Please select your home edition
Sailingfast 2018 728x90

America's Cup: Alinghi RBR gets foiling off Barcelona

by Sophia Urban, Alinghi Red Bull Racing 23 Sep 13:14 BST 24 September 2022
Alinghi Red Bull Racing, Barcelona, Spain, September 2022 © Olaf Pignataro/Alinghi Red Bull Racing

Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s BoatZero is back in the water!

After a first sail Tuesday in Barcelona, testing every aspect of the boat, the team experienced foiling for the first time on the AC75 Wednesday.

“What an amazing feeling, finally!”, said driving group member Nicolas Charbonnier. “This break felt too long. As sailors all we want to do is go out there and get wet. But it takes a lot of time to control these boats, they’re complex machines and we’re starting from scratch as a new team. It’s all about patience: slow steps every day! It felt super good to go out again and validate each step: towing, sail hoisting, sailing, foiling.”

After a maiden sail at the end of August, which marked the first time onboard an AC75 for the team, the boat capsized as it was being towed back to the base, caught in a strong rain squall. This resulted in a full review of the boat and the systems to ensure everything was working well before going back out on the water. “The team worked super hard after the capsize to put the boat back in perfect sailing condition, especially the shore crew,” added driving group member Lucien Cujean.

There were many designers on board the chase boats, excited to see BoatZero sailing again. "It's important for the design team to get out on the water and see the boat in action," said Steven Robert, lead structural engineer. "Despite the advanced technology and excellent data we can collect, you don’t get the same feeling through videos and numbers, that you have when you observe from the chase boat. It’s realistic out there." They weren't the only ones on the water as the official spies, the Recon Unit, were also on hand to capture every minute of the sailing.

Led by Tim Hacket, the shore crew has not left the shed much recently, fully focused on getting the boat ready for sailing to start again yesterday. “The AC75 is much more complicated than I expected,” confessed Charbonnier. “You need so many qualified people to be able to go out and sail, which is sometimes frustrating for us sailors. The definition of teamwork makes total sense in an America’s Cup project. It’s like a puzzle: if you’re missing one piece, you can’t finish it. It's challenging and interesting!”

The young sailing team, totally new to the AC75, can count on their two Sailing Team Advisors onboard with them this week, Pietro Sibello and Dean Barker. "Having access to an AC75 allows the team to move forward considerably, both in terms of on-water development and in terms of processes and systems involving the whole team," explained Dean Barker. "These are very important steps in building a strong team and defining the key elements of the boat as early as possible. We want to gather as much data and experience as we can that will be decisive for the design and conceptual choices for the race boat.”

Today is just the first step of a very long and steep learning curve. A first successful step that feels so good!

Related Articles

America's Cup: Match dates released
AC37 Event Limited (ACE) have confirmed both the intended race area and the race dates for the Ameri AC37 Event Limited (ACE) have confirmed both the intended race area and the race dates for the America's Cup Match 2024. The 37th Match will start on October 12, 2024 and racing is scheduled to October 27, 2024. Posted today at 8:56 am
Cup Spy Nov 29: American Magic flies high
Motorsport mogul Roger Penske drops in on American Magic. USA and Italy clock up big miles. Motorsport mogul Roger Penske drops in on American Magic, and brings a fresh breeze to Pensacola Bay. USA and Italy clock up big miles on the water in Pensacola and Cagliari. Who will be the first to a 100nm day? Posted today at 6:39 am
Cup Spy Nov 27: Luna Rossa sails, Brits tweak more
Luna Rossa went sailing unexpectedly on Sunday, as the Brits continue to twing and twang Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's LEQ12 went sailing unexpectedly on Sunday afternoon, after being under repair since dropping their mast while rigging on November 6, and damaging the mast head. INEOS Britannia continued their mast setup in Mallorca. Posted on 28 Nov
America's Cup: Rigging the Silver Arrow
The INEOS Britannia shore team and technicians had a busy day dockside in Palma The INEOS Britannia shore team and technicians had a busy day dockside Friday in Palma with the crucial first-stepping of the ‘Silver Arrow' T6 LEQ12 carbon mast and rigging. Posted on 26 Nov
America's Cup: AC40 construction changes announced
Construction changes announced for existing and future AC40 builds following AC40 nosedive Emirates Team NZ have announced the design and construction changes to be incorporated into existing and future AC40 builds. The changes have been developed as a result of damage that occurred after the violent nosedive of the team's LEQ12, on Tuesday. Posted on 25 Nov
Cup Spy Nov 24: Brits foil testing again
Six days after doing their first towing test in Mallorca, INEOS Britannia did a second session Six days after doing their first towing test in Mallorca, the British America's Cup Challenger, INEOS Britannia, did a second towing exercise - with the delay between runs put down to inclement weather. Posted on 24 Nov
Cup Spy Nov 23: American Magic trials new main
American Magic trials new main, does plenty of dry tacks/gybes and gives cyclors a workout American Magic made further gains on the other four teams contesting the 37th America's Cup, with another strong day on Pensacola Bay, sailing in light winds with a newly recut, and larger mainsail. Posted on 24 Nov
Cup Spy Nov 21: Italians reveal new move
Luna Rossa does tow test with sensors attached to their port wingfoil. More on THAT Nosedive. Luna Rossa has emerged from the shed to undertake towing tests, with some basic sensors attached to their port wingfoil. A look at Emirates Team NZ options after destroying the bow of their AC40 in a training nosedive at 40kts yesterday. Posted on 22 Nov
America's Cup: Substantial damage after nose dive
Kiwis suffer substantial damage to bow of AC40 after nosedive in Hauraki Gulf The issues of sailing foiling monohulls in top end conditions were underlined today, when Emirates Team New Zealand nosedived their AC40 during a training sail on the Hauraki Gulf and suffered substantial structural damage. Posted on 21 Nov
Cup Spy Nov 19: Dancing with the dolphins
American Magic has another 70nm foiling day - but can they get too much of a good thing? Those who have been following these daily commentaries will be aware that sailing conditions in Pensacola, Florida and the 2024 America's Cup venue of Barcelona are at opposite ends of the foiling sea state spectrum. Posted on 20 Nov