Newport, RI (October 16, 2016) – There was drama on the water this weekend as the winds of Newport Harbor were unforgiving in their ebbs and flows for the Red Bull Foiling Generation US Qualifier. But after two days of training and three days of competition on the flying phantoms, Southern California based Quinn Wilson and Riley Gibbs walked away victorious.
Beating out the top fifteen 17 – 20-year-old youth sailing teams from across the country, Riley and Gibbs proved themselves worthy of representing the US at the first ever Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final on October 22-23 in Newport.
“Winning was a relief after a stressful event,” said the 19-year-old Quinn Wilson. “We’ve been sailing together for a long time so we already had great communication and just had to focus on sailing the boat.”
As day three got underway, early decisions were made on competition placement due to heavy winds wind blowing at 15 knots to a shorter course with a more manageable wind speed in Newport’s inner harbor. However, Mother Nature was still not forgiving because in the first Heat (10) of the day, two of the four boats capsized and were subsequently disqualified. Teammates Romain Screve and Pere Puig advanced along with Jacob Rosenberg and Mimi El-Khazindar.
Heat 11 was dominated by the favored team Riley Gibbs and Quinn Wilson, followed by Talia Toland and Leif Bergstrom. Moving quickly, Heat 12 changed the pace of the competition when two boats crashed into each other, damaging them enough to make them unusable for the rest of the competition.
Refiguring the final few races with only three usable boats, the next three heats were match races with Ian MacDiarmid and Scott Ewing going up against Romain and Pere and with Maximo Nores and Raul Lopez taking on Quinn Wilson and Riley Gibbs.
In two very close and competitive match races, winners Romain and Pere and Quinn and Riley were neck-and-neck fighting for that third spot in the final race. Quinn and Riley squeaked by for their place in the three-team final against undefeated Aiden Doyle and Neil Marcellini and brother duo Luke and Nick Muller.
The Red Bull Foiling Generation US Qualifier final race was exciting from start to finish with 19-year-old California teammates Quinn Wilson and Riley Gibbs taking the lead early on and not giving it up until they took the win after a long day of Repechage Round racing.
“It makes sense that those going through the Repechage Round would come out on top,” said Roman Hagara, Red Bull Foiling Generation Founder and Team Coach. “They had more minutes on the boat and combined with their skills, they have proved themselves to be great sailors with bright futures.”
1st – Quinn Wilson and Riley Gibbs
2nd – Aidan Doyle and Neil Marcellini
3rd – Luke Muller and Nicolas Muller
Red Bull Foiling Generation was founded to prepare youth sailors for the rigors of life as a competitive sailor in the America’s Cup by two-time Olympic Gold Medalists Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher. Riley and Quinn will stay in Newport to race against the world’s best next weekend at the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Final, set to take place October 22 and 23. Top youth competitors from 14 countries including Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Italy, Turkey, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Great Britain, New Zealand, Japan and Belgium have been accumulating over two years for this first ever world-wide competition