San Francisco, CA, United States (4E Sports) – American Youth Sailing Force led from the start en route to victory in the opening race of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Sunday at San Francisco Bay.
Led by helmsman Michael Menninger, the American team went off to a good start, accelerating well at the sound of the starting gun to lead the charge of 10 AC45s into mark one.
The Americans were closely pursued by the German, Swedish and Portuguese teams but Menninger and the rest of the crew managed to keep them at bay.
There was a nervous moment for the Americans when an aggressive bear-away slowd down the boat but Menninger held it together to avoid a disastrous capsize.
Menninger was penalized for interfering with boats still coming up to the mark but the Americans held on the lead and crossed the finish line amid celebration from the crowd at the America’s Cup Village. New Zealand finished second while Portugal placed third.
Sixty sailors across 10 teams representing eight countries are participating in the four-day event consisting of eight fleet races.