The NZL Sailing Team, made up of RNZYS Performance Program Members & Youth Training Programme graduates, finished on top of the ladder after qualifying and it’s where they want to be when racing in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup finals gets under way next week.

The team, skippered by Logan Dunning Beck, won two of today’s three races to jump from fourth overnight to finish equal on points with Land Rover BAR Academy from Great Britain and Spanish Impulse.

Racing on both days of qualifying was done in light winds, which sometimes made it a lottery, but the Kiwis did a good job to put themselves in the right positions.

“Snakes and ladders I think is the best way to describe it,” Dunning Beck said. “It was up and down from start to finish. You probably couldn’t have picked it until you went around that last mark. Really it was anyone’s game all day long.”

The NZL Sailing Team also pocketed a fourth in the second race of the day but will be encouraged by the fact they won three of the six races overall.

The other six teams in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup will race over two days from Friday to find the other four teams to qualify for the eight-boat final which starts next Wednesday. Pool A consists of Artemis Youth Racing (Sweden), Team France Jeune, Kaijin Team Japan, Youth Vikings Denmark, Team Tilt (Switzerland) and SVB Team Germany.

Although the New Zealand team would prefer more breeze, they have proven their ability in light winds and softer conditions are forecast for the next few days in Bermuda.

The NZL Sailing Team won the inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2013 with Peter Burling at the helm and this year’s crop are expected to be among the contenders.

“It’s going to be tough racing, for sure,” Dunning Beck said. “I think it’s anyone’s game at this point. You can see with the results here, it was really tight, and surely when you add a couple of the teams from the other pool it’s going to be incredibly tight.”

It’s going to be the same in the America’s Cup match, when Emirates Team New Zealand line up agianst Oracle, and the NZL Sailing Team have been watching the racing to date with interest.

“It’s hard to miss that big red boat out there,” Dunning Beck said. “Certainly it’s a great thing to watch and we take a bit of enthusiasm from their win [in the Louis Vuitton series] as well.”

Results and standings from the second day of qualifying at the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in Bermuda today:

Pool B Race 4:

NZL Sailing Team (10 points)

Team BDA (9)
Spanish Impulse Team (8)
Candidate Sailing Team (7)
Land Rover BAR Academy (6)
Next Generation USA (5)

Race 5

Spanish Impulse Team (10)
Land Rover BAR Academy (9)
Candidate Sailing Team (8)
NZL Sailing Team (7)
Next Generation USA (6)
Team BDA (5)

Race 6

NZL Sailing Team (10)
Land Rover BAR Academy (9)
Spanish Impulse Team (8)
Team BDA (7)
Next Generation USA (6)
Candidate Sailing Team (5)


NZL Sailing Team 51 points
Land Rover BAR Academy 51
Spanish Impulse Team 51
Team BDA 45
Next Generation USA 36
Candidate Sailing Team 36

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