Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeRegattaAmerica's CupAlinghi Red Bull Racing Sets the Bar High in 37th America's Cup

Alinghi Red Bull Racing Sets the Bar High in 37th America’s Cup

Such is the intensity of their training this week, that Alinghi Red Bull Racing have been impressing mightily out on the 37th America’s Cup racecourse, building proficiency and consistency into their sailing and showing significant steps forward in technique. Quite simply on a day where the breeze built beautifully to top out with gusts of 18 knots on light chop, the Swiss made the America’s Cup community sit up and take notice.

BoatZero was being brilliantly crewed with the experienced Flight Control team of Yves Detrey and Bryan Mettraux refining their techniques through the tacks and gybes and almost eradicating the bow-down nature of the AC75 whilst coaxing Arnaud Psarofaghis and Maxime Bachelin to push harder. It was a superb performance by these key members of Alinghi Red Bull Racing whose fortunes in the competition will no doubt be dictated by how well they gel as a team – on this form, and with such intensity in their programme, they are a serious force to be reckoned with.

The transition limit of the jibs was fully examined today with a dramatic clew explosion on the J3-1R jib as the breeze got up deep in the afternoon but soon replaced with the high-clewed small J5-1R that we last saw back in March, proved to be more than enough power, paired with the smaller M2-2L mainsail.

Pre-start practice with double-boards down giving high-manoeuvrability were impressive, equally the stable double-board mark roundings that give the helms so many options tactically were executed smoothly with ultra-flat pitch before gently bringing the bow down into the upwind position but crucially clear of the slop funnelling over the bow. This was good sailing on a testing, shifty day with the thermal ‘Garbi’ breeze coming in strong from the south-south-west to cool the city.

In total, the Swiss completed some 45 nautical miles, rifling up and down the beachfront and the power delivery from the cyclors just off the centreline on either side of the boat was first class. Alex Hopson, the very experienced Head of Physical Preparation for Alinghi Red Bull Racing was onboard for the full session today and came to the recon interview impressed with what he saw across a wide range of conditions.

Talking about the tailored physical programmes that he is conducting and the contribution of the Red Bull Athlete Performance Centre that is integrated with the team, Alex said: “There’s obviously quite different demands for the guys that have a really high physical requirements on the boat to the guys that have to be much more technical in their roles on the boat; but what we see is a big overlap between the two so we try and taper  the programme to the individuals on the boat and also to a certain degree the groups that they’re in…it’s brilliant to be involved and have the support from the APC, we use them and they’re definitely embedded in their programme that we support the guys with here so it’s great to have their support and they really add value to what we do here.”

Little is being left to chance at Alinghi Red Bull Racing who are putting in a stunning block of training at the moment with more to come this week.

On-Water Recon Unit Notes: Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC75 at 09:45, anticipating the wind to really fill in later in the day. The ‘Garbi’ wind started with a moderate breeze from the south-southwest and steadily increased in strength, peaking with a strong breeze in the same direction by late afternoon. The sea state increased significantly as the wind exceeded 15 knots, with an aggressive chop reaching 0.5m in height and 3s in period.

Before docking-out, the team calibrated systems, with an attention to traveller and mast rotation. After dock-out at 13:00, the M2-2L mainsail and J2-2L jib were hoisted, and the yacht was towed north towards Badalona, where the wind is generally stronger at the early stages of ‘Garbi’ South to southwest thermal winds. The yacht was released on a tow start, however fell off the foils through a tack. After another tow start, the team warmed up with a tack, bear away and four gybes downwind, then stopped to change jib to the J3-1R (last used 23.05.09) ahead of pre-start practice.

The yacht sailed with two boards down towards the gate before lifting the windward foil and passing through the marks. Then heading out to the right side of the course, before tacking back towards the start box on starboard, and gybing around the committee mark to port. After sailing back out to the right and tacking at the boundary, a mistake brought the boat down, but regained flight and sailed for the start line, crossing it on starboard before a jib clew broke during a tack at the boundary.

The J5-1R (230503) was hoisted and sailing resumed in increased sea state, as the team sailed another four short stints, mostly around the course 1.5NM course. The team demonstrated good consistency, with much better tacks today, improving to 76% fully foiling manoeuvres overall, compared to 59% the previous day.

This is so far their best performance in terms of fully foiling percentage. The team were on the water for four hours, covering over 45NM.

Onboard Today

Driving Group: Maxime Bachelin / Arnaud Psarofaghis

Flight Control: Bryan Mettraux / Yves Detrey

Power Group: Barnabé Delarze / Florian Trüb / Nico Stahlberg / / Théry Schir

Observation Seat: Alex Hopson – Head of Physical Preparation

Dock-Out: 1300 Dock-In: 1710

Conditions: ‘Garbi’ – Afternoon Thermal Wind – 5-7kn SSW @ 14:00, 10-13kn SSW @ 14:25, 12-14kn SSW @ 15:10, 15-18kn SSW @ 15:50

Weather AM: 27°C, Partly Cloudy.

Weather PM: 29°C, Mostly Cloudy.

Sea State AM: Beaufort 1-2

Sea State PM: Beaufort 3-5 – 0.5m chop towards the end

Sails Used:

Mainsail M2 (M2-2L): 3 hours 45 minutes

Jib (J2-2L): 1 hour

Jib (J3-1R): 20 minutes

Total Tacks: 19 – 14 foil-to-foil, 1 touch & go, 4 touchdowns.

Total Gybes: 19 – 15 foil-to-foil, 2 touch & go, 2 touchdowns.

Take-Off speed: 20 knots @ 70-90° TWA (True Wind Angle)

Recon Flight Notes:

12:45 – 14:00 Sailing, tow start (1 Tack – Touch Down)

14:05 – 14:20 Sailing, tow start (1 Tack – Fully Foiling, 4 Gybes – Fully Foiling)

14:45 – 14:55 Sailing (1 Tack – Fully Foiling, 2 Tacks – Touch Down, 2 Gybes – Fully Foiling)

15:10 – 15:25 Sailing (1 Tack – Fully Foiling, 2 Gybes – Fully Foiling, 1 Gybe – Touch Down)

15:30 – 15:45 Sailing (3 Tacks – Fully Foiling, 2 Gybes – Fully Foiling, 1 Gybe – Touch & Go)

16:10 – 16:35 Sailing (6 Tacks – Fully Foiling, 1 Tack – Touch & Go, 1 Tack – Touch Down, 5 Gybes – Fully Foiling, 1 Gybe – Touch & Go, 1 Gybe – Touch Down)

16:40 – 16:45 Sailing (2 Tacks – Fully Foiling)

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