The crew of Alinghi Red Bull Racing revealed

The crew members who have been chosen to sail on board Alinghi Red Bull Racing have been revealed.

With a background in Olympic sports, flying boats, and the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, they will be divided into the roles of tactician, helmsman, foil trimmer, sail trimmer, and grinders as the new team challenges for the next America’s Cup in 2024.

Head coach Nils Frei and Pierre-Yves Jorand, co-general manager in charge of sports operations, started recruiting jointly in the summer of 2021.

“It wasn’t an easy choice, we’re lucky to have excellent potential in Switzerland,” says Frei.

To select the 14 crew members, the needs of the boat were determined together with the designers. The first sailors who were chosen also contributed to the decision-making.

“Character, attitude and development potential are as important as skill,” Jorand adds. “We’ll be driving a Formula 1 with several people in the cockpit: one on the brake, one at the steer, one on the accelerator, and one on the gear lever. It’s all about teamwork.”

Swiss sailor Arnaud Psarofaghis, who has been at the heart of the project since it started, adds: “Going on this adventure with friends I’ve known since childhood and people I’ve been working with for over 20 years is very exciting. Even if I haven’t necessarily sailed with them, this bond is a great advantage. We understand each other, which will make communication so much easier. And that’s vital, because on board, good communication is key. And off the boat too: we know when one of us is going through a rough patch, how to talk with them, and when… The only thing that counts is performance, and it’s with this in mind that the teams will be put together.”

These sailors have so far had no experience in the America’s Cup and so a high-level training schedule has been put in place on the water with renowned coaches and internationally recognised designers.

Alongside the sailors, the power group will provide the energy on board.

“The class rules oblige certain systems to function on manual power, especially everything that has to do with sail trimming,” design coordinator Adolfo Carrau explains. “It’s the strength that these athletes contribute that enables the sail trimmer to do his job. The designers have identified the positions and forces needed to have maximum power for the type of effort provided: though races are calculated in minutes, training takes hours. The team members must therefore really be strong, especially since there will only be four of them on board, compared to eight grinders in the previous edition.”

Therefore, the recruitment focused on the Swiss rowing and cycling federations. “The physical tests and the medical support at Hôpital de La Tour, as well as track records of these athletes, caught our attention; even if they don’t have sailing experience, they excel in top-level sports, winning, and performance despite pressure,” explains Frei. “Rowers are extremely versatile athletes due to their strength, power, and endurance. But we still had to explain to them what this event represents; it’s a career choice, a life choice.”

Among the new sailors, the youngest is 2014 Optimist world champion Nicolas Rolaz, 22, who says: “It’s an honour for me, a dream come true. I started sailing during the previous America’s Cup victory in 2007; Ernesto Bertarelli and his crew had shown that it was possible to reach the top even if you’re from a landlocked country like Switzerland. Flying the Swiss flag at the America’s Cup is like the holy grail, but it’s above all a chance to reignite the flame and revive the team’s victorious past.”

After an absence of over a decade, Alinghi joined with Red Bull as challengers for the 37th America’s Cup. The team will sail under the flag of the Société Nautique de Genève when the Selection Series begins in 2024.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing:

Sailing crew

  • Maxime Bachelin, 24 – driving group
  • Matias Bühler, 39 – driving group
  • Arthur Cevey, 26 – power group
  • Nicolas Charbonnier, 40 – driving group
  • Lucien Cujean, 32 – driving group
  • Barnabé Delarze, 27 – power group
  • Yves Detrey, 43 – driving group
  • Augustin Maillefer, 29 – power group
  • Bryan Mettraux, 31 – driving group
  • Arnaud Psarofaghis, 33 – driving group
  • Nicolas Rolaz, 22 – power group
  • Nils Theuninck, 25 – power group
  • Nicolas Rolaz, 22 – power group
  • Théry Schir, 29 – power group
  • Florian Trüb, 28 – power group

Design team

  • Marcelino Botin (ESP) – principal designer
  • Adolfo Carrau (URU) – design coordinator
  • Steven Robert (FRA) – structural engineer lead
  • Gautier Sergent (FRA) – sail designer
  • Joseph Ozanne (FRA) – simulator lead
Spotlight Job

Project manager (marine civils/construction engineer)

DOE, Hamble (near Southampton)

A confident, friendly, suitably experienced project engineer is needed join a growing team. You must have a minimum of 3-5 years post graduate, practical site experience in construction, ideally from a civil engineering background.

Full job description »

Comments are closed.