Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s first AC40 was delivered to the team’s base in Barcelona at the end of January and was officially christened today, Monday, Feb. 13. Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s second boat marks the beginning of a new phase of training ahead of the 37th America’s Cup to be contested in 2024.
Smaller, simpler, but just as fast and impressive as the AC75, Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s first AC40 was christened today by Lourdes Millet, legal adviser of Alinghi Red Bull Racing. Delivery of the boat, originally scheduled for the end of 2022, had been postponed to make necessary modifications to the structure, necessitated by the New Zealand AC40’s capsize and subsequent assessment of the damage caused by the accident.
“It was worth waiting a little longer to receive it with the modifications that have been made,” comments Diego Torrado boat captain of Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s AC40. The team is still working at its temporary base in Port Vell, waiting for the final one to be ready next summer. To house AC40 #1, Alinghi Red Bull Racing has therefore set up a temporary facility.
“We are excited to sail our second boat. Compared to the AC75, it looks like a toy, but the AC40 is equipped with all the technology of its big sister,” stresses Arnaud Psarofaghis of the Driving Group. The 40-foot one-design (which every America’s Cup team must have according to the Protocol), will be used for pre-regattas, as well as for the Youth and Women’s America’s Cup. The AC40 will also allow the team to conduct more training sessions in Barcelona.
The delivery of the AC40 One Design to Alinghi Red Bull Racing marks the beginning of a new phase of two-boat training. Launching and day-to-day maintenance should be easier than on the AC75, allowing the team’s sailors to train at sea even when the AC75 is undergoing maintenance at the base. The engineering team is finalizing final preparations before launching the AC40: the first sea launch is scheduled in the next few days. Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s second AC40 will arrive in Barcelona later this year.
Diego Torrado, boat captain of the AC40: “We are pleased that the New Zealand designers were able to make changes to the design of the bow structure before the delivery of our boat. In anticipation of being able to sail the AC40, we are completing general checks to make sure the systems are working, as well as the foils, rigging, electronics, and all other elements. This is a one design project, so 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 time optimization. We will continue to rotate with sailors on board, this is the boat we will use in the Act pre-regattas and we need to learn how to use her to her full potential before the first race. It is important to get to know her because she will also be the boat for the youth and women’s America’s Cup. Today’s christening marks the beginning of the second phase of preparation for the America’s Cup, with a second boat. I can’t wait to hoist the sails and make the first edges!”
Nils Frei, head coach: “We are looking forward to finding out. For now we are prioritizing sailing with the AC75 and will start using the AC40 in parallel. The pictures we have seen of this boat in New Zealand are impressive. It appears, indeed, to be a very fast boat and will allow us to focus on crew work, flight control, and tuning. We will know more in the coming days, but it definitely looks like the AC40 will provide us with great sailing days and, at the same time, easier logistical management of the boat.”
(Alinghi Red Bull Racing: a new phase of preparation with the AC40 kicks off – barchemagazine.com – February 2023)