Coutts eyes boat for Bermuda sailors
A Bermuda team could compete in the next Red Bull Youth America's Cup.
Sir Russell Coutts, the America's Cup Event Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO, is believed to be keen to see Bermuda among the teams vying for Team New Zealand's title at the next event, which will begin next year with qualifiers, with the final regatta taking place in 2017.
“He wants to help a Bermuda youth team sail in these 45s in the Youth Red Bull Championship during the America's Cup,” Alan Burland, who represented Bermuda in the Tornado catamaran at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, said. “What an opportunity for young Bermudians to be coached and trained by some of the best people in the world in the most sophisticated equipment. It's just tremendous.”
The inaugural Red Bull Youth America's Cup took place just before the first races of the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco in 2013. The event featured ten national teams comprised of sailors aged 19-23 and was an instant success.
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who were members of Team New Zealand's victorious team at the inaugural Red Bull Youth America's Cup, have since secured jobs with Emirates Team New Zealand, challenger of the 35th America's Cup, who lost to Oracle Team USA in the last America's Cup Match.
“This is exactly what we hoped would happen when we first started talking about the Red Bull Youth America's Cup,” said Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, who was instrumental in driving the project forward.
“There are so many good young sailors out there, who just need to know there is a way forward, a path to get into the America's Cup. There are no guarantees. This is sport, but with the Red Bull Youth America's Cup, it's clear that there is a way to break through. Just look at the guys who won last time.”
Burling, who has replaced Dean Barker as helmsman for Emirates Team New Zealand, won the 2015 International Moth World Championships in Australia last January and more recently defended his world title in the double handed 49er Skiff along with Tuke at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in France at the weekend.
The inaugural Red Bull Youth America's Cup was contested in conventional wing-sail catamarans. However, the next event will see sailors racing in modified foiling versions of the boat.