Alex Carabi / America's Cup
Alinghi Red Bull, a cold day in the water
It was a tough and very cold day for the Alinghi Red Bull Racing team after what promised to be some fairly lively conditions as the predicted southerly airflow switched in early in the afternoon, mixing with easterly flowing waves playing havoc on the Flight Control as the breeze clocked in at 13-16 knots. With side-waves to contend with, understandably the call from the sailing directors on the chase boat was to launch the mainsail in the port and then tow north up to the Montgat area in order to find easier conditions and once there, the team hoisted the J3 and began sailing.
After a tricky upwind sail with the cross-waves making life tough for all onboard, a sensor issue had crew members crowded around the base of the mast and down into the hull below decks with tools to fix. The good news was that the issue was resolved relatively quickly, however after a short blast upwind where two foiling tacks were attempted, the team called it a day and headed back to the base. Whether the issue that the sensor had picked up had returned was unclear and quite what the sensor was measuring was also something that the team kept tight-lipped about, but the base of the mast houses the mast rotation system and the hydraulics so any issue there would be a very good reason to halt sailing.
Yves Detrey, a long standing member of the Swiss team and a double America’s Cup winner in both 2003 and 2007, was non-plussed about the issue saying: “It wasn't a big deal but we saw that we had a little bit of a sensor issue so we fixed that and just took a good 15 minutes to solve the problem and then we could go back into sailing… you know, we just got the tools onboard, checked it out and it was good to go, so quick fix.”
The recon team took the opportunity to speak with Detrey about the differences between the port and starboard foil on BoatZero with the team running the American Magic legacy foils on port and the Emirates Team New Zealand foils on starboard. Naturally for someone with so much media experience, Detrey was giving little away but he did offer the following: “I wouldn’t say there is a foil that we prefer, they are different so they are good in some areas and little bit bad in some others, so it depends a little bit on the condition but we keep learning, keep running the foils and the setups…to be honest on a day like today I was on my side and I like my side!” (The New Zealand foil)
Barcelona in deep winter is a tricky place – and cold. The recon unit reported a team member saying that today was: “the coldest day on the water so far.”
Here’s to the weekend…and the summer.