For the last two weekends, the eyes of the sailing world have been glued to the finals of the America’s Cup in Bermuda. The high octane race involves some of the most talented sailors in the world and cutting edge sailing technology. This year, it also featured 32 sailors, aged 10 to 15 from 10 countries, competing in an un-regatta and performing a half-time show.

Vineyarder Nevin Sayre organized the event, working as a representative for the national association of the O’Pen BIC class. Mr. Sayre is a champion windsurfer, sailor and kite boarder, who got involved with O’Pen BIC to promote a new style of sailing specifically designed to engage more kids.

“It’s super simple and easy, but fast and modern and exciting,” Mr. Sayre said. “In a way, it’s sit down windsurfing. Kids love them.”

Nevin Sayre organized the group of young sailors in Bermuda. — Mark Lovewell

Sailing in O’Pen BIC sailboats, the kids raced through an obstacle course-like competition. Between markers they had to fulfill different tasks including purposefully capsizing, sailing standing up and turning 360 degrees. The final challenge was the Bridge of Doom, where sailors had to limbo their boats under an inflated bridge.

This was the first time the young sailors performed a half time show during the first day of the finals. In 2013, the last time the America’s Cup was held, Mr. Sayre was invited to come and sail during the preliminary rounds with a group of kids sailing O’Pen BICs. It was so well received that Russell Coutts, the CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority, asked them back and gave them a prime time slot.

“As soon as Bermuda was selected for the site, he was on the phone saying you’ve got to come and be a part of this,” Mr. Sayre said. The young sailors spent six days in Bermuda, sailing, meeting athletes and touring the boats. There were nine young sailors from North America, but no Island kids qualified this year. Landon Cormie, of Tisbury, barely missed qualifying, Mr. Sayre said. But his son Rasmus Sayre and friend Charlie Morano came along to help.

Mr. Sayre, who learned to sail on the Vineyard as a summer kid and now lives in Vineyard Haven year-round, has been worried about the diminishing interest in sailing among kids.

“Sailing has been a problem for kids,’s so focused on the racing, and we introduce kids, particularly in this country, in boats designed 65 years ago, these little boxes,” he said. His kids loved windsurfing and but were less inclined to sailing, he said. When the O’Pen BIC came out 10 years ago, Mr. Sayre saw the new sailboat as a potential to change the direction of youth sailing. It did for Rasmus, who was nine at the time.

“Suddenly he was jazzed for sit down sailing, and that really made a difference,” Mr. Sayre said. He now promotes the O’Pen BIC across North America.

O'Pen Bic boats marry windsurfing and sailing. — Magi Fostser

“Basically my job is Santa Claus,” he said. “I’ve yet to meet a kid who’s tried it and hasn’t loved it.”

On the Vineyard, the Vineyard Haven Yacht club has O’Pen BIC sailboats and Sail MV hopes to purchase some after their July auction, Mr. Sayre said. He sits on advisory boards for both organizations.

Mr. Sayre hopes the young sailors will be invited back again to the next America’s Cup, which will be hosted by this year’s winners, New Zealand, which seems likely. They received a great reaction from the spectators this year.

“These kids came in and put on a show that no one had ever seen before, and the crowd went nuts,” Mr. Sayre said.

As he waits for the next competition to come around, Mr. Sayre will continue to focus on getting kids out on the water, feeling the power of the wind.

“This Island has a tradition of making amazing sailors,” he said.

Looking out from his Vineyard Haven porch, Mr. Sayre pointed to the water, where several boats were sailing out from the yacht club.

“Those are O’Pen BICs,” he said. “Kids are going out and having fun and not’s working, there’s living proof.”