America’s Cup: Marcelino Botin (Alinghi Red Bull Racing) on the approach of the Swiss team
by Marcelino Botin/Alinghi Red Bull Racing Oct 5 14:47 PDT
October 6, 2022
Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s AC75 off Barcelona on October 5, 2022 © Alex Carabi/America’s Cup
Alinghi Red Bull Racing is first and foremost a team. A group of enthusiasts working together towards one goal: to win the America’s Cup
It is a great responsibility to lead the design of such a legendary team that has won the America’s Cup twice, and even more so after partnering with Red Bull and benefiting from the knowledge of Red Bull Advanced Technologies. . I work on hydro and aero daily, but my wider role is to keep an eye on the whole project, from a design point of view. This profession has evolved a lot over time. Previously, we drew boats; now these boats are closer to planes. I’ve been in the industry for a long time and have watched this transition closely, adding aerodynamics to the design.
But that’s not the only thing that has changed in the design of the boat. When I started, there were three or four times more sailors than designers, now the balance has changed. The design team has grown. The most important thing of all is to hire people who can work in groups, not as individuals. These people are the key to success, as well as failure. This is even more important when working under pressure, as timing is key. And there’s never enough. Our competitors are one campaign ahead of us. We don’t have the AC75 experience they have, but the strength of our team is in the talent we’ve assembled and the strong, positive atmosphere in which we work.
It’s so interesting, every day we work on something different. We challenge the process, we are challenged, we push the limits. A subject that Red Bull Advanced Technologies knows well. Their high-performance vehicle engineering group supports us with its expertise in engineering and design derived from competition in Formula 1, the fastest development cycle in the world. Many aspects can be exported from Formula 1 to the America’s Cup. At the start of the campaign, alongside RBAT, we identified areas where they could help us, and since then we have improved collaboration on many projects that are progressing successfully. We work with them regularly. Ultimately they are all part of our project and it is exciting to listen to them, learn from them and work with them. Many elements come together in the design of such a boat.
One of these elements is the contribution of sailors. We encourage their participation in our meetings and we try to join them as often as possible. On the simulator, on the boat and on the chase boats which are usually full of designers. Now that they have started sailing on BoatZero, their feedback is extremely important to the design of our racing boat. At the end of the day, sailors should be happy with the product we create!
Adolfo Carrau, Design Coordinator, oversees the various design areas led by the following team members: Steven Robert, Structural Engineer, Gautier Sergent, Sail Designer, Joseph Ozanne, Simulator, Nicolas Bailey, Foil Designer, and Gonzalo Redondo, foil and hull designer. From a holistic perspective, the most important strength of any design group is how well the whole team works together.
When I walk into the office and hear the designers sharing their ideas with colleagues from all other departments, I know we are moving in the right direction. Each of them has a key role in our success. The America’s Cup seems a long way off, but we are now at an essential moment in our campaign, gathering as much data as possible on the boat, the simulator and all our design tools. Developing a design concept around this information that is competitive in the conditions we will be racing in is crucial to the success of the campaign.
The countdown begins !
For the full story redbull.com/int-en/designing-success