Video courtesy America’s Cup.
San Francisco – Emotions are running high heading into the final day of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, will all to play for. It’s a wide open leaderboard, and with double points available in the last race, nine teams still have a shot at the podium.
60 sailors, across 10 teams, from 8 nations, will fight for glory on Wednesday (11.10am PT), the final day or racing at this inaugural event.
The New Zealand Sailing Team with Emirates Team New Zealand and Objective Australia each had strong days on Tuesday. The Kiwis won both races, with Objective Australia taking second place. That means Peter Burling’s Kiwi team has started to separate from the chasing pack.
“We had good starts in both races,” said New Zealand’s Peter Burling, who started both races towards the leeward end of the line. “We felt the angle was good and everyone set up farther up the line both times. We thought we’d start down where there was no traffic.”
The strategy paid off. Burling’s team has an 11-point lead over his closest rival, the other Kiwi team, Full Metal Jacket, who sit 11 points back, on equal points with the American Youth Sailing Force.
In the racing on Tuesday, there was action aplenty: place changes, numerous penalties and a USA sailor overboard that resulted in a safe recovery with no injuries.
The Aussie crew, led by skipper Jason Waterhouse had its best day. The team has been plagued by problems with the gennaker halyard, but today the sail stayed hoisted and allowed them to chase Peter Burling’s leading New Zealand crew. The Aussies even passed the Kiwis at one mark rounding, but Burling’s crew was too fast today and won both races.
“The Kiwis sailed perfect, full marks to them. They outsailed the international fleet,” said Jason Waterhouse of Objective Australia. “No one likes to lose but to lose to a silver medalist on a day like today… it’s not about the day it’s about the regatta.”
For the American Youth Sailing Force crew, the day might’ve gone better had crewman David Liebenberg not fallen overboard in the first race. Liebenberg, the tactician, is the forward-most crewman and he missed the hiking strap coming out of a tack sailing upwind in the first race. American Youth Sailing Force was battling it out for third at the time, but fell back in the fleet and finished seventh.
“That was kind of a setback,” said skipper Mike Menninger. “It’s hard to sail these boats with five guys. Our maneuvers weren’t as crisp and our boatspeed took a dip.”
The final day of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup will take center stage on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 11 am PT/2 pm ET, with more than 70 territories around the world broadcasting live coverage and replays on both the America’s Cup and Red Bull YouTube channels.
Red Bull Youth America’s Cup – Provisional Standings
1. NZL Sailing Team with Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 2-RDG-7-3-1-1 – 50 points
2. Full Metal Jacket Racing (NZL), 7-1-4-6-6-3 – 39 points
3. American Youth Sailing Force (USA), 1-7-3-5-7-4 – 39 points
4. Swedish Youth Challenge (SWE), 6-2-9-1-4-6 – 38 points
5. ROFF/Cascais Sailing Team (POR), 3-6-1-8-8-5 – 35 points