I always look forward to visiting warm Florida, especially during these cold winter months, and photoshooting the Red Bull Foiling Generation always presents me a heart-pumping challenge, especially considering my affinity and connection towards water. Miami is well known in the sailing world and provides an excellent setting to showcase the skills of these ambitious athetes.Red Bull Foiling Generation is about providing talented young sailors, ages 16-20 with the opportunity to advance their careers through top-notch hydrofoil racing. The competitions serve as training waters for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, which caters to competitors ages 19-25.
Both competitions train youth sailors from all over the globe on smaller versions of catamaran racers with foils, like those used in one of the world’s most famous sailing competition: America’s Cup.
Across the past year, double Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher have sought out the planet’s best young sailors to learn and compete in the next wave of sailing – high-speed foiling catamarans – and top teams from 16 nations will vie to be crowned World Champion. For the 32 participating athletes, the experience could be the stepping stone to a professional career.
The second-ever World Final of the planet’s largest youth sailing program, Red Bull Foiling Generation, will fly on the waters off Miami, USA on November 9-11, 2018. Across the past year, double Olympic champions Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher have sought out the planet’s best young sailors to learn and compete in the next wave of sailing – high-speed foiling catamarans – and top teams from 16 nations will vie to be crowned World Champion. For the 32 participating athletes, the experience could be the stepping stone to a professional career.
After getting off to a flying start in 2015 and 2016, Red Bull Foiling Generation is back to discover the world’s top youth sailors. Developed by sports directors Hagara and Steinacher, the series gives wings to talented sailors aged 16-20 years old by introducing them to the type of cutting-edge foiling technology used in the America’s Cup. Olivia Mackay, who helmed New Zealand to win the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final in 2016, has gone on to helm a boat in the Extreme Sailing Series, and at least 40 previous participants are currently in Olympic-class programs for Tokyo 2020.
Now, a new crop of future sailing stars have their own chance to shine, in the 2018 Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final, the first to be held off the sunny shores of Florida. Talent scouts and professional coaches will be keeping a close eye on the line-up of 16 teams from five continents, which includes fresh faces from returning sailing powerhouses such as Switzerland, the UK and defending champion New Zealand, as well as newcomers to the prestige event, including Argentina, Austria, Greece and Portugal. The last national qualifier of 2018, to be held in Miami on November 2-4, just days before the World Final, will decide the US team for the event.
Since the season kicked off with a national final in La Baule, France in October 2017, anticipation has been building toward this year’s World Final, where, as always, Red Bull Foiling Generation will provide the boats. Each two-person team will race the innovative Flying Phantom, a spectacular multihull catamaran capable of reaching speeds up to 35 knots (nearly 40mph).
“We created this series to give outstanding young sailors the tools to follow a unique career path, and we chose the Flying Phantom because it is the fastest boat of its size,” says Steinacher.