Courtesy of Red Bull Newsroom
British team win Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in dramatic finale.
Land Rover BAR Academy were crowned Red Bull Youth America’s Cup champions in a thrilling finale to the two days of finals.
NZL Sailing’s hopes of victory had looked dead and buried after languishing in fifth place following a disappointing trio of races on Tuesday.
But the Kiwi junior team were resurgent on the second day of finals on Wednesday winning all three races in a dominant display.
That third and final victory looked to have been enough to successfully defend their title from four years ago but a stunning late burst by the British crew saw them take second in the finale and edge the overall points tally.
The British team’s cause was helped by SVB Team Germany crashing into a mark to give them 50 points to the Kiwis’ 48.
“We had some slightly bleak thoughts for a little while watching on in that final race,” said Land Rover BAR Academy captain Rob Bunce.
“We were just praying for an opportunity from somewhere and then saw the drama that was unfolding in front of us [the German crash]. That was our opportunity.
“It feels fantastic to be able to bring the trophy home to us.”
Ben Ainslie, team principal of Land Rover BAR who had remained in Bermuda despite his team’s exit from the America’s Cup, was on hand to congratulate his fellow Britons after the race.
This is the second running of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, the inception of Olympic sailing champions Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, for 18 to 24-year-old sailors aimed at preparing them for the America’s Cup itself.
Paying tribute to all the teams in the regatta, Hagara said: “Look for the sailors you’ve seen here in this 2017 edition of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup to be in the next America’s Cup four years from now.
“These young talents are the superstars of the future and, after seeing the level of skill and competitiveness they’ve shown here in Bermuda, there’s no doubt they’re going to take the sport to the next level.”
Red Bull Youth America’s Cup final overall standings:
1 Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) 50 points
2 NZL Sailing Team (NZL) 48
3 Team Tilt (SUI) 42
4 Artemis Youth Racing (SWE) 37
5 Team France Jeune (FRA) 35
6 Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR 34
7 SVB Team Germany (GER) 33
8 Team BDA (BER) 33