Answering the call
The first instalment of our exclusive multi-part interview with Alinghi Red Bull Racing co-general manager and head of technical operations, Silvio Arrivabene.
When Italian sailor Silvio Arrivabene finished the 36th America’s Cup with the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic syndicate in New Zealand last year he was happy to be making a return to his ‘normal’ life back in Europe where he is a well known name on the Grand Prix and superyacht circuit.
But before he could get too settled into his old routine a call from his old boss – Alinghi owner Ernesto Bertarelli – put him straight back on the America’s Cup trail.
Arrivabene had previously worked for the Swiss billionaire during the 33rd America’s Cup – the infamous monster multihull DoG match held in Valencia in 2010 against Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing.
He joined the Swiss squad immediately after racing with Vincent Onorato’s Italian syndicate Mascalzone Latino at the 32nd America’s Cup where he had been worked first as a navigator before being drafted into a management role as the team’s technical director.
Despite being on the losing side of the Valencia DoG fight Arrivabene greatly enjoyed his time with Alinghi.
It was a campaign which he remembers as a huge adventure – especially moments like when the team flew their newly built gigantic catamaran over the snow capped peaks of Alps dangling precariously underneath a helicopter.
So when the Alinghi founder told him he was putting the band back together for a new Swiss challenge for the 37th America’s Cup, he didn’t hesitate in saying yes.
“In honesty, many of us have been waiting for that phone to ring for the last 10 years since the Deed of Gift Match, just because it was such a great team” he tells me. “So I couldn't answer anything else – and here we are.”