Team BDA gear up for Garda
Mackenzie Cooper, the skipper of Bermuda's Red Bull Youth America's Cup entry, is pumped up for this week's GC32 Tour opener on Lake Garda in Italy.
Cooper and his Team BDA colleagues are using the regatta as a warm-up for next month's RBYAC in the Great Sound and are optimistic of producing a “decent result”.
“We are super-excited for the chance to take part in the event,” Cooper said.
“We hope to enjoy it and get a decent result.”
Helmsman Dimitri Stevens, and crew Peter Dill, Owen Siese, Philip Hagen and Mustafa Ingham make up the remainder of Team BDA, who have been training full time in the GC32 since January.
Team BDA will be among 11 squads competing in the GC32 Riva Cup, which will provide a stern test for the island's sailors.
“For two, the GC32 Riva Cup will be their first regatta ever, which his pretty cool,” Cooper added.
“Then we will have three others who are sailors, but who've never raced in foiling catamarans before.
“It is a long way from Bermuda, a lot of us haven't been to Italy before. This is a big event for us all.”
Team BDA have trained in the GC32 over the past year under coaches Michael Barnes and Richard Clarke, the Canadian Volvo Ocean Race winner and Olympic sailor.
“We have put in a lot of hours — you get better every time you get out there,” Cooper said. “Before we were simply learning how to sail a foiling catamaran, but now we are refining our racing skills.”
Team BDA are among a trio of teams with all youth crews that are using the opening event of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour as final training for the RBYAC.
Also competing are Swiss team Team Tilt and Team France Jeune who are associated with Groupama Team France.
Team Tilt, who are coached by Glenn Ashby, the Emirates Team New Zealand skipper and multiple A-Class catamaran world champion, finished second on last year's GC32 Tour.