www.thebermudian.com 14 | THE BERMUDIAN
From the Crow’s Nest | THE SCENE
SIX YOUTH CREWS a;liated with current America’s Cup teams
will compete in Bermuda next year, with up to 10 additional teams to be
selected by sport directors and double Olympic gold medalists Roman
Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher before the end of November this year.
From there, the ;eld will be whittled down to the top eight teams
a;er a qualifying series. ;ose eight teams will then race each other in
the week prior to the America’s Cup Finals.
For the ;rst time since the programme started in 2013, the racing
will be done aboard the “;ying” catamarans put on display earlier this
year in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, the AC45Fs.
Hydrofoil technology has created boats that can go up to three times
faster than the wind, li;ing the hulls out of the water to ride on a car-bon-;bre blade for minimum drag and maximum speed. ;e AC45Fs
are capable of at least 37 knots, or roughly 43 mph.
Along with providing young Bermudians the chance to test their
mettle against top competition from around the world, competing in
the series also presents our sailors with the opportunity to put their
skills on display, and translate their performance into a permanent spot
with an America’s Cup team.
In partnership with the America’s Cup organisers and ORACLE
TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, Hagara and Steinacher developed
the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup as a pathway to the America’s Cup.
“In 2013 we proved the talent level of the sailors in the Red Bull
Youth America’s Cup, with Peter Burling, the winner, now helming the
Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup challenge to the top of
the leaderboard,” said Hagara. “And he’s not the only one: Blair Tuke
and Guy Endean are also with the Kiwi team; Cooper Dressler has
Racing. I’m sure down the road we will see even more making the move
from the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup event into the America’s Cup.”
“I have no doubt the teams that make it to Bermuda are going to
feature some of the best young sailors in the world,” said Spithill. “;ere
is now a pathway that leads to the America’s Cup and the ;rst step is
with the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.”
;e members of Team BDA facing that challenge are Connor Ast-
wood, Ceci Wollmann, Edmund Mackenzie Cooper, Peter Dill, Philip
Hagen, Mustafa Ingham, Emily Nagel, Danny Pell, Owen Siese, Dimitri
Stevens and Shomari Warner.
For 18-year-old Wollmann, the opportunity represents a chance
to further her career. “I want to use the experience I gain from Team
BDA in catamarans and my experience from competing in the 2016
Olympics in Laser Radials to possibly try a Nacra 17 campaign for the
Olympics in 2020,” she told Bernews.
But Team BDA comprises not only sailors, and not everyone is look-
ing to forge a career on the water. “I believe that this is a tremendous
opportunity that is well-recognised worldwide,” 19-year-old Ingham
told Bernews. “So being able to put this on a resume or just to be a part
of it will bene;t me no matter what I do in life. It has already made me
;t and helped me attain a healthy lifestyle and network with profes-
Twenty-year-old Danny Pell said Team BDA is “just the beginning
for Bermuda’s young sailors. Hopefully we’ll be able to inspire the next
generation of sailors but also establish an infrastructure that allows
them to transition seamlessly to new heights.”
After a selection process that began with 100 candidates, the final 11 members of Bermuda’s
Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team were named this August. Over the course of 12 months
and brutal training camps, the team represents the best Bermuda has to offer in terms of sail-
ing skill and athleticism.
THE LANDLUBBERS GUIDE TO THE AMERICA’S CUP:
WRITTEN BY W. C. STEVENSON