Britain’s youth America’s Cup sailors from the Land Rover BAR Academy have been crowned the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Champions in Bermuda.
The British entry in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup claimed victory in Bermuda after a nail biting finale, but the team showed determination by never giving up to come back from difficult situations on the race course.
They completed 12 races against 12 other nations to take the title finishing with 50 points. They were just two points ahead of second placed New Zealand Sailing Team and eight points ahead of Switzerland’s Team Tilt.
After the win, Land Rover BAR team principal and skipper, Ben Ainslie, commented on the team’s success, “We could not be prouder of the Land Rover BAR Academy winning the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. All their hard work, commitment and dedication over the past 18 months has really come together on the water here in Bermuda.
“I have been really impressed by the team’s constant on-board communication, how they kept their cool under pressure and really delivered on the boat handling during the tricky conditions.”
The team competed in the same AC45F foiling catamaran that Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR raced – and won – the 2015-16 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in. With little time to celebrate the young Land Rover BAR Academy are now heading to Maderia to compete in the Extreme Sailing Series Act 3.
Land Rover BAR Academy was launched in January 2016, to support talented young British sailors, and create a structured pathway into the America’s Cup. 22-year-old Neil Hunter was an initial example of success, promoted from junior to senior team, becoming not only the youngest sailor to compete in the America’s Cup but the only sailor to compete in both competitions.
The British entry is also made up of some of the country’s top sailing talent, aged between 19-24 years old and led by skipper Rob Bunce. 23-year-old strategist, Annabel Vose, was the only female crew member to compete in the Youth Cup. She said the team were absolutely thrilled by the result.
Skipper Rob Bunce said, “We knew to finish first overall we could only have one boat in between us and New Zealand and most of the way round there were two or three boats in between. We saw at that last gate, Artemis Youth Racing (Sweden) and SVB Team Germany (Germany) had a battle on and one of them got hooked on the mark and the other suffered a penalty and that was our opportunity to get in front of Team Tilt (SUI) and hold out Spanish Impulse (ESP) to have the reach of our lives. To win here in Bermuda is amazing.”