QUALIFICATION FOR WORLD FOILING FINAL SEES FAVORITES ADVANCE IN CLOSE RACING
The foils flew in Newport, USA on Friday, as fifteen national champion teams battled in the first races of the inaugural Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final. The revolutionary sailing competition conceived for youth sailors by double Olympic gold medalists Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher will continue with Knockout rounds on Saturday and Finals on Sunday, climaxing with the crowning of the World Champion.
NEWPORT, RI, USA (21 October 2016) – Sailing fans got an exciting look at the future of their sport on Friday, as 15 national champion teams from across the globe launched the first racing in the inaugural Red Bull Foiling Generation World Championship. The Qualification racing in Newport, USA was brisk and close across seven races as the two-person teams – the elite of the planet’s biggest youth sailing program – sailed Flying Phantom multihulls across Narragansett Bay. Favorites Switzerland and New Zealand managed to secure their place in the final on Sunday, while Italy and France will battle in Saturday’s Knockout series.
Red Bull Foiling Generation was conceived and developed by sports directors Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, two-time Olympic champions from Austria, to introduce talented sailors aged 16-20 to the kind of leading-edge foiling technology that’s used in the America’s Cup. The women in the lineup showed sensational power right along with their male counterparts, as mixed-gender teams from Sweden and New Zealand both advanced.
“We’re really happy with the performance the teams were able to deliver today – the level of skill they’re showing is high,” said Hagara, who also skippers the Red Bull Sailing Team in the Extreme Sailing Series. “We expect the racing to get even closer as we move up through the brackets this weekend.”
Friday’s winds were around 15 knots, less than in two previous days of training, but enough to demand full focus and lightning reactions. The excitement will ramp up even more in four races on Saturday, when winds are forecast to be strong for the four-boat Knockout heats. Three races on Sunday, including the Semifinals and Final, will crown the World Champion in the culmination of 15 previous regattas in 15 countries.
“We started Red Bull Foiling Generation to find the world’s best young sailors,” said Steinacher. “These flying Phantom boats are capable of 35 knots [almost 40 mph/65 kmh], and with teams of this quality and the strong winds, the action will be full-on.”
The Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final continues at Fort Adams State Park on Newport Harbor on 22-23 October 2016. 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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