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.”