Land Rover BAR Academy on top

Courtesy of Red Bull Newsroom

Brits take early lead going into exciting final day of Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.

Land Rover BAR Academy have a seven-point lead to defend going into the second and last day of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals.

The day began with a surprise victory for home boat Team BDA much to the delight of fervent support in Bermuda’s Great Sound.

But it was the consistency of the British team that shone through throughout the day’s three races.

Land Rover BAR Academy boasted a win and two second places to move to 28 points, with closest challengers Team Tilt, of Switzerland, and Team France Jeune on 21 apiece.

Going into today’s (Wednesday’s) finale, Land Rover BAR Academy skipper Rob Bunce said: “We’ll take all the positives from today, and there are still many things to learn and improve on.

“All of the team from Land Rover BAR [in the senior America’s Cup], including Ben Ainslie, have been incredibly helpful to us. It’s been amazing to have that support.”

The inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup from 2013 has already had an impact on the senior event, with a host of former juniors competing in that.

The brainchild of Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, it was set up to act as a sailing stepping stone and to prepare sailors, including current Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling, for the rigours of the America’s Cup itself.

Open to 18 to 24-year-olds, the initial 12 crews have been whittled down from the group stages to eight for the finals.

And Hagara said: “The last couple of years of preparation comes down to these two days of finals for the eight teams taking part, and I’ve been very impressed by how everyone has competed.

“It was hot out there on the Great Sound, and the winds were pretty light but everyone got on with their jobs and the racing was fascinating.”

Team BDA skipper Mackenzie Cook, meanwhile, has promised to give the home crowd something further to cheer during the finale.

“You stop for a second and look up at all the people in the grandstand cheering,” he said of the opening day of the finals. “It was just an incredible feeling which fills you with so much pride. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Red Bull Youth America’s Cup finals day one standings:

1 Land Rover Bar Academy (GBR) 28 points
2 Team Tilt (SUI) 21
3 Team France Jeune (FRA) 21
4 Artemis Youth Racing (SWE) 20
5 NZL Sailing Team (NZ) 18
6 Team BDA (BER) 18
7 SVB Team Germany (GER) 15
8 Spanish Impulse by IBEROSTAR (SPN) 15


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