The Bull (aka BoatZero) briefly peered out of her pen on the 19th December for a teaser but today was the first real day back on the water since the 16thNovember 2022. In the interim period, the sailing team have been hitting the gym hard with some of the Power Group even going to the Austrian Performance Center for Athletes to undergo a serious session of tests and improvement. Others, according to a recent social media post, spent the time cycling hard, skiing harder and some even get a spot of kitesurfing in. This is a young and very athletic team. The programme never stops.
But interestingly today when asked, Nicholas Charbonnier highlighted the team meetings that have taken place as the syndicate reviewed the 2022 sailing season: “With a lot of people it’s all about teamwork, so we spent a lot of time in meetings deciding things about what to do and how we are going to do it. We spent quite a bit of time at the gym, and it was also good to analyse what we have done in the sailing sessions…we hope to be back for a lot more days on the water now.”
And that’s clearly the goal for the team moving forward as they start to bridge the sailing gap to the other established teams that competed in Auckland in 2021. The introduction of the self-tacking jib is clearly key to their ambitions as Charbonnier explained: “The self-tacking jib is the big thing as it’s obvious you can see, but I think it’s going to really help our performances especially through the manoeuvres and we are just trying to get closer to the next America’s Cup rules and it’s the easiest way to get the boat to the speed.”
Barcelona though was very light today and a perfect opportunity for the whole team to re-group and run through the new systems under the watchful eye of Sailing Team Coach Pietro Sibello. Charbonnier gave a good analysis saying: “After any long break you just need to go on the water and make sure that all the systems are ready to go for the next days and being able to push a bit more. We also had to check the system with the self-tacking jib to see if it was working well and it was really light wind, like not really sailable, but was perfect to do what we had to do, just check our systems and make sure that it’s going to be ready for the following days.”
Barcelona looks relatively light for the rest of the week with wind around the 6-12 knot mark ahead of some blustery conditions at the start of next week. With the new jib system in place, expect to see Arnaud Psarofaghis putting his crew through their paces over the coming days. Good to have the Swiss back in the game.
On-Water Recon Unit Notes: Alinghi rolled the yacht out for the first time since 19th December, and left port for the first time since 16 November, spending a total of 2hr 30min on the water. Due to lack of wind, the team used the opportunity to test systems ahead of the coming sailing days. A new winch has been added to the aft of the port cockpit.
Driving Group: Arnaud Psarofaghis, Lucian Cujean, Bryan Mettraux, Pietro Sibello, Maxime Bechelin, Nicolas Charbonnier, Yves Detrey
Power Group: Nicolas Rolaz, Nils Theuninck
Conditions: 0-2 knots, Mostly Cloudy 15 degrees, Sea State:1
M1 (M1-1R): Zero Hours (Sails were raised for 30 minutes with chase rib alongside, no time sailing.)
Total Tacks: Zero
Total Gybes: Zero
Dock-Out: 1430 Dock-In: 1700