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America’s Cup: Defender welcomes Swiss AC37 Challenger announcement

Alinghi Red Bull Racing

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Emirates Team New Zealand has welcomed today’s announcement of the Alinghi Red Bull Racing team as Challenger for the 37th America’s Cup representing the Swiss yacht club Société Nautique de Genève.

Alinghi have been one of the most successful and colourful teams in the modern America’s Cup, but after an absence of just over ten years, have burst back onto the scene with their new naming partner, Red Bull.

Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton highlighted the significance of the Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s Challenge on several levels.

“Ernesto and Alinghi have been sitting on the sidelines since 2010 and watching the America’s Cup through a number of class designs and iterations. Now that they have chosen to launch back into the America’s Cup, partnering with Red Bull, is a true testament to the success of the AC75 class and the boundaries of innovation, design and speed which appeals to a far wider audience than has been seen in the past.”

“Both Alinghi and Red Bull have been protagonists in bringing through the next generation of foiling sailors over the past 10 years.

“Red Bull itself drove the Youth America’s Cup previously in 2013 & 2017 – as well as the Red Bull Foiling Generation project. All the while Alinghi has been developing grass roots sailing in Switzerland in a range of high-performance foiling classes. By embracing the youth development culture they are now able to field a top level 100 per cent Swiss national sailing team which is a great example of the possibilities for many countries wanting to grow their national talent pool in the top levels of sailing.

“This will be further enhanced again in AC37 with the Women’s America’s Cup and the Youth America’s Cup.”

From the point of view of the Defender of the America’s Cup, there is no doubt this entry raises the game another notch. Now there are two well established, very well-funded teams both with powerful F1 technological partnerships.

“Alinghi Red Bull Racing have a technological partnership with Red Bull F1 that has a total of five Formula One Drivers Championships, including Max Verstappen’s only this week, as well as four F1 Constructor’s Championships,” Dalton pointed out.

“Obviously we are aware of the resource that Sir Ben Ainslie has with his team, INEOS Britannia and their partnership with Mercedes AMG F1 team already,” he added.

“Now we have the Red Bull F1 team partnering with Alinghi, and that’s before we even consider other existing Challengers like Luna Rossa who were such strong opponents in the 36th America’s Cup Match and American Magic who we know are very busy working away also.

“Only two weeks after entries opened, it is abundantly clear that AC37 is going to be one of the most competitive and challenging America’s Cup competitions in many years,” Dalton said.

“We are seeing the merging of two of the most technologically advanced sports in the world on land and on the water which is only going to be a good thing for the competition and the growth of the sport and its audience.”

If there is one thing the Société Nautique de Genève and Alinghi Red Bull Racing announcement illustrates, it is how focused, well-resourced, and innovative all teams must be with the right people and minimal distractions to have any hope of winning.

The competition has well and truly started.

Main image © ACE | Studio Borlenghi