The British America’s Cup Challenger and Land Rover, the team’s Title and Exclusive Innovation Partner, have deepened their commitment to creating a sustainable talent programme in sailing with the launch of the Land Rover BAR Academy. This new initiative will find and support talented young British sailors, and create a pathway into the America’s Cup.
The immediate goal is to select a British team to compete in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (RBYAC) in 2017. Raced in the same AC45F that the senior teams use for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, every America’s Cup Challenger and the Defender must enter a team into the RBYAC. The finals will be fought out during the main competition in Bermuda 2017.
The first intake into the Academy will see a squad of 12 sailors competing in the Extreme Sailing Series. Chosen from an on-going selection policy, the Academy sailors will have all their regatta costs paid for, with access to the expertise and facilities at the home of Land Rover BAR, including workshops with the senior sailing team.
The Extreme Sailing Series now uses a foiling multihull, the GC32, and is the perfect training platform to launch the careers of these young sailors.
The mentoring and support team will include Land Rover BAR Sailing Team Manager and three times America’s Cup winner Jonathan ‘Jono’ Macbeth. Macbeth commented: “The Extreme Sailing Series will provide a great opportunity to trial sailors in the Academy. This will be the first step to building a team for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2017. The longer-term aim is to mentor young British sailing talent and build the next generation of British America’s Cup sailors.”
The project manager will be Rob Andrews, London 2012 Olympic Sailing/Venue Manager, and a former RYA Olympic coach. The new Academy’s coach will be Andrew Walsh, a former Extreme Sailing Series and Olympic multihull sailor and coach. Land Rover BAR sailor and three-time winner of the Series, Leigh McMillan will lead the team into the first two events to help develop their skills at the helm of these high-performance boats.
Team Principal and Skipper, Ben Ainslie, said, “At Land Rover BAR we believe in investing in the next generation. We want to nurture home grown talent to ensure a lasting legacy and sustainable future as we aim to bring the Cup home to Britain. We’re looking for talented, fit and committed people.”
Applicants will need to be between 19 and 24 years old on the 31 December 2017, and they can start their journey by submitting an application form at landroverbar.com/academy
Castrol will be joining as a partner of the Academy, implementing a full carbon offsetting programme for the Academy’s activities. Sustainability will be embedded at the heart of what the Academy does, just as it is throughout Land Rover BAR.