Barnabé Delarze et Augustin Maillefer ont été choisis par Pierre-Yves Jorand pour apporter leur force et leur énergie à l’équipage d’Alinghi.

Sailing: You rowed a boat in Rio


After defending Switzerland’s colors at the 2016 Olympic Games, Barnabé Delarze and Augustin Maillefer take on a new challenge with Alinghi Red Bull Racing at the America’s Cup.

Christian Maillard


Barnabé Delarze and Augustin Maillefer were chosen by Pierre-Yves Jorand to bring their strength and energy to the Alinghi crew.


They were both on the same boat in Rio, rowing in search of the Olympics Holy Grail. Here they are again on the water together six years later, on a “monster” of the seas, an AC75, as these competition rockets are called. Barnabé Delarze and Augustin Maillefer, former rowing champions, have therefore decided to join Ernesto Bertarelli’s muscular Alinghi Red Bull Racing crew in their quest for the silver pitcher. While waiting to take part in this 37th edition of the America’s Cup with the twelve other sailors, the two Vaud natives talk about it, all excited about this new challenge on this monohull that will take place in 2024, 17 years after the last crowning of the Genevans in Valence.

Victorious in April at the Thames of the Famous British boat race with Oxford vs. Cambridge, Barnabé Delarze, who will be completing a Masters at his university in two months, thought a lot before embarking on this adventure. “After my disappointment at the Tokyo Olympics, I met a lot of people in Oxford and discovered a lot of things that opened my mind,” says the former Four Skulls specialist. When I received Alinghi’s offer in late 2021, I was at a point in my life where I needed a change. I was on the Swiss rowing team for more than ten years and between obsessing over an Olympic medal in Paris and experiencing the America’s Cup everyone was chasing in the 2000s, I decided to discover that this new world will be great.

“Not only did I have to get back on the oars, I continued to run, bike, swim and strength train to put the odds in my side.”

Augustin Maillefer, former Olympic rower

Augustin Maillefer, who stopped competing in 2020 but continued to look after the Vevey rowers, found this opportunity the best way to break his everyday life. But to get back into Olympic form, the Lausanne native had to work hard. “Not only did I pick up the oars again, but I continued running, cycling, swimming and bodybuilding to put the odds in my side,” smiles the one who returned to HEC. So I’m very happy and grateful that I was selected.” During the physical selection tests at the Clinique de la Tour in Meyrin, the colossus in Popeye’s arms impressed. “It’s an adventure that’s both very professional and very exotic for a rower,” happy to come on deck.

Just like his former Rio teammate, Barnabé Delarze has been tested for seasickness: he does not suffer from seasickness. “I’ve never been on an AC75, but I’ve powerboated or rowed enough to know I have no problem at this level,” he adds, ready to also don his big arms at the crew’s disposal . “We’re still thinking about developing ways to generate electricity, but since the American rules are pretty free, each team will investigate what’s best for their athletes,” Delarze continues. With rowers there will be a wide range of arms and also legs, which we use at least 70% in our favorite sport. What I do know is that I have to do things that hurt. Like rowing…”

“With the rowers there will be a lot of choice between the arms and also the legs, which we use at least 70% in our favorite sport”

Barnabé Delarze, winner of the last edition of the Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge

Like his Lausanne-Sports Rowing mate, Augustin Maillefer knows full well they were recruited for their physical abilities, not for advice on how to steer the boat. “During Alinghi’s two victories in 2003 and 2007, I was very young (Editor’s note: 10 and 14 years old), but I remember the boat that had come onto Lake Geneva and I had seen the pictures of his exploits on TV,” recalls a Vaud native who is now looking forward to hosting this event in Barcelona in two years’ time with his former To experience teammates from Rio. Until then, keep rowing…

#Sailing #rowed #boat #Rio

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