Buckingham, Menninger in elite sailing group

Two sailors from Newport Beach, Charlie Buckingham and Michael Menninger, joined an elite group when they were selected to compete in the 34th annual Red Bull Youth America's Cup Finals on Sept. 1, 2013, according to a press release issued by Oracle Team USA.

The 23-year old locals were selected among other collegiate All-Americans, youth World medalists and members of U.S. Sailing's Development Team, and will be competing against each other. Buckingham, a Georgetown University graduate, is the skipper for Team America Racing and Menninger, who attends St. Mary's College of Maryland, will represent the American Youth Sailing Force team.

Team America Racing and American Youth Sailing Force, which represent the U.S. and San Francisco respectively, have nine months to train for the event under Oracle Team USA, an elite sailing team.

The squads were chosen after six crews auditioned in two-day training sessions where they were evaluated on their boat handling, trimming skills and communication at the Oracle Team USA base in San Francisco.

"Our team is very honored – it means we performed well in the selection and are on the right track, and that they feel we have what it takes to do well in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup," Buckingham said in the release. "To be able to learn from Oracle Team USA is going to be so huge for our team. Now we can keep getting better with some expert help."

The Red Bull Youth America's Cup will run from Sept. 1-4 in San Francisco.

For more information visit Oracle Team USA's website, oracle-team-usa.americascup.com.

— From staff reports

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