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Cup Spy - June 3-5: Bertarelli and Barker take on the Swiss 'A' Team

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 6 Jun 2023 06:30 PDT 6 June 2023
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - LEQ12 and AC40-7 - Day 31/3, June 5, 2023 © Alex Carabi / America's Cup

Ernesto Bertarelli and Dean Barker jumped in the co-helmsman seats to match race the Alinghi Red Bull Racing 'A' team, in the Swiss team's first day of two-boat training in AC40's, off Barcelona on Monday.

Bertarelli and Barker were sailing for the first time in an AC40 (AC40-7), and did well to take one of the two races sailed, off the Alinghi Red Bull Racing team, who were sailing the team's first AC-40 (AC40-4), now sailing as a LEQ12, after being fitted with a test wingfoil - the so-called "Tubercle" foil. Bertarelli and Barker won the practice starts, but the racing starts were even.

The two 40fters were sailing with AC40-One Design sails, with Bertarelli/Barker proving to be quicker upwind in the first race, but a handling snafu cost them the second.

The tubercle wingfoil was switched on the LEQ12 to the starboard foil arm, with the straight edge of the foil on the outboard side. Some straight line testing was done, between the two boats, with inconclusive results on the water.

From here the Swiss are expected to continue two boat testing, interspersed with AC75 testing as required.

What happened in the Cup - June 3-5, 2023:

  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing commissioned their newest AC-40 on Saturday, with the test being limited to tow testing due to the lack of wind. On Monday the test sailing was undertaken, followed by some practice sailing, and then several practice starts, followed by two match races, with Dean Barker and Ernesto Bertarelli co-helming the AC40-7, and Arnaud Psarofaghis , Nicolas Charbonnier co-helming the AC40-4, now in LEQ12 configuration.
  • INEOS Britannia did not sail.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand did not sail.
  • Luna Rossa did not sail.
  • American Magic, last sailed on March 10, and is packing out to make the move to their permanent base in Barcelona.
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 - Day 31 - June 5, 2023 - Barcelona

From the AC37 Joint Recon team:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC40-4 (bowsprit and masthead marked in Yellow) and AC40-7 (marked in Red) at 09:50 and 10:20 respectively, ahead of team’s first day of two boat sailing.

Both yachts were prepared at the dock simultaneously, with M1 and J1 One Design sails ready on both boats for a day of light Garbi starting from the South East and turning South.

This is typical of a summer Garbi.

The AC40-4 in LEQ12 mode was the first out of the port, with Ernesto Bertarelli on starboard helm and Dean Barker on port helm, starting the first stint with testing of the Delta ‘Tubercle’ Foil.

This wing has since been switched over to the starboard foil arm, which brings the leading edge with tubercles on the inside, and the straight edge outboard. The yacht was sailed four times with the foil on its port arm. The AC40-7 followed shortly after, as Arnaud Psarofaghis and Nico Charbonnier commissioned the yacht on its first proper sail.

The second stint brought the two yachts together, as they sailed side by side for long stretches, culminating in a tacking duel. It appeared that the team were carrying out performance comparisons between the two yachts on different foil configurations, however in the interview, Yves Detrey claimed they were just practicing sailing side by side.

The third stint saw three practice starts followed by a race of the 1NM windward/leeward course (with leeward gate) in 8kn of breeze. Ernesto and Dean won the three initial practice starts, however got nudged out on the real start. They were able to sail a faster upwind leg, reaching the first mark in the lead, but lost out downwind after putting in an extra two gybes.

They regained the lead upwind and defended well downwind to take the first win on the water.

The second race took place shortly after, with Ernesto claiming the start and reaching the windward mark in the lead, with the Red boat closely behind, clipping the mark rounding to starboard.

Chase Alpha replaced the burst mark, as the yachts sailed downhill to the leeward gate, this time both rounding to port. A superior mark rounding by Nico Charbonnier brought them back into the race, as they tacked off early and were able to sail higher and faster upwind, with Arnaud on starboard helm managing to lee-bow Ernesto.

A critical tack and bear away around the windward mark defined the race, as the Red boat successfully continued downwind, while Ernesto and Dean were not able to maintain momentum through the manoeuvre, touching down and losing the distance to Arnaud and Nico, who ultimately took the win. Marks were collected and the yachts sailed back to base.

The team spent over four hours on the water, on what was a very important day for the team. The recon boat covered over 54NM observing the team, specifically the AC40-4 (Yellow) as this is the LEQ12 boat.

This yacht performed 62 maneuvers, 90% fully foiling. This is the team’s best performance in the AC40 since May 4, one month ago (92% fully foiling).

More two boat sailing tomorrow.

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 - Day 31 - June 5, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Wind Strength: 7-9kts
  • Wind Direction: S-SSE
  • Weather: Sunny 22°C
  • Sea State: Beaufort 3
  • Dock Out: 1200hrs (AC40-4) and 1225hrs (AC40-7);
  • Dock In: 1620hrs (AC40-4) and 1615hrs (AC40-7);
  • Total Tacks: 33; Fully foiling: 28; Touch & Go: 4; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 29; Fully foiling: 28; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0

  • Crew: Helms - LEQ12: Arnaud Psarofaghis , Nicolas Charbonnier; Helms - AC40-7: Ernesto Bertarelli, Dean Barker; Trim/Flight Control - LEQ12: Bryan Mettraux, Lucien Cujean; AC40-7: Yves Detrey, Jason Waterhouse

    Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40-7 - Day 3 - June 3, 2023 - Barcelona

    From the AC37 Joint Recon team:

    Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their One Design AC40-7 at 10:20, waiting for the thermal wind later in the day. The yacht was craned in at 11:00 and prepared for commissioning and its first sail. (more below)

    Australian SailGP team flight controller and tactician, Jason Waterhouse, was in the trimmer seat. Onboard Chase Alpha was Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula One Group.

    The M1 and J1 OD sails were hoisted in port and the yacht was towed out as the team tried to find enough wind to sail on the intended race course.

    The team were not able to keep the yacht flying after two tow start attempts, and finally made the decision to head back to base and call it a day.

    Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40-7 - Day 3 - June 3, 2023 - Barcelona

    • Wind Strength: <4kts
    • Wind Direction: Variable
    • Weather: Partly cloudy 20°C
    • Sea State: Beaufort 1
    • Roll out: 1000hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
    • Dock In: 1315hrs Crane out: 1439hrs
    • Total Tacks: 0
    • Total Gybes: 0

  • Crew: Nicolas Charbonnier, Maxime Bachelin, Nicolas Rolaz, Jason Waterhouse

    Additional Images:

    This commentary was written and compiled from video, still images and statistical content extracted from the AC37 Joint Recon program and other material available to Sail-World NZ including photo files, and other on the water coverage from the 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2021 America's Cups. Its format is intended to give Sail-World readers a snapshot of all teams' progress on a given day or period.

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