BY APB Staff on 2 Sep 2022

Some crew members were knocked overboard as the boat was pushed onto its side

The America’s Cup team Alinghi Red Bull Racing has capsized its AC75 Boat Zero during testing, on its first sail in Barcelona. 

Alinghi Red Bull Racing, which is a challenger for the 37th America’s Cup in 2024, was under tow with sails down after a successful day of sailing, when it hit by a sudden ‘weather bomb’ that developed over Barcelona on Wednesday afternoon.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - first sail Barcelona - August 31, 2022 - photo © Alinghi RBR media

Alinghi Red Bull Racing during its first sail in Barcelona on August 31, 2022. Photo: Alinghi RBR media

The sudden patch of squall caused the boat to bounce while under tow, and some crew members were knocked overboard as the boat was pushed onto its side. All crew members who ended up in the ocean were successfully recovered by the support team.   

“Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s Boat Zero suffered minor damage to the port foil arm and to the hull. We will be back on the water soon, carrying on with our preparation for the 37th America’s Cup,” says Silvio Arrivabene, co-general manager of Alinghi Red Bull Racing.

Alinghi founder Ernesto Bertarelli and two-time Olympic champion Hans Peter Steinacher announced the launch of the new Alinghi Red Bull Racing in December 2021. Boat Zero was the first AC75 to sail at the the 37th America’s Cup venue, and first entered the water in Barcelona on 8 August.

Reports from Sail-World indicate wind recordings from a nearby land-based station show a relatively light breeze changing rapidly in direction, and increasing to an average of 25 knots. Gusts well into the mid-30’s were likely, and this was accompanied by driving rain. These readings could have been higher in the sailing area.

It is not currently known if Boat Zero — the former Te Aihe — was able to get foiling on her first sail. Details of the damage or when Alinghi Red Bull Racing will sail again are not currently known. 

Te Aihe capsized at least twice when sailed by defenders Emirates Team New Zealand, and their boat Te Rehutai also capsized during practice sessions before the 2021 America’s Cup.