For the average Los Angeles sailor, as well as for sailors across the world, dreams of getting to participate in the America’s Cup are ones with no chance of meshing the dream into reality. Now, however, for younger SoCal sailors and across the world, those dreams may actually become reality.
The America’s Cup and Red Bull have combined to bring about the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, a selection process to choose the best young sailors and sailing teams desiring to compete in the Red Bull Selection Series Trials in February 2013. These trials, pitting, as the Cup Organizers state “The best of the best”, will be using AC 45’s, the same boats the America’s Cup teams use in the America’s Cup World Series.
Sailors chosen to sail the AC 45’s will be on some of the fastest and most challenging boats in the world. The 45’s, able to go to 25 knots or more, are amazing catamarans. With the ability to sail faster than wind speed, the boats require outstanding athletes with cat-like quickness and outstanding strength.
Between now and February, America’s Cup officials will be visiting interested teams, watching them train and accessing their abilities. The goal of the visiting officials is to determine the most qualified and the most competitive teams and then bring them to the America’s Cup training grounds to prepare for sailing the AC 45’s.
As of now, over 20 teams have expressed interest in becoming a part of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. The selection process will reduce the number of interested teams down to a number of contestants set by the Cup Committee. (The actual number of selected teams will be announced by the end of November.)
The whole process of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is to open up the number of potential sailors for future America’s Cup competitions. The selection process is but one of three ways individuals and teams can be noticed by the America’s Cup teams and organizers. A second method of being able to sail in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Series is to outright purchase an AC 45. This is a very expensive process, but it allows teams with substantial financing to bypass the above mentioned competition. The third method of joining the series is to become directly affiliated with one of the current America’s Cup World Series participants. Doing this would allow access to actual America’s Cup participants, learning as they train and work with current Cup team members.
Once the selection process for the Red Bull Youth America’s cup is finalized, the first actual event scheduled will be a training workshop and finally a regatta. Scheduled for February 9 – 24, 2013, this will take place on San Francisco Bay, providing a venue and conditions which will be encountered by the America’s Cup Teams later this year. The Finals for the Youth America’s cup sailors will take place in conjunction with the America’s Cup itself, with the Youth Cup scheduled September 1 – 4, 2013.
If you are a promising young sailor, this may be the way for an America’s Cup dream turn into a future America’s Cup reality.