America’s Cup: Alinghi’s capsize and team maneuvering

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Alinghi’s capsize, caused by the strong wind from the storm.

It had to happen sooner or later, and Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s scuffle with AC 75 is no surprise, even if it happened in an atypical situation. Alinghi is training in Barcelona after buying Team New Zealand’s No. 1 boat, which was not used in the last America’s Cup. The crew of AC 75 was in tow when it was hit by a violent thunderstorm.

Alinghi’s capsize in Barcelona – what happened

Alinghi Red Bull Racing

Alinghi benefits from a rule in the Protocol in place for the 2024 America’s Cup, which allows it to take to the water to train before its opponents. This is because Ernesto Bertarelli’s team is a “new entry,” and the Protocol grants a by virtue of this status an extra training window. These are in fact strictly regulated and limited in number by the Protocol.

With the kiwis’ first boat Alinghi is testing in Barcelona. During one of these, a fast-moving thunderstorm arrived and struck AC 75 while it was in tow. Particularly intense wind gusts would have caused the boat to heel over, and with the foils in tow trim, it would have become unbalanced. This would seem to be the dynamic of Alinghi’s capsize, which resulted in no consequences for the crew. The boat is slightly damaged, but will soon be sailing again.

America’s Cup – what Luna Rossa does

OfLuna Rossa’s crew movements we had already told you about the entries of nacristi Vittorio Bissaro and Ruggero Tita. Pietro Sibello, on the other hand, is now set to replenish the ranks of Alinghi, where, along with Kiwi Dean Barker, he is not expected to have a role on board but is a sort of coach to guide the crew in discovering the AC 75. For Luna Rossa, Spithill and Bruni are confirmed; it will be interesting to see who will take the two wheels of the rudder, whether the “old guard” Bruni-Spithill or the young and upstart Tita and Bissaro, and what role, if any, one of the excluded talents will play.

Luna Rossa meanwhile is also hard at work on another front. Not only the design of the future AC 75, but also mediation work between the City of Cagliari and Team New Zealand to bring a leg of the World Series to the Sardinian capital. The World series was to be held in Cagliari as early as 2020 if there was no Covid. The city wants the regatta, in the coming days it will become clear whether the choice will be confirmed and whether it will be the only preliminary event of the 2024 America’s Cup.

America’s Cup – What others are doing

Alinghi’s scuffle is certainly the topic of the moment, not least because it is the only challenger currently sailing. There is news, however, about the other two challengers, the Challenge of Record Ineos Britannia and American Magic .

The British have decided to base for the winter in Palma de Mallorca, where they will sail as early as a few weeks with the AC40, the foil monohull that will later be used for the Youth and Women America’s Cup and that teams can employ for training. Palma is strategically located because it has good weather conditions even in winter. And the team can simultaneously work on setting up the base in Barcelona, which is not far away.

American Magic instead confirmed for its winter training camp the “spot” in Pensacola, Florida, where it had already sustained preparation for the previous edition of the America’s Cup. American Magic is the team that has perhaps pulled off the most prestigious market “coup,” having brought into its ranks Australian, American-passported Tom Slingsby, former Olympic Laser gold medalist and Oracle star. In a cockpit where Paul Goodison will also be there and not Dean Barker as in the past edition.

Mauro Giuffrè

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