SUNDAY UPDATE: New Zealand sailors Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson were crowned the World Champions in the first-ever Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final. Race organizers were forced to cancel the final round due to winds gusting to 35 knots. Earlier results in the regatta’s high-level racing were used to determine the outcome.
CROWDS, CHEERS, AND CAPSIZES MARK KNOCKOUT ROUNDS OF WORLD FOILING FINAL
The drama was as high with gusty winds on Saturday, as national champion teams of youth sailors from across the planet fought for a place in the final round of the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final 2016. Three more races in Newport, Rhode Island, USA on Sunday will determine the World Champion. In Saturday’s races women sailors continued to make an impact right alongside the men, with the female skippers of the two mixed-gender teams in the lineup, Sweden and New Zealand, advancing to Sunday’s finale.
NEWPORT, RI, USA (22 October 2016) – Crowds of sailing fans lined the banks of Newport Harbor in Rhode Island, USA on Saturday, cheering athletes from around the globe in the Knockout rounds of the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final. The two-person teams of the world’s best sailors aged 16-20 gave everything they had as their Flying Phantom catamarans – the fastest boats of their size – rose up and flew on their foils in winds of up to 20 knots. The action was so tight and fast that one boat jumped the blue mark, while three capsized over the course of the day. With strong New England gusts predicted to persist and the field narrowed down to the very finest, Sunday’s three-race final round to determine the World Champion will be a nailbiter from start to finish.
Red Bull Foiling Generation was launched by double Olympic Gold Medalists Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher in 2015 to find the planet’s top young sailing talent. The goal is to give them hands-on training in the future of the sport – foiling – and to build skills that could potentially lead these young chargers to a career path in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup and perhaps even the America’s Cup itself.
In Saturday’s races women sailors continued to make an impact right alongside the men, with the female skippers of the two mixed-gender teams in the lineup, Sweden and New Zealand, advancing to Sunday’s finale.
“It’s no surprise that teams from sailing powerhouses like France and the United Kingdom have advanced, but I have to say that we’ve seen real dedication and progress across all 15 teams that earned a berth in this World Final,” said Hagara.
Steinacher agreed, adding, “These kids have a genuine passion for foiling. New Zealand and Switzerland have already clinched a spot in the final race, and the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, the USA, Italy and France will be going for the remaining slots in the first two races of the day. No matter how it turns out, with the level of skill they’re showing us, you can be sure this will be far from a typical youth race. It’s going to be a fight to the finish at a very high level.”
The Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final concludes at Fort Adams State Park on Newport Harbor on 23 October 2016 with three races and the crowning of the World Champions. The park is home to many sailing events and regattas because of its natural amphitheater on Narragansett Bay and legendary sailing waters. Red Bull Foiling Generation is working in partnership with US Sailing and the non-profit Sail Newport, New England’s premiere public sailing center, which hosts the event.
Technical data for Flying Phantom:
The Flying Phantom earns raves as the future of sailing because unlike other small boats, it uses hydrofoil technology to lift completely out of the water. The system allows it to hit blistering speeds of up to 35 knots – almost 40 mph – making it by far the quickest sailing boat of its size in the world. Length: 5,52m (18ft), width: 3,00m, weight: 155kg, mast height: 9,6m, mainsail: 18sqm, Jib: 5,5sqm, Gennaker: 24sqm, crew: 2
About Red Bull Foiling Generation
Now in its second season, Red Bull Foiling Generation sees Flying Phantom catamarans lift over the water at up to 35 knots in a novel new format. Sailors aged 16-20 compete in a series of heats on four identical boats of distinct colors until the final race determines the team that will represent its country in the World Final. The biggest youth sailing program on the planet, Red Bull Foiling Generation has held regattas in 15 countries to give talented sailors the opportunity to qualify for the World Final in Newport, USA.
Images for editorial use only. Credit: Predrag Vuckovic for Red Bull Content Pool
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