Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) hosted the Red Bull Foiling Generation last week, June 27-28, for the British qualification rounds. The global sailing series is open to talented sailors aged 16-20 who will be racing the innovative Flying Phantom class catamarans.
16 teams were locked in fierce sailing with a thrilling knock out final. During the tight competition all the sailors did themselves proud but the talent and knowledge of 18 year old Owen Bowerman and Morgan Peach made the difference as they mastered the 14 knot wind during the semifinals and final to take the title.
“It was the most fun and spectacular sailing event I ever participated in. The fleet was incredibly strong. We had three days of intense racing and the final race was just a thriller. It is a big honour to win the British ticket for the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final,” said Owen Bowerman. “All teams participating learned so much through this week. I am sure our sailing skills are on another level now.”
Seven countries will host regattas in 2015 with all national winners qualifying for the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final 2016.
A month before the America's Cup World Series visits Portsmouth, the young British sailors who competed this weekend sailed on foiling boats for the first time. The vessels, which are similar to the boats competing in the America's Cup, measure 5.5m long and 3m wide, are equipped with a J-shaped daggerboard and can hit speeds of up to 35 knots.
Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, Sport Directors of the Series and double Olympic Champion were impressed by the level of the young British sailors and their skills: “The level of the teams was high, the potential they have is enormous. The winner of the UK edition will play a role at the World Final 2016,” said Hagara.
“The perfect boat, the perfect location and amazing young talents. This is what we were looking for and was delivered this week,” added Hans Peter Steinacher.
The next stop of the foiling regatta will take place in Malcesine, Lake Garda (Italy), followed by events in Sweden, Denmark, Russia and France. Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher are the series‘ sports directors. Austria’s double Olympic gold medalists are also in charge of staging the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup 2017.
1. Owen Bowerman - Morgan Peach
2. Olivier Greber - Ed Connellan
3. Oliver Aldridge - Nathaniel Gordon
4. Gillies Munro - Daniel Harris