Youth Events Planned for America’s Cup
Published on May 12th, 2017
The full program of events that will make up the America’s Cup Endeavour Junior Regattas will take place in Bermuda from June 14 to 24 to coincide with the 35th America’s Cup schedule, and will feature four different classes of race events: O’pen BIC, RS Feva, Hobie Wave, and Blokart.
“Qualification and selection events have been running around the world since September 2016 to identify all the kids who will take part and now we will have more than 160 young people involved in our events in June,” notes Tom Herbert-Evans, Community Sailing Manager for the 35th America’s Cup. “The America’s Cup Endeavour Program is designed to inspire and educate everyone who takes part.”
First on the schedule is the O’pen BIC which will feature 32 boats in total, including six competitors from Bermuda and the remaining 26 from around the world, all under 15 years years of age.
Official practice for the O’pen BIC class events will take place on June 14 and fleet racing on the 15th and 16th. The O’pen BIC boats will also feature in the America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton Halftime Show, this time on June 17. That event will feature an “Unregatta–style” course, incorporating the Bridge of Doom, a world first limbo-style obstacle on the racecourse that requires sailors to heel their boats over to pass through the obstacle, increasing the fun element but also giving the sailors a serious test of sailing skills. Finally, on Jun 18, the America’s Cup will showcase the first ever junior foiling exhibition in front of the America’s Cup Village on foiling O’pen BICs.
“The America’s Cup is the cutting edge of sailing,” said Nevin Sayre from O’pen BIC North America. “We at O’pen BIC consider the O’pen BIC Class to be the cutting edge of Junior Sailing. It is a perfect fit that 32 O’pen BIC sailors have qualified from around the world to compete in Bermuda, and will take center stage in the Halftime Show between race one and race two of the America’s Cup Match. We are excited to showcase our new generation boats and competition formats that are at the forefront of junior sailing.”
The RS Feva event will feature 16 teams in total, including three from Bermuda, with two team members on each of the 16 boats competing on the Great Sound. All the competitors are under 15 years of age and they will be taking part in official practice on June 14 and then fleet racing on June 15 and 16 on Bermuda’s Great Sound. The final RS Feva event will be an exhibition race on June 18, during the Halftime Show in the America’s Cup Match on a racecourse between the America’s Cup finish line and the America’s Cup Village Grandstand, all on a slalom course.
The final class on the water is the Hobie Wave competition which features two kids on each boat, with two teams from Bermuda, and 12 teams in total. Official practice for the Hobie Wave event is on June 21 and their fleet racing will take place on June 22-24. Hobie Waves will also feature in an exhibition race on June 24 during the America’s Cup Match Halftime Show. The racecourse for that event will replicate the America’s Cup racecourse with a reaching start, a windward gate and a leeward gate.
Additionally, a Blokart landsailing event will be contested by 80 young people from Bermuda, competing in two 40 person age groups: up to and including 13 years of age; from 14 to 18 years old. There will be a Blokart exhibition day on June 20 in the America’s Cup Village, in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup boat park, and then the fleet racing events will take place at Morgan’s Point on June 21-22.
“Having the Blokart used in the America’s Cup Endeavor Program to teach sailing geometry and the dynamics of sailing faster than the wind, without having to go afloat, has been a special opportunity for us,” said Matt Beckett, General Manager of Blokart International. “Partnering with the America’s Cup Endeavor Program has been a great way to be involved with the America’s Cup, putting back into the local community and investing in the future of sailing.”
Background: The 35th American’s Cup has attracted six teams (5 challengers and 1 defender) that will compete in the new 15-meter AC Class, with a series of qualifiers beginning on May 26, 2017 that lead to the start of the America’s Cup Match on June 17, 2017. Complete schedule.