A name that has not been part of the America’s Cup series for over a decade will be returning as a new Challenger in the form of the Alinghi Red Bull sailing team.
Red Bull has partnered up with the Alinghi syndicate, which races under the flag of Switzerland’s Société Nautique de Genève. Despite representing a land-locked country, the Alinghi team has won the America's Cup twice – in 2003 in New Zealand and in 2007 in Spain.
"While keeping the winning spirit that has always animated Alinghi, we want for this challenge to do something totally different, totally new, totally fresh," said Alinghi team founder Ernesto Bertarelli.
“With Red Bull we are equal partners in this venture. They will bring their competence, energy and strength in creating performing teams, and we bring our experience in sailing and winning the America's Cup. Alinghi Red Bull Racing will shine a new light on the event," Bertarelli added.
The Alinghi sailing team will benefit from the expertise of the Red Bull Advanced Technologies unit that has powered Red Bull Racing to a total of five Formula One Drivers' Championships and four F1 Constructors' Championships, including the win just secured by Max Verstappen in the last lap of 2021 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Fresh from the Formula One final, Red Bull Racing principal Christian Horner commented on the partnership: "We welcome Alinghi Red Bull Racing to the World of Red Bull, and our F1 team is looking forward to helping this new member of our family to succeed […] We will share our experiences, engineering tips, etc. It is a two-way cooperation."
The new America’s Cup team will establish its headquarters in Écublens in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Located on the fringes of Lake Geneva, this site will be where the hull of the team’s vessel is to be constructed.
The crew of Alinghi Red Bull will be made entirely of Swiss sailors, led by Alinghi's GC32 coskipper Arnaud Psarofaghis and mainsail trimmer Bryan Mettraux who will begin training during the winter period.
Alinghi Red Bull joins fellow Challengers INEOS Britannia from the UK against Defender Emirates Team New Zealand in a bid to win the oldest sports trophy in the world. In 2021, Emirates Team New Zealand triumphed against Italian Challenger Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli to win the 36th America's Cup.
More challengers are expected to be announced in the coming months as the entry period runs until July 31, 2022. The final America’s Cup regatta will be held in 2024, with the venue and event dates to be announced by the end of March 2022.