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Bullish on the Red Bull Youth AC

AC45 fleet racing is expected be thrilling for both lifelong sailors and nonsailing sports fans with merely a curious interest. And in this contest the team members will actually be citizens of the countries they represent, rather than hired guns.

© 2013 ACEA / Gilles Martin-Raget

There’s no denying that AC72s are fast, edgy, and technically sensational. But races between them thus far have left many Bay Area sailing enthusiasts wishing America’s Cup 34 organizers had simply stuck with the AC45s that were so thrilling to watch here last spring and summer during the AC World Series. 

Within those highly successful contests, the most thrilling moments — especially for non-sailing sports fans — came during the fleet races. That’s one of the reasons we’re extremely bullish on the upcoming Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, September 1-4, which will feature fleet races exclusively.

With 10 teams of 19- to 24-year-olds from around the world on the starting line in each of eight races, this event — originally a mere footnote to the big show among the AC72s — could produce some of the most spectacular moments of the so-called Summer of Sailing. So mark your calendar. You won’t want to miss it.

In addition to eight foreign teams — from Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland — the U.S. will be represented by the USA45 Racing syndicate (hosted by San Diego YC), plus the SF Bay ‘home team’ dubbed The Force (American Youth Sailing Force). Never before has an AC event provided such an effective ‘gateway’ event to prepare the next generation of professional, world-class sailors. And, as this just-released Force video shows, the experience is also a whole lot of fun. 

Both U.S. teams are worthy of your support, emotionally and financially. Check out their websites for details on the crews, their ongoing training and support opportunities. We’ll see you on the sidelines.

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As predicted, imposing wind limits on America’s Cup racing has forced organizers to cancel several scheduled Louis Vuitton Cup Finals races.