As part of its commitment to support talented young British sailors, and to create a pathway into the America’s Cup, the Land Rover BAR Academy has entered a squad of 12 sailors in the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series.
The 2016 Series and its global tour of Stadium Racing venues combined with world-class sailors and competition, will provide the perfect platform for the Land Rover BAR Academy to develop its sailing team as part of its on-going training and selection process for the British Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (RBYAC) in 2017.
Andy Tourell, Event Director of the Extreme Sailing Series, welcomed the Land Rover BAR Youth Academy’s participation. “This is yet another endorsement of the Series as a proving ground for the world’s best multihull sailors and as a competition that the best in the business want to take part in,” he said. “At the 2015 America’s Cup World Series Bermuda, for example, 73% of the sailors who competed earned their stripes in the Extreme Sailing Series. We are also really pleased to confirm today that Land Rover has committed to another two years with the Series: a great endorsement that we continue to deliver tangible return on investment for international brands.”
Mark Cameron, Global Brand Experience Director, Jaguar Land Rover said:”At Land Rover we are proud to have extended our partnership with the Extreme Sailing Series™ for a further two years. The Series has proven to be a fantastic vehicle to support visibility of our brands globally. In addition, 2016 promises to be a particularly exciting year for us as we enter, for the first time, a Series Team as part of the Land Rover BAR Academy team, competing in all eight acts. The Extreme Sailing Series captures the spirit of adventure we enjoy at Land Rover and with the Land Rover BAR Academy we hope together will make for a winning combination.”
The Land Rover BAR Academy will be racing against up to seven other elite teams including the experienced Danish crew SAP Extreme Sailing Team, who announced their new GC32 campaign before Christmas. Further team announcements are due in the coming weeks.
The Land Rover BAR Academy squad will be mentored by an experienced team, including 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, the 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 Extreme Sailing Series, Leigh McMillan, will lead the team into the first two regattas to help develop the skills they need in GC32 catamarans as the Series goes foiling for the first time in its 10-year history.
Land Rover BAR 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.”