Alinghi Red Bull Racing launches America’s Cup challenge


Former two-time America’s Cup champion Switzerland’s Alinghi is back after an 11-year absence and teamed up with Formula 1 giant Red Bull Racing to fight for the oldest trophy in international sport.

This is the latest adventure between a top sailing team and a top motorsport team in a sport that has pushed the boundaries of technology in boats approaching highway speeds as they fly over the waves. on hydrofoils.

Alinghi won the America’s Cup in 2003, successfully defended it four years later, and then lost it in 2010 at the height of a bitter billionaire feud. Red Bull won the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship with Max Verstappen in a controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finish on Sunday, his fifth Drivers’ Championship with the four F1 Constructors’ Championships he won from 2010 to 2013.

Pharmaceutical billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli and double Olympic champion Hans Peter Steinacher announced on Tuesday the launch of the new Alinghi Red Bull Racing at the sponsoring yacht club of the Société Nautique de Genève. Christian Horner, Director of Red Bull Racing, participated in the satellite announcement.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing is the first team other than Challenger of Record INEOS Team UK to announce a challenge for the America’s Cup 2024.

Bertarelli, who helped usher in the current era of billionaires in the America’s Cup, said Alinghi and Red Bull are equal partners.

“They will bring their skill, energy and strength to create successful teams, and we will bring our experience of sailing and winning the America’s Cup,” said Bertarelli. “Alinghi Red Bull Racing will shed new light on the event.”

Red Bull Racing is the latest motorsport team to partner with an America’s Cup team. Mercedes is starting its second campaign with INEOS Team UK, led by Sir Ben Ainslie.

During the America’s Cup 2021, American racing titan Roger Penske was one of the top three to support American Magic. It’s unclear whether Penske will continue to help American Magic, who are currently looking for a new yacht club to represent after being abandoned by the New York Yacht Club.

Pirelli, which has been the sole tire supplier for F1 since 2011, has supported Italian team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli for the second time.

However, none of these racing powers came up with a winning formula. Emirates Team New Zealand defeated Luna Rossa 7-3 in the America’s Cup match in Auckland. Kiwi Design Manager Dan Bernasconi worked for McLaren F1 early in his career before moving on to the America’s Cup.

Bertarelli, who was born in Rome and earned an MBA from Harvard, jumped into the America’s Cup fray when he poached several top sailors from the reigning champion New Zealand team. America’s Cup, and won the Auld Mug in 2003 for his landlocked country. He took the competition to Europe for the first time and Alinghi successfully defended in 2007 in Valencia, Spain, again beating the New Zealand team.

Shortly after that regatta, Bertarelli’s former friend, US tech billionaire Larry Ellison, sued the Swiss mogul for rule interpretation. After a bitter three-year legal battle, Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing defeated Alinghi in a unique multihull America’s Cup off Valencia. Alinghi has missed the last three multi-challengers regattas.

Bertarelli said he was encouraged by a conversation he had with Red Bull energy drink co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz.

“While keeping the spirit of victory that has always animated Alinghi, we want this challenge to do something totally different, totally new, totally fresh,” said Bertarelli. “When we imagined with Dietrich Mateschitz the involvement of Red Bull in the America’s Cup, he said: ‘Our path is not to get into sport as sponsors, but to blend into the team. , to form a real partnership, to nurture young athletes and transform them into the best in their field.

Red Bull brings the expertise of the Red Bull Advanced Technologies unit which has supported Red Bull Racing.

“We will be sharing our experiences, engineering, etc., and Alinghi Red Bull Racing will also provide input, helping us to understand new worlds in the application of technology,” said Horner.

It seems unlikely that the America’s Cup will return to Auckland. For financial reasons, Emirates Team New Zealand is considering offers from Cork, Ireland; Jeddah. Saudi Arabia; and Valence to host the regatta in 2024.

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Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson

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