RED BULL FOILING GENERATION: KIWI YOUTH FLY TO VICTORY IN THE CITY OF SAILS
After a soaring 2015 debut, the second season of Red Bull Foiling Generation – the series created by sailing legends Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher – got off to a flying start in front of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland, NZ, with Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson crowned national champions. This October, they will battle the planet’s top young sailors in the first-ever World Final.
IMAGES FROM THE REGATTA ON THE RNZYS FACEBOOK PAGE…
AUCKLAND (NZ) – The City of Sails witnessed a new kind of sailing regatta at Red Bull Foiling Generation Auckland on Sunday, as Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson emerged from three days of knock-out heats on foiling catamarans to be named New Zealand’s national champions. Set against the backdrop of the Harbour Bridge, the 16-team youth sailing event kicked off a 2016 season that will span eight countries, culminating with a historic World Final in the USA this October.
The racing in the final today was of a high grade, with the lead exchanged twice between first and second place (Trent Rippley and Issac McHardie). In the final leg, it was a straight high speed foil run towards the finish, where the winning boat dramatically capsized right on the finish line as Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson took the victory.
“We were really tight coming into the last mark.“ Says Micah. “Luckily we got around in-front of them, and then we were reaching and just flying into the finish line, totally out of control, but we managed to get across before we rolled the boat.“
Created by double Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher as a search for the best young talent, Red Bull Foiling Generation introduces skilled sailors aged 16-20 to the future of sailing; foiling. Each two-person team races on the Flying Phantom, a super lightweight, multihull catamaran capable of reaching speeds up to 35 knots (nearly 40mph) that is similar on a smaller scale to the watercraft used in the America´s Cup.
“This week was a dream. It’s incredible to get experience with a boat that actually lifts off the water, especially when your coaches are Roman and Hans Peter!” said Micah. “We’ll train hard for the World Final. We can’t wait to fly again!”
Hagara stated, “New Zealand is a sailing powerhouse – we had applications from so many talented teams, and the spectators really appreciate what these kids are accomplishing. I’d love to see some of these sailors graduate to the Youth America’s Cup, which resumes next year with New Zealand as reigning champion.”
Red Bull Foiling Generation sees the hulls lift over the water in eight countries in 2016. In addition to New Zealand, regattas will take place in Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and the USA, followed by a World Final featuring 15 national champion teams. Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher are the series sports directors – the double Olympic champions from Austria are also in charge of staging the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup 2017 and are the masterminds of the Red Bull Sailing Team participating in the Extreme Sailing Series.
The foils fly again at the next Red Bull Foiling Generation regatta in Istanbul, Turkey on 13-15 May 2016.
Red Bull Foiling Generation Race Calendar 2016
4–6 March Auckland / New Zealand
13–15 May Istanbul / Turkey
27–29 May Kiel / Germany
1–3 July Geneva / Switzerland
15–17 July Lelystad / Netherlands
5–7 August Cadiz / Spain
19–21 August Knokke / Belgium
13–15 October Newport / USA
20-22 October WORLD FINAL Newport / USA
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 cutting-edge 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, in 2016 Red Bull Foiling Generation holds regattas in eight countries to give more talented sailors the opportunity to qualify for the World Final, to be held in the USA in October.
Final Results – Heat 14
1. Micah Wilkinson and Olivia Mackay
2. Trent Rippley and Issac McHardie
3. Nick Egnot-Johnson and Jack Rogers
4. William McKenzie and Tamryn Lindsay