Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s first AC40 – delivered to the team base in Barcelona at the end of January – was christened today. This second boat marks the start of a new phase of training towards the 2024 America’s Cup.
Smaller, simpler, but just as sleek and impressive as the AC75, Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s first AC40 was christened today by Lourdes Millet, Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s General Counsel. The boat had been due to arrive at the end of 2022 but was delayed to make changes to the structure following an assessment of damage to the Emirates Team New Zealand AC40 after a capsize. “It was worth the wait to receive the boat with the modifications,” said Diego Torrado, the AC40 Boat Captain.
Still located in a temporary base in Barcelona’s Port Vell until the final base becomes available this summer, the team has set up a tent to house the AC40 #1. “We are excited to be sailing our second boat. Next to the AC75, it looks like a toy, but with all the technology of its big sister,” said Arnaud Psarofaghis, Driving Group.
The 40-foot one-design – mandatory for all America’s Cup teams according to the Protocol – will be the boat used in the first two pre-regattas, and the Youth & Women’s America’s Cup events. For the team, it is a ticket to more training; the delivery of the AC40 marks the start of a new two-boat training phase (this will increase to three later in the year with the arrival of the second AC40). With the launch and maintenance likely to be much simpler, the sailors will be able to continue training on the AC40 when the AC75 is out of the water for maintenance.
The shore team is finalising preparations, and the AC40 maiden sail is scheduled over the next few days.
Diego Torrado, AC40 Boat Captain: “We are pleased that the New Zealand designers were able to make the changes to the design of the bow structure before we received it. We are finalising the assessment of the boat to check that the systems, the foils, the rigging, the electronics, all the elements work, before we go sailing. As it is a one-design, once we start training, we can focus on maintenance rather than development, as is the case with the AC75.”
Arnaud Psarofaghis, Driving Group: “The AC40 will allow us to develop our sailing skills with greater flexibility and efficiency. Next to the AC75, it looks like a toy! We will rotate the sailors on and off, it is the pre-regatta boat, so we need to learn to use it to its full potential before the first race. It’s important to get the hang of it as it will also be the boat for the Youth & Women’s America’s Cup. Today’s christening marks the start of the second phase of preparation for the America’s Cup, with a second boat. I’m looking forward to hoisting the sails and sailing it!”
Nils Frei, Head Coach: “We’re excited to explore and discover the AC40. For now, we’re continuing to prioritise sailing the AC75, but will start sailing the AC40 in parallel. The footage we saw of this boat sailing in New Zealand was impressive. It looks very fast and will allow us to concentrate on crew work, flight control and tuning. We’ll know more in the next few days, but it looks like the AC40 will give us some great sailing days with simpler boat logistics.”