Swiss delays, teams move bases, Italian sailing icon dies


America’s Cup Rialto: Swiss delays, teams move, Italian sailing icon dies

by Richard Gladwell/ Aug 31 05:11 UTC
August 31, 2022

Alinghi Red Bull Racing hit the water in Barcelona ahead of another towing test – August 2022 © Alinghi Red Bull Racing

*America’s Cup Rialto (“a swap, or mart”) is an occasional summary of America’s Cup news, directly and indirectly related to current, past and future America’s Cups.


The New York Yacht Club American Magic has confirmed that it will establish a team base within superyacht facility Marina Barcelona (MB) 92 as the team ramps up sailing operations ahead of the 37th World Cup campaign America to be held in Barcelona in 2024.

Planning is already underway to build Barcelona’s squad base. It will be completed in May 2023, before NYYC American Magic moves from its current winter training base in Pensacola, Florida to the new base in Barcelona. It has not been revealed if the team will “winter” in Barcelona, ​​or return to Pensacola and then return in mid-2024 with the AC75 race boat.

“The operational plan will have us relocate to Barcelona to meet from July 1 to October 31, 2023, sailing the site of the two AC 40s owned by NYYC American Magic,” said Terry Hutchinson, Skipper and President of NYYC Sailing Operations. American magic.

“The facilities at Marina Barcelona 92 ​​will allow us to focus on our high performance sailing program and in-house training as we aim for the 37th America’s Cup. Once again, we are grateful for the support of Port de Barcelona and we look forward to training in such a beautiful and friendly city,” he added.

NYYC American Magic is the first team to confirm that it will be based in Barcelona during the period of July to October 2023, when teams are prohibited from sailing from any location other than Barcelona between July 1, 2023 and October 31, 2023 – i.e. approximately 12 months before the 37th America’s Cup regattas which will be contested between August and October 2024.

It is unclear whether the teams will sail their first generation AC75s in Barcelona or limit their sailing to AC40s as test boats. According to the rules, teams are not allowed to sail against each other, in Barcelona outside of regattas and America’s Cup events, and so far no additional races have been announced.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing still in tow

The first team to set up shop in Barcelona, ​​Alinghi Red Bull Racing launched their AC75 on August 9th.

This event was followed by towing trials over the next ten days – with a few days lost due to the accompanying bad weather and unsuitable sea conditions. The way the AC75 copes with the Mediterranean swell and the breakwater undertow will be followed with interest.

Last week the sailing team, at least, was withdrawn and it is expected that later this week an attempt will be made to sail.

For teams new to foiling, the process between launch, towing tests, and test sailing isn’t fast and defies the best of PR calendars.

Emirates Team New Zealand, which followed the same process with Te Aihe – now Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s Boat Zero – was sailing six days after her launch.

The Kiwis were launched on September 6, 2019. Five days later they were back on the rigging and lifting sails in Waitemata Harbour. They were sailing and foiling off Takapuna Beach the next day, September 12, 2019. However, the new AC75 was plagued with persistent mainsail hoisting issues, and the sight became common from a crew member at the top of Te Aihe’s mast. apparently working on a halyard lock or similar issue.

Due to the complexity of the AC75 and the nature of progressive testing programs, it is unusual to see a team training for three consecutive days, without at least one day in the hangar. One-week breaks are not exceptional either. From what has been seen of Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s Boat Zero, much of the equipment and configuration is new, reflecting the experience of the designers and engineers who have joined the team from the teams of the 2021 America’s Cup.

Emirates Team NZ also on the move

Part of the fallout from the decision to host the 2024 America’s Cup in Barcelona, ​​instead of Auckland, is that the America’s Cup defenders leave their glitzy Auckland Viaduct base or get billed what local authorities consider a fair rent of NZ$3-4 million.

A near-free arrangement for the team base was part of the 2021 America’s Cup host venue agreement. that the site was generating $4.5 million in revenue in the current fiscal year. However, that was before the opening of the new Sky City Conference Center, which is expected to compete with the soon-to-be-released Viaduct Events Centre.

It is understood the team are well advanced in the process of moving to their new home at the former base of INEOS Team UK (now INEOS Britannia) on the rectified Wynyard Point, which prior to the 2021 America’s Cup consisted of into an ugly and dangerous fuel substance storage facility, which had been in operation since 1935 and was heavily contaminated due to practices from that era.

The first clear sign of Emirates Team NZ’s move is the removal of its 2017 America’s Cup champion AC50 from the south wall of the team’s base. It is not known where the hydrofoil catamaran will be permanently installed.

INEOS Team UK/Britannia would have a ten-year lease on the Wynyard Point site, and the New Zealand team will launch at Wynyard Point Marina. The rest of the Wynyard Point area is now devoid of buildings except for the current ETNZ base, the flat area should be used for recreation and events.

As NYYC American Magic Emirates Team New Zealand is expected to follow the sun for the next two years, working out of Auckland during the 2022/23 summer sailing season, before moving to a base in Barcelona for the hemisphere summer north and navigation period only. from July 1, 2023 to October 31, 2023. The Kiwi team is expected to return for the 2023/24 summer sailing season, during which they are expected to launch and tune their new AC75, during the first two quarters of 2024 .

Emirates Team New Zealand, like NYYC American Magic and Luna Rossa (ITA) will apply a two-base strategy – with home and away bases. INEOS Britannia has a winter base in Mallorca, while its base in Barcelona is under construction. Alinghi Red Bull Racing currently operates from a temporary base in Barcelona while its permanent base is being built in Barcelona. Luna Rossa has a long established base in Sardinia.

The final list of base allocations was announced last week. Some of the sites are already cleared, others will need to be demolished before a new base can be built. The 2024 America’s Cup, like others before it, serves as a lever to rejuvenate an old port facility.

cup icon dies

Luca Bontempelli, one of America’s Cup best-known sailing journalists, died last week in Milan, just two days after turning 61, following a fierce battle with a brain tumor which unfortunately turned out to be terminal.

Luca was highly respected for his competitive sailing experience in offshore racing, Olympic classes, the Whitbread Round the World Race and the America’s Cup, which he carried over into his thought-provoking writings on the America’s Cup. America and other sailing events and issues.

“We were lucky to have him at Fare Vela for a few years as General Manager,” wrote . “Editorial meetings have always been a training ground. A continuous exploration of the most remote alleys of sailing.” Michele Tognozzi wrote in Fare Vela

“First a sailor and then a high-level journalist, Luca Bontempelli was followed by all Elban sailing enthusiasts and considered one of the most authoritative journalists of this sport at an international level.” says the ElbaPress

His death follows the sudden death of another longtime America’s Cup key figure, Francesco Longanesi Cattani (ITA), who died suddenly in mid-June in Milan after suffering a stroke. cerebral.

Sail-World sends its condolences to Luca’s friends, family and Italian sailing community. His funeral took place Monday in Milan.


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