By Nevin Sayre
With the backdrop of the 35th America’s Cup, 32 O’Pen BIC sailors, ages ten to fifteen, participated in the America’s Cup Endeavour O’Pen on Bermuda’s Great Sound June 15 -18, 2017. The kids and parents represented ten different nations from around the world, and all hailed the event as the “experience of a lifetime.”
The enthusiastic crowd at the America’s Cup Village loved the O’Pen BIC Freestyle Exhibition. ©photoMagiFoster
The first two days saw spectacular “Un-Regatta” style racing with required freestyle moves, unique course obstacles, and tight courses. Several reaching, America’s Cup-style starts tested the sailors, and made for very close action.
Bryce Tone, from Sarasota, FL, edged out Leo Beyer of Germany and local Bermudian O’Pen BIC star, Aiden Lopes, to take first place. Olga Fregni of Italy was fourth, followed by Hawaiian Marcos Baez.
These 32 young sailors enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the America’s Cup Endeavour O’Pen. ©photoMagiFoster
The biggest action, however, was on Saturday between Race One and Race Two of the America’s Cup Finals. After the O’pen BIC “Dock Out Show” on the big stage, the kids raced the “Half Time Show” in front of thousands of cheering spectators. To kick off this quick, eight-minute race, a reaching start brought the O’Pen BICs within a few boat lengths of the Grandstands. After a short reach and upwind leg, the sailors slalomed downwind around jibe marks. Along the way, mandatory capsizes, stand up sailing, and tight mark roundings led to exciting racing.
The grand finale was the “Bridge of Doom.” In order to cross beneath, sailors had to heel over far enough to clear their masts while not capsizing. Marcos Baez from Hawaii Kai Boat Club led the fleet through the finish, but all 32 O’pen BIC sailors brought the spectators to a roar with their impressive show of seamanship.
Sailors had to heel over enough to pass under the “Bridge of Doom” while being careful not to capsize. © photoMagiFoster
In their encore, the sailors took to the water again in front of the grandstands on Sunday, just before Race Three of the America’s Cup Finals. This time they put on an O’Pen BIC Freestyle Exhibition, delighting the crowds with all kinds of boat handling skills, creative balancing acts, and spectacular dismounts. The O’pen BIC sailors unlocked new heights in their stoke by adding elements of windsurfing, skateboarding, snowboarding to junior sailing. As the incredible America’s Cup Class (ACC) foiling catamarans showcased the future of stadium sailing, the O’Pen BIC sailors demonstrated what is possible in junior sailing. Full results, photos, videos and more can be found at ac35endeavouropen.com.
Video: America's Cup Bermuda 2017 - O'pen BICs were selected to showcase new-age Junior Sailing during the 35th America's Cup Finals. Why? The O'pen BIC is the modern International Junior Skiff that is revolutionizing Junior Sailing with unparalleled performance and revolutionary new formats. But the real reason? O'pen BICs are just flat out fun to sail and kids LOVE them.
A resident of Vineyard Haven, MA Nevin Sayre is a World Windsurfing Champion, an avid kiteboarder and the Junior Sailing Programs Director at BIC Sport North America.