Skip to main content

Alinghi AC33 catamaran hits Lake Geneva

On July 8 Alinghi 5 arrived on on Lake Geneva via the world's most powerful helicopter, the Russian-built Mil Mi-26, which airlifted the massive cat from its build hanger in Villeneuve, Switzerland to the fabled Swiss lake. The catamaran was unveiled earlier in the month, on July 4th, and will be transported, again by helicopter, to the Med later this month. On

On July 8 Alinghi 5 arrived on on Lake Geneva via the world's most powerful helicopter, the Russian-built Mil Mi-26, which airlifted the massive cat from its build hanger in Villeneuve, Switzerland to the fabled Swiss lake. The catamaran was unveiled earlier in the month, on July 4th, and will be transported, again by helicopter, to the Med later this month. On August 8, Alinghi must announce the location for the Cup's 33rd defense.

The behemoth boat has been designed to fight out the upcoming Deed of Gift Challenge, which will be contested in “90-foot by 90-foot” multi-hulls, in February 2010. The only other contestant in this DoG match is the Golden Gate Yacht Club’s BMW/Oracle trimaran. This vessel, which will be helmed by James Spithill and skippered by the all-conquering Russell Coutts, the most successful America’s Cup skipper in history, will be hard to beat.

Alinghi’s new cat has a pair of structural braces connecting the hulls. The forward-most crossbeam looks to be at roughly the halfway point of the boat’s LOA, with a second supporting strut near the stern. The boat features dreadnaught-style bows, a massive beam, a huge bowsprit, and looks extremely fast. The big question, of course, is whether it will be faster than the BWM/Oracle trimaran.

BMW/Oracle launched its trimaran some 11 months ago, so the Alinghi team is notably behind the curve with its boat, no doubt due to the drawn-out legal wrangling. The legal battle over the fate of the 33rd America’s Cup has been a two-year affair that’s left many AC fans confused and many pro sailors out of work.

The Alinghi crew are now up against a serious time clock. They will need to shake out any bugs in the system, learn to sail their boat, and also learn its limits. BMW Oracle has had a big time advantage, but rumors abound that both camps plan substantial modifications to their boats before the upcoming showdown.

Once Alinghi has concluded their Lake Geneva trials, they will airlift the catamaran to the Med in early August. The team plans to be sailing by the middle-to late July, but with loads as powerful as the ones that this boat will generate, it will be interesting to see if Ernesto Bertarelli and crew wasted precious time in court (where they lost most of those battles), instead of sailing. Of interest: both camps are expected to arrive with multiple masts and sailplans, depending on the conditions.

Which begs another question: where will this match take place? Again, this is a question for Bertarelli, which he will address on of before August 8. But judging by the size of these massive boats and the staggering loads generated by their sailplans, neither camp is looking for a big-breeze venue. Currently, Valencia is a top candidate amongst Cup pundits, but whispers are also afloat that it could be contested in the Middle East or South America.

Related

fa70b13c-8eec-4c35-b30f-f89e497b469a

Crowdsourcing Age-of-Sail Weather Data

Although big, multi-million-dollar projects like the Large Hadron Collider and the human genome project with their legions of PHD’s tend to grab headlines, there’s still a part of play for the “citizen scientists” of the world. Amateur birders have long contributed to an ...read more

01-LEAD-Ultime-race-Yvan-Zedda,-OC-Sport-Pen-Duick

Ultims to Race Solo Around the World

For years now, maxi-trimarans, both solo-sailed and fully crewed, have been racing the clock on their own around the world in an effort to set ever faster records for the world’s fastest circumnavigation under sail. Back in 2000-01 there was also a no-holds-barred ...read more

P1-01-LEAD-018_CARYNBDAVIS_AMISTAD

Juneteenth on the Water

Discovering Amistad and Mystic Seaport Museum have partnered to organize their third annual Juneteenth festival, featuring concerts, speakers and a reflection on the lasting legacy of racial injustice in America. Declared a National Holiday in 2021, Juneteenth celebrates the end ...read more

Lead-2021-01-17-vue-03-34-av-tb-01

New Multihulls for 2022

Lagoon 51 In keeping with many of the more recently launched models created by French multihull builder Lagoon, the Lagoon 51 is all about comfort, “en plein air,” in particular, as the French might say. Topside, a whopping 80 percent of the boat’s flybridge is given over to ...read more

bermuda

How to Spectate on the Newport Bermuda

The biannual Newport Bermuda Race starts on Friday with the first warning signal at 1 pm. Whether you’re tracking a loved one’s progress or just spectating an event that draws pros and weekend warriors alike, there are plenty of ways to stay up to watch. The starting line will ...read more

03-Hyeres-220429_SOF2022_SAILINGENERGY_1933_3184-copy

US Sailing Strikes Gold in Hyères

After being skunked or nearly skunked at multiple Olympiads, could the US Sailing Team (USST) now under the direction of Olympic veteran Paul Cayard, be finally turning it around? If its performance at the 53rd French Olympic Week regatta in Hyères, France, where the team posted ...read more

P1480042

New York City’s Newest Fleet

120 children enrolled in Brooklyn Boatworks’ STEM and life skills-focused program launched their hand-built optimist prams on June 14 from Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The launch is the culmination of years of student work, with boats in process before the pandemic caused the ...read more

AdobeStock_197518370

Charter: Off the Beaten Path

So, you like to charter in the Caribbean with its warm waters, swaying palm trees, steady trade winds and strong rum drinks. What’s not to love? It can be easy, though, to get stuck in a rut when chartering year after year in the same place. Sure, the British Virgin Islands are ...read more