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Red Bull progress thrills officials

Candidates for Bermuda's Red Bull Youth America's Cup team will finally get the chance to sail during an intensive one-week training camp from December 27 to January 2.

As well as taking part in physical and mental drills, those who made the first cut will sail for the first time in a variety of classes since the selection process began.

“Some will get their first introduction to sailing and for that they will be going to the Endeavour Programme in St George's and being taught how to sail,” said Jane Savage, the chairwoman of Team Bermuda's Red Bull Youth America's Cup committee.

“Those who do know how to sail will be put in other boats and assessed.

“We have a couple of coaches coming from overseas who we will be interviewing to train the team and get to know them at the same time.”

The selection committee held its third and final fitness combine at Oracle Team USA's base in Dockyard at the weekend.

Among those selected from the first two combines are sailors Rahiem Steede, Connor Astwood, Torian Hill and Owen Siese.

Cricketers, boxers, rugby players, swimmers and footballers have also made the cut.

“They went through the same assessment as everyone else and those who tried out [at the weekend] will be informed in the next day or so,” Savage said.

“They had to jump overboard and I think the water temperature was warmer than the air. It was tough going for them, but if you're in a boat and fall out you have to be prepared for any conditions.

“Every turnout has been great and it has been phenomenal the interest taken by the youth of Bermuda. It has been very rewarding.”

Savage and her fellow committee members have made considerable strides putting the team together since it was announced that Bermuda will host and compete in the second Red Bull Youth America's Cup.

“Our committee has worked so well together and I think we may be ahead of other countries in our approach,” Savage said. “I'm thrilled with the progress we've made, and going forward I believe we will continue to go in the right direction.

“The community has been so behind us on this, and we are looking forward to working with the community in many ways.”

The selection committee will identify a squad of 18 to compete against the world's best young sailors in the wing-sail foiling AC45F catamaran.

“We probably won't be doing that before Easter because we want to give everybody who has made it this far a fair shake,” Savage said.

“We don't want to rush to make the next cut, but we realise that time is against us as far as getting the team ready for 2017.”

The final team will include six members, with others supporting as training partners and a shore team.

Team Bermuda will race in the Great Sound against youth teams from around the world in June 2017.

To be eligible, athletes must be at least 19 years old and under 25 on December 31, 2017 and be born in Bermuda or possess a Bermuda passport.

Testing themselves: Red Bull hopefuls wait to take part in the combine in Dockyard (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published December 22, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 22, 2015 at 10:45 am)

Red Bull progress thrills officials

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