Hamilton – Artemis Youth Racing stole the early advantage in the Pool A Qualifiers of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, with the Swedish team finishing the pool’s first day of racing on top of the standings after scoring two first and a third in the day’s three races.
With Pool B teams NZL Sailing Team, Land Rover BAR Academy, Spanish Impulse by Iberostar and local favourites Team BDA having already booked their places in The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals, it was the turn of the six teams who make up Pool A to try and join them, with four spots up for grabs after the two days of Qualifying action in Bermuda.
Pool A is made up of Kaijin Team Japan, SVB Team Germany, Team France Jeune, Artemis Racing (SWE), Youth Vikings Denmark and Team Tilt (SUI), all focused on making it through to the Finals of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, the pathway to a career at the top level of international sailing.
Roman Hagara, Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Sport Director said, “the teams were faced with more light winds today, similar to the conditions the Pool B teams had to compete in, but that’s how it can be in sailing. You have to race with the conditions you find yourself in, and I’ve been very impressed with not only how the teams have handled the lighter winds, but also seeing how they are just as competitive and just as determined, no matter the wind strength.”
Adding his thoughts is Hans-Peter Steinacher, Hagara’s fellow Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Sport Director, who said, “Artemis Youth Racing looked strong today, as did SVB Team Germany and Team France Jeune. However, the competition levels are incredibly tight and everything could turn around tomorrow, that’s how close the teams all are. That is exactly what we wanted to achieve with this event, having closely matched, competiitve teams who would bring the best out of each other. Those who did well today cannot afford to relax as there is still all to play for.”
In race one it was Robin Follin’s Team France Jeune who stole the early advantage, claiming a comfortable victory in the opening race of the day.
Despite the light winds over Bermuda’s Great Sound,the French team, affiliated to 35th America’s Cup team Groupama Team France, managed to generate good speed away from the start line and led throughout the race, eventually crossing the finish line clearly ahead of the rest of the pack.
Behind them, a hard-fought battle for second place was eventually won by Max Kohlhoff’s SVB Team Germany ahead of Sweden’s Artemis Youth Racing. Kaijin Team Japan took fourth-place, followed by Switzerland’s Team Tilt, skippered by Sebastian Schneiter, with Youth Vikings Denmark crossing the finish line in sixth.
In race two, in what proved a much closer duel, Artemis Youth Racing built on their promising first race display to claim victory, narrowly ahead of SVB Team Germany, with Max Kohlhoff’s team having to settle for another second-place finish.
A dramatic battle ensued at the last mark with Robin Follin’s Team France Jeune overtaking the improved Youth Vikings Denmark team, finishing third and fourth respectively. Switzerland’s Team Tilt once again finished fifth with Kaijin Team Japan completing the order in sixth place.
In the third and final race of the day, Artemis Youth Racing continued their impressive form, clinching a second-successive first place finish, capping off a very successful day’s work for the Swedish team.
Behind the victors, Switzerland’s Team Tilt claimed a morale-boosting second-place finish, ahead of the consistent Team France Jeune, who finished inside the top three in all three races.
Youth Vikings Denmark held off late pressure from the Germans to seal fourth, narrowly ahead of SVB Team Germany in fifth and Kaijin Team Japan, who again finished in sixth place.
At the end of day one in Pool A Qualifiers, Artemis Youth Racing lead the way with 28 points, followed by Team France Jeune (26pts), SVB Team Germany (24pts), Team Tilt (SUI) (21pts), Youth Vikings Denmark (19pts) and Kaijin Team Japan (17pts)