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Young sailors get on-deck lessons from old salts

The first trials for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup concluded last week in San Francisco with six teams battling for two spots representing San Francisco and the United States.

For the young sailors the trials have been an opportunity to learn what it takes to compete at the highest level, with lessons from the best sailors in the world, according to the organization.

“It’s been incredible,” Mikey Radziejowski, a 20-year-old who works the bow for the American Youth Sailing Force, said in the statement. “These last few days have definitely been the best days of sailing in my entire life. Regardless of how we did I will forever remember this and it will always be an experience that [I’ve been] fortunate to have.”

Oracle Team USA has been organizing the trials and is expected to announce the results in the coming days. The youth sailors have been put through their paces under the eyes of team coaches Philippe Presti and Darren Bundock.

Young American teams were vying last week for spots supported by Oracle Team USA; international teams will take part in a selection series in San Francisco in February. Racing for the inaugural Red Bull Youth America’s Cup takes place in September 2013 between the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup Finals.

Each youth crew is composed of six sailors, one more than America’s Cup World Series teams because the sailors are, on average, 40 to 50 pounds lighter than a Cup sailor. All crewmembers must be between the ages of 19 and 24 and meet nationality requirements.

The six U.S. teams have sailors from 10 states, all with varied resumes in dinghy and keelboat racing. Oracle Team USA will identify two youth teams, one to represent the United States and another to represent San Francisco.

The selected crews will be provided with coaching and instruction by Oracle Team USA through to the finals in September 2013.

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