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Racing hours are key for Team BDA

The final practice session will be crucial for Team BDA, says coach Clarke

Team BDA climb on board their Red Bull AC45 foiling catamaran for their final week of practice tomorrow before going from the frying pan into the fire.

They will be racing in one of the super-fast 45-foot, hard-winged boats used for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. The Bermuda team practice from tomorrow until June 10 then race in pool B Qualifying races on Monday, June 12.

The team recently raced a GC32 foiling catamaran, like their training boat in Bermuda, in a professional level fleet race regatta, the Riva Cup, on Lake Garda, Italy. Bermuda did not fare too well. But they learnt a lot. Their best finishes were two sevenths and they ended up tenth out of 11 entries.

Team BDA also capsized having previously done so during an April incident on the Great Sound.

Team Tilt, the second-placed boat overall in the Riva Cup, led the three crews in the regatta bound for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. As regulars on the GC32 tour, Team Tilt scored five bullets in a row in races six through ten.

The Bermuda team has chosen their starting six crew, but will wait until most of the way through our AC45 practice session before announcing the seventh, “spare sailor”.

Mackenzie Cooper is the designated skipper. Dimitri Stevens will take the helm. Joining them are Owen Seise, Peter Dill, Philip Hagen, Mustafa Ingram. The alternate sailing team member yet to be named will be the same for the entire event and only used in case of injury.

Richard Clarke, the Team BDA coach, commented on the Lake Garda-Riva Cup experience. “It was obviously a huge event for our team’s development although with a slightly disappointing result on the scoreboard,” Clarke said.

“Areas that we are targeting for development after the event are decisions in traffic, performing under pressure, executing manoeuvres consistently, establishing a repeatable starting plan, clear and precise communication in chaotic situations, mode awareness relative to other boats and strategic considerations.”

“Time is running out, but we have a few quality opportunities to mould the team into form before the event starts.”

“Next week in the AC45 it will be crucial to race the other teams as much as possible, this team needs racing hours.”

America’s Cup, page 33-36