VIDEO Two days with Alinghi Red Bull Racing, here’s how the team prepares for the America’s Cup

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Alinghi Red Bull Racing
Alinghi Red Bull Racing performs during the practice in Barcelona, Spain on 12 of October, 2022. // Samo Vidic / Red Bull Content Pool

Alinghi Red Bull Racing is one of the big new additions to the next America’s Cup, which will take place in September-October 2024 in the waters of Barcelona. Ernesto Bertarelli ‘s Swiss team made its Cup debut in 2003, winning it with a superstar crew that included New Zealander Russel Coutts. Alinghi then defended the Cup, against the Kiwis, in 2007 in Valencia only to lose it in the 1vs1 challenge against Oracle at the end of a complex legal dispute.

From that point on, Alinghi dropped out of the America’s Cup and Bertarelli decided to compete in other classes. The AC75s and the new America’s Cup format have rekindled the desire, and the partnership with Red Bull Racing has been a guarantee of being able to build a competitive challenge.

Our Mauro Giuffrè went to Barcelona to get a close look at how Alinghi Red Bull Racing is working, to meet the team members and find out how the team is preparing for the upcoming America’s Cup. Below is her story, find out how it went in the video below and in the text that follows where we tell you more about the world of Alinghi.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing – The protagonists speak

Silvio Arrivabene

Alinghi Red Bull Racing Silvio Arrivabene
Silvio Arrivabene // Samo Vidic / Red Bull Content Pool

There is a lot of Italy inside Alinghi, starting with Silvio Arrivabene who serves as Co-General Director. Silvio Arrivabene is one of Alinghi’s key men, called to bring his long experience in the America’s Cup and put it at the disposal of a team with many young sailors.

In our interview, he explained how Alinghi’s philosophy has changed over the years. “With this new Cup format and these boats, all the teams have started from scratch, and even though we are one edition behind others, it has been possible to invest in young talent to grow at home to be competitive with them for the next Cup,” he told us in a long talk. He also revealed some important details about how teams will be able to prepare for this campaign, “the modifications allowed to the old AC 75s are few, we need it more as a training boat to get the sailing team used to these vehicles,” he explained. And again, “we have chosen not to do the prototype, but to train with the 75 purchased by the Kiwis while waiting for the two AC40s we ordered to arrive in 2023, with which it will also be possible to do tests with two boats on the water at the same time. But it will also be possible to do tests between a prototype and an AC 40, not between two AC 75s also because each team can only build one new one,” Arrivabene told us.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing – the new life of Pietro Sibello

Pietro Sibello// Samo Vidic / Red Bull Content Pool

Seeing him in Alinghi’s jersey makes quite an impression, since we were used to admiring Pietro Sibello at the mainsail of Luna Rossa and also in the role of tactician. The time we spent with him in Barcelona was also helpful in understanding his choice and finding out what his role will be inside the Alinghi team. Pietro Sibello will not be able to be aboard Alinghi Red Bull Racing in this Cup because the Protocol has a strict constraint on nationality, but the Ligurian sailor has embraced the team’s philosophy.

“For me the important thing is to have goals and feel part of a project, I absolutely still feel like a sailor but sometimes professional life gives you opportunities, the important thing is to find the stimuli and motivation. Being able to provide my experience to a really young sailing team for me is stimulating, my role cannot be defined in two words, let’s say I am a bit of a coach but also a link between the design team and the sailors, having already experience on these boats. The important thing is to have a challenging goal and to wake up every morning with the desire to work and improve toward that goal,” Sibello told us.

Impossible not to ask him a question about Luna Rossa. and on what was missing from the Italian challenge in the last Cup, which lost in the final 7-3 to Team New Zealand: “The races were even more close than the final result says, you have to say that. We probably lacked some courage in making a bigger leap forward on boat 2 like the New Zealanders did, we were more conservative. I am on very good terms with the whole Luna Rossa team, with whom there is always a great friendship.”

The girls of the design team.

Andrea Emone // Samo Vidic // Red Bull Content Pool

Alinghi as we said is a very young team. Its likely helmsman will be 34-year-old Arnaud Psarofaghis from Switzerland, although on the exact roles the crew has remained deliberately vague. What is certain is that even in the design team, led by Marcelino Botin, there are many young people, starting with two girls, Andrea Emone and Lodovica Fenghini.

Andrea is Spanish, class of 1996, Aerospace Engineer, and inside the Alinghi design team she is the performance analyst. She races in the new Olympic class of sailboards, the IQFoil, and has also been involved with the Spanish team in the SailGp.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing Lodovica genghini
Lodovica Genghini // Samo Vidic / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202210270213 // Usage for editorial use only //

Lodovica Genghini, on the other hand, is Italian, has a degree in naval engineering from Southampton, and at just 27 years old has already worked at Nautor’s Swan, where she helped build the ClubSwan 125 and worked with the Southern Wind shipyard in South Africa. At Alinghi, Lodovica is in charge of scheduling timelines for the design team and is responsible for the weights in the design of the new boat.

In a world, that of the America’s Cup, which historically has been almost exclusively male-dominated, to see two such young girls in roles of great responsibility, in an area as crucial as design, seems to us to be wonderful news. In both of them we saw the “freshness” of their age but also great determination and a healthy “hunger” for success that is one of the indispensable ingredients for an America’s Cup team. In general, this feeling was given to us by all the Alinghi guys: young yes, but very clear-minded and with a knife between their teeth, determined to impress. The other challengers, and the defender, are warned. Watch out for these guys.

Mauro Giuffrè

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