Sailors competing in September's America's Cup Youth Race say, despite last week's Artemis Team capsizing fatality, the race must go on. And these are young men from the American Youth Racing Force who capsized themselves less than two weeks ago. Terry McSweeney reports.
Sailors competing in September's America's Cup Youth Race say that despite last week's Artemis Team capsizing fatality, the race must go on. And these are young men who capsized themselves less than two weeks ago.
The American Youth Racing Force catamaran went over in San Francisco bay five days before the Artemis Team capsized just north of Treasure Island.
But the six crew members on board the vessel representing San Francisco all got through uninjured, when their boat flipped over.
They credit their safety training and preparation .
"None of us had done this before so it was the realization it happened - and then it was snap to action - everyone went to their places and knew immediately what to do", said Ian Andrewes, leader of the team.
The crew of the Youth Sailing Force -all members must be between the ages of 19 and 24 - say there's risk in every sport and far less in theirs than auto or motorcycle racing. They were reminded of the risk they take by last week's tragedy.
"As a sailor you can relate to it being out on the water, remembering situations you've been in personally", helmsman Michael Menninger said.
"The whole reason we're sailing is we want to push ourselves, go faster, see what that next level is. That's what got us here," Andrewes added.
The Artemis racing vessel,like all the 72 foot catamarans in the America's Cup, is experimental in engineering and design. The youth team's 45-footers, like the ones used in the World Series of racing on San Francisco Bay last fall, have been competing worldwide for three years. Youth team members say those are two reasons the America's Cup must go on. Those 72-footers are the future of their sport.
"Those boats are so extreme and different this is a turning point in the future of racing.
I would like to see sailing evolve from where it is now and if it doesn't stay I don't know where sailing could go after that", Menninger said.
Both men say, despite the Artemis tragedy, they would welcome a chance to sail on one of those bigger catamarans.