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HomeRegattaAmerica's CupAlinghi Red Bull Racing Celebrates BoatOne's Departure: Team Members Sign Off in...

Alinghi Red Bull Racing Celebrates BoatOne’s Departure: Team Members Sign Off in Glittering Confetti Ceremony

There were no champagne corks popping, instead it was bursts of confetti glittering in the spotlights. The hard-working members of the Alinghi Red Bull Racing boat build team in Ecublens each proudly signed the outer wrapping of BoatOne on Monday, as it was prepared for the week-long transport to Barcelona.

Long months of hard work in Switzerland, where the boat was built to conform with the official 37th America’s Cup race protocol, was coming to an end. The final boat preparations would transition to the team base at Port Vell, Barcelona.

It was a moment to celebrate, and a time to reflect on how the boat build team has come together. “This team has really gelled over time. The team spirit was incomparable, and we learned together through the process,” said Jean-Marie Fragnière, construction manager. “The group was a diverse mix of veterans and younger boat builders with over 10 different nationalities represented. Everyone came together, understood their roles and made huge contributions, giving their absolute best. I’m so proud of this great group of builders.”

The pressure on the boat build team to adhere to quality standards and the timeline was immense. And it was not lost on the builders that it took a total team effort and a special team spirit to achieve that goal.

“We stuck together until the end,” said Simon Bovay, lead boat builder. “The last few weeks were intense with a lot of hours to meet deadlines. But the most important thing is that we maintained a great team spirit with an excellent vibe. Credit goes to everyone. The team was incredible and really did a great job.”

To keep the positive vibe going, they laughed a lot as stress levels rose. They played music in the yard and had a feeling of togetherness that pushed everyone to give the best of themselves, they said.

“The last week of construction was really intense, but we were all pulling on the same rope together,” said Loic Cattin, HR & Administration. “You put your life aside to get a big project like this finished but it’s worth it. When the boat leaves the yard and lands on the truck, you say to yourself, ‘wow’!”

The wow factor is what many involved in the construction say the boat will have when it’s unveiled to the public no earlier than April 5 this spring. “We’re super proud of this boat. She’s radical and it will be beautiful when she’s going fast,” said David Nikles, lead boat builder. “But I’m also very proud of the team spirit.”

“Right now, it’s a big feeling of relief for all of us and we’re feeling good,” said Danny Cawsey, lead boat builder. “The stress levels have gone down. We had pretty tight deadlines and we were pushing the guys hard, but at the same time keeping the vibe good. Having Loic has our ‘happiness manager’ to keep everyone in a positive mindset was great. He was a key member of the team.”

The boat will arrive in Barcelona and go right to the shed, still covered in its wrapping from the overland transport. Not much will be visible of the boat, except for the series of signatures on the outside for those who worked so hard in Ecublens these last months and weeks and days to hit the deadline. More importantly, the signatures will be joined by the names of many of the builders based in Barcelona who will oversee many of the final preparations of BoatOne before the maiden sail.

“I’m really happy to have experienced this moment,” added Loic. “We are forming a strong team for the future. Even though construction phase is now complete, the team remains united – and I will definitely be going to Barcelona!”

Winning an America’s Cup takes teamwork above all else, and the boat build project has provided an early window into Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s team mentality of working together.

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