The Red Bull Youth America's Cup will open with a Selection Series Trials in San Francisco in February. The Selection Series Trials will narrow the field through a rigorous training workshop and regatta.
Teams that make it through qualify for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup in September.
“Prospective teams can enter the Red Bull Youth America's Cup in three ways,” explained Iain Murray, the Regatta Director for the 34th America's Cup. “First, they can enter through an affiliation with a current AC World Series team. Second, they can purchase an AC45 and register a team. Or finally, they can apply and qualify through the Selection Series.”
"Breaking into the Cup is hard. So I think this is one of the most exciting developments in the America's Cup in a very long time.” --Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill
More than 20 teams from 17 nations have applied in the third category (full details of the final entry list will be released in December). But before they even get to the Selection Series trials, to be held February 9-24, these teams will need to convince the Race Committee that they have the talent and wherewithal to succeed.
“We want to ensure we have the most talented line-up possible,” Murray said. “So we've enlisted Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, double Olympic gold medalists in the Tornado catamaran, to manage the selection process as Sport Directors for the event. They'll be visiting the prospective teams between now and February to assess their capabilities and guide their training programs.”
The Selection Series will be held in San Francisco on the same AC45 wingsail catamarans the teams will race in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup event, to be held September 1-4, 2013. These are also the same boats the America’s Cup crews are racing in the AC World Series. For the youth teams who come to San Francisco in February, the Selection Series is the first step on the pathway to competing for one of the most prestigious trophies in all of sport -- the America’s Cup.
The next milestone for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup comes next month when the entry list for youth squads associated with AC World Series teams is finalized following the close of late entries on October 31. This will determine the number of spots remaining for teams competing in the Selection Series.