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Barcelona’s Waters Witness Swiss Precision: Alinghi Red Bull Racing Takes Flight in Pre-America’s Cup Training

In the heart of Barcelona, with just 114 days to the start of the America’s Cup, the city’s maritime stage was set not for sun, but for an unexpected turn in weather that could have spelled a slow day this Tuesday. Yet, as dawn broke, the swift passing of a wind-driven front cleared the stage for what became a showcase of precision and agility on the water.

By midday, the Swiss team Alinghi Red Bull Racing, synonymous with innovative tactics and seamless execution, cast off into what remained of the morning’s gray demeanor and choppy waters. Their vessel, ‘BoatOne’, an embodiment of lightweight design distinct from the more robust AC75s, made light work of the conditions. In the light 7-10 knot breeze, ‘BoatOne’ effortlessly ascended onto its expansive foils—its full-length bustle cutting through the chop to send ripples of awe along Port Vell’s waterfront.

Today’s session wasn’t just another day on the water; it was a testament to the evolution from ‘BoatZero’ to ‘BoatOne’, highlighting a steep learning curve and the retraining of muscle memory among the crew. The flight controllers, in particular, showcased their adept handling, tuning into the boat’s refined dynamics to harness its full potential in flight.

Upwind and Downwind Efficiency

The upwind performance was nothing short of spectacular. ‘BoatOne’ maintained a powerful, level stance, its tacks sharp and swift, minimizing angles for maximum velocity—an exhibition of the cutting-edge foil cant system working tirelessly against the swell.

Conversely, the downwind strategy was to soar high, with the bow slightly dipped, mastering a mode that seemed second nature to the crew. Although the gybes occasionally rose too high on exit, they’re expected to refine this as trust in the extended foils strengthens.

Every trim, every maneuver was meticulously executed, with the M2-1 double-skinned mainsail and the foil trim systems functioning in flawless harmony, ensuring that every ounce of power was a catalyst to sustained flight.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing, Day 8 of AC75 (B2), Sailing the new AC75, ‘’BOAT ONE’’’ in Barcelona. – 30April2024. 37th America’s Cup Recon. Ugo Fonollá / America’s Cup

Insights from the Team

Off the water, Elliot Pilcher, the lead Hydraulics Engineer, shared insights into the incremental yet significant modifications that have propelled ‘BoatOne’ from concept to the vanguard of sailing innovation. “It’s got the DNA of its predecessor but with pivotal upgrades that we’ve been keen to roll out. Today’s performance was indicative of the boat’s capabilities, managing to deliver an efficient day on the water without hitches, which is exactly what we aim for during these critical training phases,” he remarked.

Monitoring from the decks, Pilcher and his team are deep in data analysis, continuously adjusting and forecasting to preempt any challenges. This proactive approach is vital as it allows the crew to optimize their feedback loop, enhancing both the boat’s performance and their tactical acumen.

Indeed, the intensity of each maneuver speaks to the immense pressures these vessels face when airborne. “The moment we launch, every action is crucial. The physical and technical demands on our team are immense, but it’s about pushing boundaries, always striving for that extra margin that can define the race,” Pilcher added.

Looking Ahead

Today, Alinghi Red Bull Racing not only mastered the unpredictable conditions but also set a high bar for the forthcoming training sessions. With several promising days of weather ahead, the team looks poised to continue their rigorous preparations, leaving no stone unturned as they inch closer to sailing’s most prestigious trophy.

With the America’s Cup on the horizon and Barcelona’s dynamic conditions offering a perfect rehearsal space, this Swiss team’s journey is one to watch, promising a blend of innovation, skill, and unyielded determination in their quest for victory.

Marc Trujillo
Marc Trujillo
I'm Marc Trujillo, a seasoned maritime journalist based in the vibrant city of Barcelona. My passion lies in exploring the world of sailing, where I delve into the latest yacht innovations, high-stakes regattas, and intriguing personalities shaping the maritime landscape. At NauticMag, I'm committed to bringing my readers compelling stories from the forefront of maritime culture and technological advancements. Join me as I provide an insider's look at the most prestigious sailing events and the unveiling of cutting-edge yachts, capturing the spirit and transformation of the nautical world.
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