying Phantom, you can expect lots of extreme thrills at each venue. These 18ft, two-person, double-trapeze foiling cats can hit 35 knots and are a fantastic platform for learning to foil. Any sailor can apply to participate, although Hagara and Steinacher are making the final selections, citing the boats’ athletic and racing prerequisites. And while this bar will likely be fairly high, Hagara and Steinacher will coach the juniors for several days prior to each regatta.
The Red Bull Foiling Generation will use an elimination format to select a national champion in each host country. These champions will then progress to an inaugural world final event in late 2016. “We are offering outstanding young sailors a unique career path starting on foiling catamarans in the Red Bull Foiling Generation, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup and the Red Bull Sailing Team competing in the Extreme Sailing Series,” said Steinacher. Game on!