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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

America's Cup - The fire of competition is back for Alinghi Red Bull Racing

by Alinghi Red Bull Racing 30 Nov 2023 15:28 GMT 29 November - 2 December 2023
Alinghi Red Bull Racing of Switzerland with Arnaud Psarofaghis, Maxime Bachelin behind the helm and Bryan Mettraux, Yves Detrey as flight controllers seen prior to the AC37 Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on November 29 © Samo Vidic / Alinghi Red Bull Racing

The sailors of Alinghi Red Bull Racing have talked all week about the importance of facing off against the world's best sailors and the five other entries in the Louis Vuitton 37th America's Cup once again. Today, they finally had that opportunity in the first three fleet races of the second Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The Swiss team of helmsmen Arnaud Psarofaghis and Maxime Bachelin along with trimmers Yves Detrey and Bryan Mettraux faced lighter than expected breezes on Thursday on day 1 in Jeddah, putting full-focus on staying up on the foils. The crew challenged for a podium place in race 1, finished second in race 2 and then chased down several boats from behind after a start penalty in race 3 to grab third. They currently sit tied for third in the overall standings. Three more fleet races are scheduled again for tomorrow Friday at 13h30 local (11h30 CET) with the sailors expecting slightly better conditions with winds forecast for a few knots stronger.

Pietro Sibello, performance coach: "It was a solid day for the team. One of those days where you come back being in the middle of the standings and you say: 'it could have been better, but it also could have been a lot worse,' so overall I think it was a good day. We should all be happy and hungry for an even better day tomorrow.

The conditions today were similar to some of those we have faced in the last sessions of training here in Jeddah, so we had plenty of references that we could draw from. Of course, the big difference from our training is that we had the fleet and other challenges to face today, but the team is happy."

Arnaud Psarofaghis, skipper: "We were really confident on the set-up that we wanted to use on the boat today. We did some fine-tuning this morning to adjust and then put everything in place today. The boat was solidly on the foils and we sailed almost exactly as we had hoped, so it was good day. We are happy with the performance.

It was really tough conditions. Today was about sailing the boat as well as we could and mainly about staying on the foils. The last week of training was really useful for us out there, given the marginal conditions."

Friday will be a new day with new conditions. I think we have to look at it almost like a re-start of the regatta! Just go out there and do the same as we have been doing and sail our own race."

Bryan Mettraux, trimmer: "It was a difficult day on the water. You're working to keep the boat up on the foils. It's just so hard to get the boat to lift off again if you come down. When you have more wind, you can focus on racing the others, but when it's light like this, you are just so focused on maintaining your speed. We got a little bit lucky in that last race. We fell off the foils and then we got a nice puff that lifted us right back up.

Tomorrow will be different conditions. It's another competition and, with a bit better wind, hopefully we can focus more on the details. We've had some really good learnings the last few days so we are looking forward to that next step in this regatta."

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