Vela: Alinghi announces his squad for Copa America


sailAlinghi announces Copa America squad

Fourteen sailors have been selected to join Alinghi Red Bull Racing and represent Société Nautique de Genève at the 37th America’s Cup, which will take place in Barcelona in 2024.

The identity of the Swiss sailors selected to represent Switzerland in the next Copa America is already known.

Samo Vidic / Alinghi Red Bull Racing / Red Bull Content Pool

They are young, Swiss, talented, experienced in foiling, ultra-fast boats, rowing or even cycling. Alinghi Red Bull Racing has announced the fourteen team members selected to represent Switzerland in the upcoming Copa America, which will be held in Barcelona in autumn 2024.

With an average age of thirty, eleven years younger than in Switzerland’s last victorious participation in Valencia, the team makes room for youngsters.

“We are going to drive a Formula 1 with several people in the cockpit.

Pierre-Yves Jorand, Co-Director General Responsible for Sports Operations

According to the rules of the 37th edition, there will be eight aboard the AC75 foiling monohull, divided into two groups: the power group and the driving group. For sailors in the piloting group (posseguarda), the selections started last summer with interviews, followed by physical tests and sailing. “We act in a very collegial way: we work with coach Nils Frei and the first selected sailors to make decisions together”, explains co-director general responsible for sports operations Pierre-Yves Jorand. “Character, attitude and developmental potential were just as important as skills. We are going to drive a Formula 1 with several people in the cockpit: one on the brake, one on the steering wheel, one on the accelerator and another on the gear stick. The notion of team takes on its full meaning.

These sailors gained their experience from the Olympics, seaplanes or even the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, and embody what is known as the Alinghi generation. Among them, the 2014 Optimist World Champion Nicolas Rolaz, who is the youngest member of the selected team.

A high level structure was set up in the water and with renowned trainers to guide these young people, who still don’t have the experience of the super powerful rockets that are the AC75s.

The 14 selected sailors

Maxime Bachelin, 24 years old – driving group

Matias Bühler, 39 – driving group

Arthur Cevey, 26 years old – power group

Nicolas Charbonnier, 40 years old – driving group

Lucien Cujean, 32 years old – driving group

Barnabé Delarze, 27 years old – power group

Yves Detrey, 43 years old – driving group

Augustin Maillefer, 29 years old – power group

Bryan Mettraux, 31 – driving group

Arnaud Psarofagis, 33 years old – driving group

Nicolas Rolaz, 22 years old – power group

Théry Schir, 29 – power group

Nils Theuninck, 25 years old – power group

Florian Trüb, 28 years old – strength group

various key roles

Aboard an AC75, sailors are divided into the following roles: strategist, helmsman, leaf trimmer, sail trimmer, grinder. These provide the power needed to operate the boat.

“The class rules require that some systems be activated manually, mainly everything related to the trimming of the sails”, says the design coordinator Adolfo Carrau, who has worked with Botin for fifteen years. “It is thanks to the power provided by these athletes that the sailboat will be able to do its job. The designers identified the positions and forces necessary to have maximum power in relation to the type of effort performed: if the duration of the races is calculated in minutes, the training sessions last several hours. These crew members must therefore be very strong, especially as there will only be four on board compared to eight grinders during the last edition. »

With a cyclist and two rowers

To build this team of strength and alongside the sailors, recruitment focused on members of the Swiss cycling and rowing federations. “The track record of these athletes caught our attention; despite the lack of experience in sailing, they stand out in high-level sport, victories, performance under pressure”, underlines coach Nils Frei. “Rowers are extremely versatile athletes in terms of strength, power and cardio. However, it was necessary to explain to them what this event represented; It’s a career choice, a life choice.

“I hope to bring them what was my strength in rowing: motivation and determination to work hard to achieve my goals, with great rigor.”

Barnabé Delarze, two-time Olympic champion in rowing.

Cyclist Théry Schir and rowers Augustin Maillefer and Barnabé Delarze joined the strength group. The latter, a two-time Olympic champion and recent winner of the prestigious Boat Race with Oxford, is delighted with this sporting transition after having spent more than half his life rowing.

“I have always been attracted to the water and the slide, in short, sailing is not so far from paddling! However, I have never had a project of this magnitude. I hope to bring you what was my strength in rowing: motivation and determination to work hard to achieve my goals, with great rigor. My ability to handle pressure to perform at the highest level. There, we enter another dimension: these boats are spaceships!” The last team member will be introduced shortly.

Swiss precision obliges, the team has not missed the kick-off of the two 2022 championships: ahead of the 2022 TF35 Trophy and the GC32 Racing Tour, Alinghi Red Bull Racing is actively training on these two supports while waiting to be able to sail on AC75 and then on AC40.

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