The young sailors in the Next World Energy team are beginning to feel a bit more pressure with only five days to go to the start of the Youth America’s Cup. The races are now official, as they are organized by the Race Committee and carried out under race rules.
It’s starting to get a little bit serious in San Francisco Bay for the young French sailors in the Next World Energy team. With five days to go to the first races in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup – for the under 24s – the ten teams that are competing can no longer train as they wish on the race course after doing that for twelve days or so.
Just as in the AC World Series
Now it’s time for the official training races, with the course laid out by the Race Committee, exactly as in the AC45 World Series. It will now be the same in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. Each day, all of the ten boats will be sailing at the same time, while up until now two catamarans were out of the water each day for maintenance.
For the six crewmen on Next World Energy, the atmosphere is looking good: with the support of Energy Team, they are practising each day and getting to grips with the subtleties of the AC45s and the famous race course in California. They are making good progress (see what Antoine Mermod and Antoine Lauriot-Prévost say below).
We should remind everyone that the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is reserved for sailors under 24. It is being raced on rigid winged AC45 catamarans, with a crew of six young sailors. Ten teams representing eight nations are competing: two American teams and two from New Zealand as well as the Swiss, Germans, Swedes, Portuguese and the French aboard Next World Energy. It will all be decided after eight races with two each day between Sunday 1st September and Wednesday 4th September.
Antoine Lauriot-Prévost, helmsman aboard Next World Energy: “We managed to advance more quickly than expected, when we got our hands on the boat. We managed to get to grips with all the subtleties of racing much sooner than hoped. The team really works well together, which is great. We have made progress concerning communications aboard and everyone is focused: when something doesn’t work out, no one starts screaming. If I had to sum up the situation, I would say that this is a fantastic race course, with great boats and that our rivals are going to be tough, but we have a wonderful team here! The starts are going to be very important, but we also need to ensure we sail cleanly twice around the course without making any mistakes, and without muddling up our manoeuvres. That’s very important too, as that ensures that you are in the top half of the fleet. The thermal breeze always tends to be the same since we started training, but we know we have to watch out for the currents too: sometimes there are two or three knots of speed between us from one side of the race course to the other. In other words, you have to get it right.”
Antoine Mermod, Team Manager for Next World Energy: “Yesterday, (Monday) was our final day of training in the traditional way before the official races. We took advantage to do some speed tests with the code zero for the racing, the gennaker. We also ran through the start phases and some manoeuvres. For example, we worked on gybes, in order to improve the way we came out of them. Today, Tuesday, three official training races were organized by the Race Committee. This is exactly the same format as for the AC45 World Series. Until now, we haven’t really seen much of a difference between the boats… the standard of these youngsters is high all around. And as for the moment, everyone is busy testing things, carrying out trials, it’s not easy to say if one team is better than the others or not. In any case, it’s all going well for us: the youngsters on Next World Energy have made a lot of progress.”
The Next World Energy crew
- Arthur Ponroy – Skipper
- Antoine Lauriot-Prévost – Helm
- Hubert Savatier – Tactician
- Romain Bellet – Bowman / wing trimmer
- Valentin Bellet – Trimmer
- Paul Dagault – Main bowman
- Edouard-Marie Alikiagaléléi – Bowman / trimmer