Please select your home edition

America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ's miserable session in a building gale

by Richard Gladwell, 15 Jul 04:27 PDT 15 July 2020
Te Aihe - AC75 - Emirates Team New Zealand - July 15, 2020 - Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand © Richard Gladwell /

Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 Te Aihe put in a three hour training session, in fresh winds and miserable mid-winter conditions, that .

The team made a false start earlier in the morning, requiring the team to return to base having hoisted her mainsail and jib - she re-emerged 90minutes later. While the sight of a chase boat being sent back to the base at high speed only to return later with a part of whatever, this is the first time that we've seen a test sailing stopped for a return to base.

Luna Rossa and American Magic both had their recon teams on the water for most of the session.

Sailing on Course D between Rangitoto and Browns Island, winds were averaging 18kts peaking at 23kts - measured at Northern Leading beacon - which suffers the least interference, and is one of the lowest height of the three weather stations in the area. The conditions are close to the top end for racing in the Prada Cup Finals and America's Cup Match, but above those for the Prada Cup during the Round Robin and Repechage phase.

They were sailing in the face of a building easterly gale with winds averaging 35kts and gusting over 40kts before midnight. Conditions are forecast to increase on Thursday before moderating on Friday.

It was the Waitemata/inner Hauraki Gulf at its most miserable, with a cold wind south of east, overcast skies with low cloud and sweeping light rain showers, topped off by an awkward chop - which made for some spectacular splashdowns/ foil-strikes with spray being thrown high on occasions.

The chop appeared to be too much for the AC75 as it entered the passage between Motuihe and Browns Islands, with Te Aihe digging into a couple of big ones, before easing off and heading for more protected water in the lee of Browns Island. She would have hit the edge of a seaway coming around the corner of Motuihe Island - where there is a fetch all the way down the Tamaki strait.

From the day we can draw some conclusions regarding rough weather options. In the conditions of Wednesday (SE breeze) Course D was the best option, with there being a good area of shielded water - near ringed with islands. Had the wind been more to the north east, the area would have been challenging with a seaway coming through the passage between Motutapu and Motuihe Islands. While Course E in the Tamaki Strait would be the best option - however the tow through Course D would be challenging.

The AC9F, the one design foiler developed for the Youth America's Cup was also out trialling in the fresh conditions, and seemed to be very capable of handling the rough stuff.

Related Articles

America's Cup: Council claims deal made in Feb
Auckland Council claims Cup course arrangements were signed off by all parties in February Two of the principal parties in the 36th America's Cup have issued conflicting media statements tonight over correspondence and agreements relating to the course area allocations for the Prada Cup, or Challenger Selection Series. Posted on 22 Oct
America's Cup: CoR36 responds to Defender
CoR36 claim that they only learned in September about a letter written by Ports of Auckland back in The Challenger of Record for the 36th America's Cup has issued the following statement following decision of the Arbitration Panel, today. CoR36 claim that they only learned in September about a letter written by Ports of Auckland back in January. Posted on 22 Oct
America's Cup: Paradise Lost for Auckland fans
Controversial America's Cup course decision will have unintended consequences for Challengers "We want the America's Cup to be as accessible to as many Aucklanders and New Zealanders as possible. I would encourage all parties to work together to find a better solution." Mayor Phil Goff, on the Arb Panel decision set to blow back on the Challengers Posted on 22 Oct
America's Cup Rialto: Patriot's 'non-stick' hull
American Magic had an extended sail in the newly launched AC75, Patriot on Wednesday American Magic had an extended sail in the newly launched AC75, Patriot on Wednesday heading out well beyond the 2000-2003 America's Cup course, in a steady sea breeze of 12-15kts, and bright sunshine. Posted on 22 Oct
America's Cup Rialto: Luna Rossa refines design
Luna Rossa has continued with the same design theme as their first launched AC75. While the two other challengers launched designs, late last week, that were radically different from their first launched AC75's, Luna Rossa has continued with the same design theme as their Boat 1. Posted on 20 Oct
America's Cup Rialto: Te Aihe goes into storage
Te Aihe had been "temporarily retired". INEOS Team UK completes foiling trial. Cup watchers were a little surprised to see the hull of Te Aihe appear outside the Emirates Team New Zealand base this morning. The only AC75 on the water today was INEOS Team UK who completed a foiling sea-trial starting in the upper Waitemata. Posted on 19 Oct
America's Cup Rialto: Sirena "not impressed"
Luna Rossa's Max Sirena happy with second Italian AC75 after seeing first challengers race boats Sirena, the one that goes into the water on the 20th is boat number two. We have already seen boat one, launched in Cagliari a year ago. Are there many differences between the two? Posted on 18 Oct
America's Cup: American Magic's AC75 aerobatics
American Magic's Patriot rockets out of the Waitemata on first test sail - Video The flared bow on American Magic's newly launched AC75 which had attracted much comment at her launch really came into play, along with the full forward sections, saving the AC75 from a real disaster on her first sail in Auckland. Posted on 16 Oct
America's Cup Rialto: New York launches Patriot
Patriot, the first of the second generation AC75's was launched from the American Magic base. Patriot, the first of the second generation AC75's was launched from the American Magic base, in Auckland, around 9.00am local time. Instead of being a development of what had gone before, the Marcelino Botin led American Magic design team came up with Posted on 16 Oct
America's Cup Rialto: Four on the starting grid
Four America's Cup teams are on the starting grid in Auckland with the first launches next week All teams are in Auckland and commissioning their second-generation AC75's which will be their race boats for the 2021 Prada and America's Cups. The first launch ceremonies will get underway early next week. Posted on 14 Oct
C-Tech 2020 C-Tech 728x90 BOTTOMSOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 BottomZhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTER