Home » Alinghi Red Bull Racing welcomes Swiss ski star Marco Odermatt on board BoatOne as first guest

Alinghi Red Bull Racing welcomes Swiss ski star Marco Odermatt on board BoatOne as first guest

Alinghi Red Bull Racing welcomes Swiss ski star Marco Odermatt on board BoatOne as first guest

Alinghi Red Bull Racing welcomes Swiss ski star Marco Odermatt on board BoatOne as first guest

by Alinghi Red Bull Racing 28 Apr 10:08 UTC

Alinghi Red Bull Racing © Olaf Pignataro / Alinghi Red Bull Racing / Red Bull Content Pool

Switzerland’s skiing sensation, World Champion and Olympic gold medallist Marco Odermatt, swapped his skis for an America’s Cup-style work-out this week with Alinghi Red Bull Racing in Barcelona. He headed out on the water as BoatOne’s first-ever guest, cycling on-board during a training session.

Three-time reigning World Cup overall champion from Switzerland, Marco Odermatt, went behind the scenes with the Alinghi Red Bull Racing campaign this week, spending one day at the Team Base in Barcelona, headlined by a sail on BoatOne just a week after her christening. It was a momentous occasion not just for the skiing star, but for everyone at Alinghi Red Bull Racing given his status as the first non-team member on-board the new race yacht for training since the boat was launched. After a behind the scenes tour of the Team Base and safety training, Marco was given the honour to ring the bell at dock-out.

“I remember the Alinghi team from 15 years ago, all of us in Switzerland were so proud, wearing our Alinghi caps to show our support for them,” said Marco. “I might not have been an expert about sailing, but I remember being behind them all the way.”

As one of the four cyclors on-board for the session, Marco’s strength was needed. His powerful contributions helped trim the sails and manoeuvre the mast. “Marco is a legend in Switzerland,” said cyclor Franco Noti. “At the moment, probably the biggest we have in our country. It was an absolute honour to have him here not only to follow our Cup journey but to have him sailing on the boat itself.”

Marco’s strengths as world’s fastest skier are noted to be his power and stand-out feel for the racecourse, allowing him to adjust to the terrain around him and gates ahead in the blink of an eye. They are similar to core performance traits needed on-board for the two groups of the sailing crew: the Driving Group (cognitive prowess) and the Power Group (strength & endurance). “It was great to welcome Marco and give him the chance to experience our world and our sport,” said skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis. “At one point I turned around and I could see he was pedalling hard. Then I also saw him smiling, so I know he had a really good time on-board with us. Everyone enjoyed having him.”

Conditions were a bit choppy but there was enough breeze of around 12-13 knots to lift the boat up onto her foils. “When you fly over the water, it’s amazing,” said Odermatt. “When you are foiling on the AC75 it was so smooth, we cut right through the waves and I felt very comfortable. It’s almost like you are in a little protective bubble in this position in the cockpit.”

To finish his immersion with the team, Marco spent time with the sailors and the Swiss ski star signed one of his race helmets to add to team’s growing Wall of Fame collection of autographs in the lounge.

Marco Odermatt, World Cup overall champion: “Coming here you see how big a campaign this is, how many people are working here towards one goal. It’s all very impressive and I underestimated that. In our sport of skiing you are your own boss, you have to deal with every little thing from materials and ski equipment to your energy level as well as the tactics and technique when racing.

I’m not sure that I could compare the sailing to a downhill race but it was just so smooth and we cut right through the waves. I felt totally secure and stable. With the foiling of the boat, you have a totally different feeling than what I experience in skiing.

It’s amazing to see the technology and the development that went into BoatOne to get a boat like this built. It’s the best of the best in terms of top-notch and cutting-edge technology when you consider a boat of this size lifting out of the water.”

Arnaud Psarofaghis, skipper: “Marco is one of the biggest names in all of Switzerland and the best skier in the world at the moment, so to have him here is a big boost for the ski fans among us and to see the support from another athlete competing at his level and sharing his experience means a lot.

We gave him the full overview on how the team is split into two groups on-board, four cyclors and four driving group sailors. Marco was on the side of the cyclists, producing the energy so we can trim the sails and make the boat go faster. I think it was hard work for him out there, but he was doing his best to keep up with our sailors and enjoyed the experience.”

Franco Noti, cyclor: “Marco was doing the job of a cyclor today on the boat, which means he has to cycle to provide all the energy for the movement of the sails and the mast. It’s a hard job, I can tell you from experience! He was going pretty hard at times on-board but a few times I saw him look up and enjoy the surroundings, the city and the sea. I am sure it was a nice change for someone who is so focused on the snow.

I only know Marco from watching ski races on television. If you are Swiss, then you see him everywhere because he has been so successful the past few years. It was a great honour and a pleasure to speak to him and joke around a bit with him in person.”