Hamilton, Bermuda: TeamBDA, Bermuda’s entry to the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, has announced its official merchandise is now on sale online (through both the TeamBDA and Bermuda Blueprinting websites), as well as in select stores.
Supporters of the sailing team – which is made up of nine young Bermudians between the ages of 18 and 24 – are encouraged to purchase their favourite gear, including t-shirts, flags, caps, beach towels, water bottles and bags. They can then wear their wares to show their support for the team and to cheer them on during the competition from June 12 to 21.
The first opportunity to view the products, and meet the team, will be this Wednesday, April 26, from 6-7pm at Liberty Theatre, when TeamBDA will host a meet and greet event. This is a chance to get to know Bermuda’s team, ask questions, take pictures and hear the inspirational stories of these nine young Bermudians on a mission to represent their country on the world’s stage.
Laura Cutler, TeamBDA Team Manager, stated, “We’re super excited that the TeamBDA gear is arriving at Bermuda Blueprinting this week.
“We hope to see everyone with something – as there are quite a few items to choose from, including: shorts, bags, hats, flags, etc. Our sailors are working hard in preparation for this incredible event, and it would be amazing to see our supporters in TeamBDA kit out in public and on the racecourse!”
Months ago, an idea was put forth to offer branded clothing and other items for TeamBDA in the lead up to this summer’s big event.
According to Liana Carrick, Administrator at Bermuda Blueprinting, the suggestion was welcomed, but the competitors and management of TeamBDA were busy focusing on race preparation. Bermuda Blueprinting offered to take the reins, designing and managing details for the project.
Ms. Carrick explained, “Our in-house graphic designers created artwork mock-ups for TeamBDA approval and tech shirts, cotton t-shirts, dri-fit caps, beach towels, water bottles and bags were selected.
“The tech shirts come in the team colours of red, royal blue and white, while the line of bags carries through on this colour scheme with the team logo embroidered on sail fabric tote bags, backpacks, wristlets, wallets etc.”
Ms. Carrick said Bermuda Blueprinting, and its sister company Island Embroidery, were “pleased” to be involved in the supply of branded merchandise for TeamBDA.
“The launch for pre-orders was April 10th through www.bdablue.com, and with the merchandise now available for collection. Hopefully Bermudians will show their support for their home team by embracing the TeamBDA name and purchasing their branded merchandise,” she continued. “A portion of the sale proceeds will go to TeamBDA, but more importantly a powerful message of support will be sent out that we stand behind our home team and believe Bermuda has earned its place in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.”
TeamBDA merchandise will also be available through AC Outfitters in Dockyard and the Island Tour Centre at Albouys Point.
All of Bermuda is encouraged to come out and support our home team, TeamBDA, who are competing in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. TeamBDA, ten high-performing young athletes, will make a public appearance at Liberty Theatre on Wednesday April 26th, from 6.00pm – 7.00pm.
This will be Bermuda’s chance to ask about the team’s training and to hear of their triumphs and challenges, as these young Bermudians are pioneers in competitive sailing. The one female and three black sailors on the team have compelling stories about breaking gender and racial barriers. Everyone on the team has a story to tell that will make Bermuda proud. One astounding fact about this team is that before this opportunity, they were not all sailors. High performing athletes, yes, but sailing is new to some of them.
Come and show your support for the 10 inspiring young Bermudians who will represent Bermuda in this summer’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup – right here in Bermuda! Hear their stories, ask them questions, learn about their rigorous health and fitness routines, understand the incredible speed and technology of the AC boats, take your picture with the team.
There will be a door prize and the opportunity to order TeamBDA gear.
As well as meeting the team, the public will be treated to three short films about TeamBDA, all in a free public event at Liberty Theatre on Wednesday April 26th, from 6.00pm – 7.00pm. The public is encouraged to arrive early for this FREE public session. Those attending will also receive TeamBDA giveaways.
You could watch the videos on our YouTube channel:
TeamBDA Intro Video,
TeamBDA Women Sailors,
Another great way for Bermuda to support the team is to watch them race in their Qualifier events on June 12th and 13th. Spectators can watch from the America’s Cup Village in Dockyard or from the water on either day. The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals take place on June 20th and 21st. Tickets are for sale at: www.americascup.com/tickets
The first Meet the Team opportunity at Liberty Theatre last week saw a full theatre, where the sentiment of pride and joy in the room was overwhelming. Approximately 230 locals gathered to learn more about their home team sailors. TeamBDA coaches are confident that the team will be competitive, and will put on a great show while Bermuda is on the world stage during the 35th America’s Cup.
Featuring the next generation of sailing superstars, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is one of the newest and most exciting events on the sailing calendar. Here’s the history of the regatta – including how it’s driving the progression of the sport – plus a snapshot of the rapidly approaching events in Bermuda this June.
Why a “youth” America’s Cup? The brainchild of the America’s Cup Event Authority and Austrian double Olympic Gold Medalists Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup was developed to provide an unprecedented career path to the highest ranks of professional competitive sailing by identifying the world’s top young sailors and helping to prepare them for the challenge of America’s Cup racing.
Two-time America’s Cup–winning skipper Jimmy Spithill of ORACLE TEAM USA explains, “There’s never been a pathway for youth sailors. Now, we have that pathway. It’s essentially what college football is to the NFL – a breeding ground of new talent. And it works.”
The Beginning: San Francisco, USA, 2013 In September 2013, for the first time a Red Bull Youth America’s Cup regatta gave sailors aged 18-24 the opportunity to develop their skills on cutting-edge boats in a competitive environment – the same San Francisco waters where the America’s Cup was being contested. Ten teams took part, representing Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. The New Zealand and USA both had two teams entered, bringing the total number of teams to ten. America’s Cup teams loaned the youth series 45-foot training boats – longer than a city bus and featuring a rare kind of solid sail reminiscent of an airplane wing, known as a wing sail. The NZL Sailing Team of New Zealand captured top honors, with another Kiwi crew in second and Portugal also on the podium in third.
“The wing rig was a new challenge for the sailors,” remembers Steinacher, who is Sport Director for the regatta along with Hagara. “In the whole world there were only a few boats existing with wing rigs, and this age group had absolutely no experience with them. That’s exactly what we wanted to do to find the best talent in the world.”
The Impact With that first regatta, a fresh wind blew into the sailing scene. Steinacher remarks, “The athletes who performed at their very best in San Francisco are now among the top sailors in the world. Some sail alongside Roman and me on the Red Bull Sailing Team in the Extreme Sailing Series. Others returned to their Olympic path and dominated their classes, and some have got a professional contract in the America’s Cup.”
So far, eight sailors from the 2013 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup have found positions with America’s Cup teams. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who were part of the victorious New Zealand team in San Francisco, have since won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Burling is now helmsman for the Emirates Team New Zealand boat in the America’s Cup, while Tuke is the team’s trimmer. American Cooper Dressler is now a grinder for ORACLE TEAM USA, and the list goes on. In fact, today nearly all America’s Cup teams now have one or more sailors with a background in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.
“The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup changed the whole America’s Cup world – the age group that’s sailing on the boats dropped by about 10 years,” Steinacher points out. “All the teams saw that the new boats fit the young generation exactly. So the sailing leaders of the world are picking younger sailors than before.”
Bermuda 2017 In 2017, Bermuda’s Great Sound will form a natural amphitheater for the America’s Cup, and the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup will use exactly the same racecourse. Sailing conditions in Bermuda are typically exceptional in June, with historical wind data suggesting that there should be racing conditions 90 percent of the time.
New for 2017, the young teams will be sailing the AC45F, a catamaran with a mast as high as an eight-storey building that, unlike its 2013 predecessor, will fly on hydrofoils. Six boats are provided by current America’s Cup teams that competed in the 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, and two additional boats are provided by the America’s Cup Event Authority. The AC45F is capable of reaching speeds over 35 knots, or about 65kph/40mph. The eight AC45Fs used in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup are the only such boats in the entire world. A full shore team with the capability to repair the boats overnight will be on hand with spare parts at the ready.
“The America’s Cup boat for 2017 is very nearly 50 feet and the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup boat is 45, so there’s only 5 feet of difference. It’s very challenging for the youth sailors,” Steinacher comments. “And a foiling boat is a sailing boat, but a very, very fast sailing boat. The big challenge is the crossing speed – if one boat is coming from the right and another is coming from the left, the crossing speed is always double the boat speed. In our situation, when eight boats are on the starting line for the Final, it’s even more challenging. As a comparison, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series has just six boats at the starting line. So this challenge really is significant.”
The teams and format Twelve national youth teams, each composed of six sailors aged 18-24, will race in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup 2017, each representing a different nation. Every team may practice a maximum of seven days on an AC45F before the official practice sessions begin in June. Hagara explains: “There are six teams in each of two pools. In the Qualifiers this June, the top four teams from each pool will advance, and we’ll have a total of eight boats at the starting line in the Finals. It’s going to be a big challenge and a great opportunity to learn and prove themselves.”
Pool A Artemis Youth Racing (Sweden)
Team France Jeune (France)
Kaijin Team Japan (Japan)
Youth Vikings Denmark (Denmark)
Team Tilt (Switzerland)
SVB Team Germany (Germany)
Pool B Team BDA (Bermuda)
NZL Sailing Team (New Zealand)
Land Rover BAR Academy (Great Britain)
Spanish Impulse Team (Spain)
Next Generation USA (USA)
Candidate Sailing Team (Austria)
The action gets underway in conjunction with the America’s Cup in Bermuda this summer, with Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Pool A and B Qualifiers scheduled for June 12-16, 2017, followed by the Finals on June 20-21.
As per the rules of the regatta, TeamBDA today announced they have filled the Skipper, Team Manager and Boat Captain roles, as they continue their preparations for 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.
The June regatta, taking place on Bermuda’s Great Sound, will see TeamBDA being led by Skipper Mackenzie Cooper, with Owen Siese named as Team Manager, and Peter Dill, the Boat Captain.
Speaking on the selection of these key positions, TeamBDA Head Coach, Richard Clarke, said that all team members were asked for input on the Skipper selection, and their choices lined up with those of the coaches. He also noted that the Skipper position does not necessarily mean being the helmsman and that the positions on the boat will not be finalized until May.
“We’ve been working with the team for over a year now so we’ve gotten a very clear picture of the skills and qualities each member brings to the team.
“Mackenzie has consistently shown a really strong command of the team and the boat. I think if you were looking at the definition of a skipper or team leader then Mackenzie demonstrates those skills.”
Michael Barnes, TeamBDA’s Foiling Coach, also weighed in on the selection saying: “It was very close between Mackenzie and Owen for the Skipper position. They each bring different qualities to the team, so putting them in the roles we have will allow them to complement each other really well.”
An obviously proud Mackenzie says he’s looking forward to representing Bermuda in June on home waters.
“It’s a dream come true and a huge honour,” he says. “We’re the home team, so I also feel a great sense of responsibility. But the team is great, we’re forming a strong bond, and really looking forward to representing Bermuda.”
Owen, who has been sailing with and against Mackenzie since they were both 8-years-old, says the trust shown in him by his teammates and coaches is a “great feeling”.
“I’m looking forward to working with Mackenzie to lead the team. My job, in addition to sailing, is making sure we get everything done that needs to be done. I’ve got to be always looking ahead and keeping things moving.”
In the role of Boat Captain, Peter Dill will be responsible for making sure the AC45f is ship-shape and ready to race. It is role he presently holds for the team’s training boat, the GC32 “CAT 5”. He also worked as an intern on the shore team for ORACLE TEAM USA, so has some experience under his belt.
“I need to learn the AC45 inside out so it’s ready to race every day,” Peter says. “It will involve some delegation so that the whole team is incorporated in the process.”
Peter admits to being “a little nervous” but is happy for the responsibility.
The eleven members of TeamBDA are training full-time in their preparations for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. There will be a total of six crew on the boat for the regatta in June. Final selections will not be made until May, as per the requirements of the regatta organisers.
In the meantime, Bermuda can expect to see “CAT 5” racing around the Great Sound as the team masters the high tech art of foiling.
“This is the coolest thing I’ve ever done,” says Mackenzie. “Hand down the best experience of my life… so far.”
Beginning January 9, 2017, TeamBDA ramped up its preparations for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup as they embarked on a full time training schedule for the June event.
Since the final team was announced in September, 2016, they have participated a in a series of intensive training camps. These one-week camps were the first steps in getting ready to race foiling AC45s against some of the top youth sailors in the world, right here in Bermuda.
“The amount of progress we’ve seen, in a relatively short space of time has been impressive,” says Richard Clarke, TeamBDA’s head coach. “This is not just about building the sailing skills, it is also about building camaraderie and confidence in each other. So far I’m really pleased.”