Alinghi Red Bull Racing kept the Americans company out on the America’s Cup racecourse with the Swiss going deep into their race training all afternoon at full scale and counting down the days now to the launch of their new AC75. It was a tough and long day on the water with the team rotating cyclors to keep fresh legs onboard for the intense race session against the software and the Chase Boat. Pre-start action was frenetic and there was a real zip around the team today, similar to previous session since being back in Barcelona after their training stint in Jeddah. A huge 92 manoeuvre count today was the highest recorded on the AC75 for the Swiss and even more impressive was the 87% fully foiling rate.
Nils Theuninch was one of those rotated-in and spoke of the day, saying: “It feels like we’re pedalling non-stop for sure, it’s a very hard day in the office every day we are on the water and yeah it’s hard and there’s a few breaks here and there but mainly peddling all the time… we jumped on the boat for the second part of the day to have fresh legs for the racing and to simulate a bit what it’s going to be like during the Cup so you know it’s always nice to simulate what you can before we get to the actual racing and today was one of those days.”
The sailors completed over four hours on the water with Arnaud Psarofaghis and Maxime Bachelin confirming their superb, intuitive helming partnership whilst Jason Waterhouse came onboard in the trimmer/flight control position alongside Bryan Mettraux and Lucien Cujean on rotation. Great day for the Swiss whose campaign looks to be peaking just at the right time. (Magnus Wheatley)
On-Water Recon Report – Alinghi Red Bull Racing: Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s AC75, Boat Zero, was rolled out at 10:30, followed by stepping of the rig and crane in at 10:50. Standard checks were conducted, with further work observed in the starboard cyclor and trimming pod.
The team docked out at 12:30, with the M2-2R mainsail and J3-1R jib hoisted in port. An issue with the Windex was noted before releasing the towline, but it looked minor. Sailing commenced from the port entrance, with Arnaud Psarofaghis at the helm on starboard and Maxime Bachelin on port. Notably, Jason Waterhouse replaced Yves Detrey in the starboard trimming position for today. The sea was flat in the morning, with a slight chop in the afternoon as the breeze filled in.
Stint 1 (13:00 – 13:20, 7-10.5kn 200° @ 13:00) The first stint began with a downwind/upwind warm-up, followed by a couple of drop and lifts of the windward foil. Additionally, the team practiced manoeuvring with two boards down, including a double gybe.
Stint 2 (13:25 – 13:30, 8-13kn 200° @ 13:25, 11-15kn 205° @ 13:40) The second stint saw the yacht engage in a short upwind and a tack-and-bear-away manoeuvre, then sailing a short downwind and attempting a gybe-to-round-up-and-tack, touching down on the final tack. The whole sequence was then repeated successfully. With the wind increasing in strength, the team exchanged the J3 for the J4-1R jib.
Stint 3 (13:47 – 14:07, 12-16kn 205° @ 13:45) This stint focused on pre-start manoeuvres, with the team lifting and dropping the windward foil, predominantly on starboard tack, both upwind and downwind. Following, successive 360-degree manoeuvres were practiced, albeit not executed perfectly clean.
Stint 4 (14:14 – 14:30, 12-17kn 215° @ 14:10) The fourth stint consisted of another long downwind segment, further practicing sailing with two boards down. Pre-start practice began towards the end, with the yacht entering on port for Start 1, while Chase Alpha entered on starboard.
Stint 5 (14:35 – 14:45, 11-15.5kn 205° @ 14:35) Start 2 continued into a one lap race, with the course set at 210, as the yacht entered on port and the chase on starboard. The wind slightly decreased towards the end of the session, prompting a sail change from J4 to J3-1R. A full cyclor team rotation was carried out before the following stint.
Stint 6 (15:08 – 15:35, 8-11kn 210° @ 15:05) The sixth stint began with an upwind/downwind warm-up, incorporating 360-degree turns as well as sailing with both boards down. Start 3 and Start 4 saw the chase boat entering on port and the yacht entering on starboard.
Stint 7 (15:40 – 16:02, 11-14.5kn 205° @ 15:40) Start 5 continued into a two-lap race, with plenty of cover manoeuvres observed. A touch down tack occurred at the second windward gate, followed by another touch down at the subsequent leeward mark rounding with both boards down.
Stint 8 (16:11 – 16:25, 8-11kn 205° @ 16:10) The final stint consisted of a long downwind stretch on starboard, followed by a sharp JK manoeuvre, then continuing upwind on port, with the yacht alternating between low and high modes before sailing into the port to the end the sailing day.
Sails were dropped by 16:35 and the team docked in at 16:45. Following just over four hours on the water, with 135 minutes spent sailing, a total of 92 manoeuvres were observed, marking the highest count in a single day on the AC75, achieving an 87% fully foiling rate.