The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup will bring the best youngsters to Bermuda for racing during the 35th running of the main event in 2017.
Six youth crews will compete through their affiliation with current America’s Cup teams – including Portsmouth-based Land Rover BAR, who are skippered by Sir Ben Ainslie.
Up to 10 additional teams will be selected by Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Sport Directors Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher before the end of November 2016.
These top teams will then race in a qualifying series to determine the top eight who will face off in two days of fleet racing scheduled during the week between the America’s Cup finals.
All racing in Bermuda will be in the same one-design AC45F foiling catamarans the America’s Cup teams compete with in the world series.
The selection of crews for the qualifying series will be made by double Olympic gold medalists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher.
‘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 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 joined Oracle Team USA, and Luke Parkinson is with Artemis Racing.
‘For 2017 we are focused on bringing in more sailors, from more countries, and 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.’
The inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup champion was a Kiwi team skippered by Burling.
He said: ‘It’s a great opportunity and you have to make the most of it.
‘You may only get one opportunity like this – get out there and have fun.’
Jimmy Spithill, skipper of Oracle Team USA, added: ‘I have no doubt the teams that make it to Bermuda are going to feature some of the best young sailors in the world.
‘There is now a pathway that leads to the America’s Cup and the first step is with the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.’