Replete with new livery, America’s Cup challenger Alinghi Red Bull Racing team today launched the AC75 they bought from Emirates Team New Zealand, and was used by the defender as its first boat in preparation of their 36th America’s Cup victory in Auckland, New Zealand.
“Today symbolizes the adventure that begins in Barcelona,” commented Head Coach Nils Frei. “This first-generation boat will allow us to gain valuable training hours before we have our race boat. We are a new team sailing a boat that we are only just discovering, but to be able to train already this year is highly beneficial.”
The Protocol prevents competitors from sailing an AC75 from March 17, 2021 until September 17, 2022, but an exception to this is if a new competitor purchases an AC75 from the 36th America’s Cup, they can have a maximum of 20 sailing days between June 17, 2022 and September 17, 2022. The new Swiss team is the only challenger that qualifies for this exception.
“If there is one thing that all Cup campaigns have in common, it is that you can never make up for lost time,” said Frei. “And you never have enough of it! The preparations for this launch have given us the opportunity to learn to work together, and it is so important to be united towards a common goal in an America’s Cup campaign.”
Having purchased the boat early in the cycle from Emirates Team New Zealand, the Alinghi Red Bull Racing Team have been working flat-out to prepare the AC75 for its first sail, scheduled for this week, subject to tow-testing and final safety preparations.
Adding experience to the Swiss team are Dean Barker from New Zealand, who was part of the winning New Zealand team in 2000 and recently helmsman of American Magic in 2021, plus Pietro Sibello, a finalist with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli in the 2021 Match.
“The launch was a big step for us, made possible thanks to the coordination of the whole team,” commented Tim Hacket, Shore Manager for Alinghi Red Bull Racing.
“We had to find our feet in a new city with new colleagues and buying a boat that we hadn’t worked on previously required a lot of hours to get used to. All these hours are learning experiences that will be useful towards BoatZero. Now that the boat is launched, we still have various checks to carry out before we can sail in a few days’ time.”
The Alinghi Red Bull Racing Team are now in place at their temporary base in the Marina Barcelona adjacent to the W Hotel to the west of the superyacht harbour and will conduct an intensive training program under the watchful eyes of the senior members of the team as the young, talented Swiss sailors are put through their paces.
“Managing an AC75 is a major part of an America’s Cup project,” shared Pietro Sibello, Sailing Team Advisor. “You must respect every stage despite the excitement. Being part of this team and being able to pass on our knowledge, alongside Dean Barker, means a lot to me. We have complementary experiences because we come from different teams, and this will allow us to get the best out of each other and to then pass it on to the young and talented Alinghi Red Bull Racing crew.”
Skipper of Alinghi Red Bull Racing, Arnaud Psarofaghis, will be helming the boat throughout the permissible training period and crew will be rotated in and out as the schedule progresses. Analysis of performance in all areas will be key and the eyes of the Cup world will be watching intently to see how this new team develops.
“BoatZero will allow us to gain the necessary experience on the AC75,” reports Silvio Arrivabene, co-General Manager and Head of Technical Operations. “Despite the satisfaction of today’s festivities, we are aware that there is still a lot of work to do to catch up with the level of the teams that raced the 36th America’s Cup. But today has given us the energy to focus on the next step: sailing.”
Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, 2021, the AC75 Class Rule and AC Technical Regulations were finalized on March 17, 2022. The entry period opened December 1, 2021 and runs until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup may be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the venue reveal, confirming it would be Barcelona on by March 30, 2022. The 37th America’s Cup will be held in Summer/Fall 2024.
Teams revealed to challenge defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
• INEOS Britannia (GBR)
• Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI)
• Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
• NYYC American Magic (USA)
Training timeline: www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2022/04/21/training-calendar-for-37th-americas-cup/
Additional details: www.americascup.com/en/home
Source: America’s Cup Event Limited
Published on August 8th, 2022