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Cup Spy : Daylight reveals some unique design features on Alinghi Red Bull Racing

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 18 Apr 02:24 NZST 18 April 2024
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 1 - April 16, 2024 - Barcelona © Ugo Fonolla / America's Cup

A full day of activity at the Alinghi Red Bull Racing base in Barcelona saw the Swiss syndicate rig, christen, and launch, the team's latest generation AC75 before rounding off with a session of low-speed towing in the nearby harbour basin.

The boat's mast was rolled out at 0850 with the AC75 itself emerging from the hangar at 0902. The mast was stepped by 0920 after which the shore crew spent an hour and 25 minutes setting up the mast for the first time. At 1120 the boat was lifted a few feet above its cradle for what appeared to be some calibration of the two foils in full down mode.

After returning the boat to its cradle it was prepared for the afternoon christening ceremony with covers over the cockpits and a sponsor flag on the forestay. The boat was hung from the crane at 1250 for a photoshoot with what appeared to be the entire ARBR staff lining the team base's two enormous balconies.

At 1400 a local team of Castellers along with members of the team formed a human pyramid with at the very top a young girl carrying the bottle of champagne that at 1400 was broken across the bow to christen the boat. The boat was craned afloat at 1415 for 2 hours and 15 minutes of setup and testing – including testing of the foil cant system by raising and lowering the foil arms.

The crew docked out at 1636 for roughly an hour of low speed towing (bow and side) to assess its handling characteristics. The boat returned to the dock at 1720.

Recon observations:

  • Foil arms with two 'shoulders': the upper one aft, flat on bottom and curving up towards the stock, with an access panel visible; the lower one forward and flat on top with curve down towards the stock.
  • Foil wing aft of centred torpedo bulb.
  • Wing is slightly curved downwards with curve starting in the middle of the 'arms' of the wing
  • Outer tip curves upward with a small torpedo bulb (camera?)
  • Inner tip is straight with a small torpedo bulb (camera?)
  • Camera on back edge of foil arm above wing
  • Camera underneath wing
  • Enclosure on bustle - a camera?
  • Perspex bubble windscreen for flight controller
  • Anti-vibration units on shrouds
  • Small cameras on the transom.

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