The German Youth Team have sent a very clear message to the organisers who are currently reviewing the evidence from the accident and are meeting with the teams on Tuesday to consider the future of the America’s Cup.
In the wake of the accident, Sailing Team Germany announced the withdrawal of its squad that had qualified for the Youth America’s Cup, which is scheduled to be sailed Sept. 1-4 on San Francisco Bay, prior to the America’s Cup finals. “We can’t and we won’t take responsibility for sending our young team over there. The death of one sailor is reason enough [to withdraw],” Sailing Team Germany founder Oliver Schwall said in a statement. “We also feel that our decision has to send an important message after this disaster. It’s time [for organizers] to start thinking.”
The Youth America’s Cup is contested on the smaller AC45 cats that also are sailed in the America’s Cup World Series, but even these smaller boats are racing machines that can be difficult to tame. Additionally, these young teams bring a lot less experience to the starting line than the professionals do. “Until the beginning of the Youth America’s Cup there should have been more training sessions, but those already were reduced to about 10 practice days on the water,” Schwall said. “To us, that’s simply insufficient for a thorough preparation.”