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America's Cup Rialto: August 6 - American Magic has a 'glamour day' despite breakage

by Richard Gladwell/ 6 Aug 03:20 PDT 6 August 2020
American Magic - Waitemata Harbour - Auckland - August 3, 2020 - America's Cup 36 © Richard Gladwell /

After losing an hour or so through gear failure, American Magic headed back out onto the Waitemata for a training session out on Course E - between Eastern Beach and Waiheke Island, otherwise known as "The Paddock".

Despite a poor forecast with rain expected for much of the day, the skies cleared for a time, with the sun making an unexpected appearance, and then the grey stuff rolled back in.

However what was happening upstairs didn't affect the breeze at sea-level with a steady 15kt seabreeze prevailing with relatively mild temperatures for Auckland's winter. "A glamour day," was skipper Terry Hutchinson's succinct description.

Despite breaking an upper mainsail batten - one of the remarkable pieces of engineering on the AC75, given the loads and angles involved, the team only lost about an hour, returning back to the team base under tow at high speed.

After some quick work dockside the issues was resolved and the mainsail head reloaded before towing out and setting up just outside the Wynyard Marina. The incident is part of the learning curve - recalling one of four time Olympic Gold medalist Paul Elvstrom's mantra's " if it hasn't broken, then it's too heavy."

Defiant looked quite smooth coming out of the harbour doing a couple of good tacks before heading for the end of Browns Island, and disappearing from sight.

Her return in the NE breeze looked clean as well, staying foil-borne by eye and confirmed with zoomed images later.

The scow hull doesn't throw out the spectacular splashdowns that Emirates Team New Zealand's Te Aihe did in the early days, however we have yet to see Defiant in a solid sea breeze, or a 20kt plus SW breeze which puts up an awkward chop.

Today was a different day to yesterday, where the breeze was well below the lower limit for racing - along with a cloudless sky and brilliant sunshine. Air temperatures were just under a summery 20°C.

Although Defiant was out sailing, the session was cut short, presumably due to the light conditions.

The New York Yacht Club team have been out sailing on every suitable day this week, and most days since they started sailing in Auckland almost two weeks ago.

Emirates Team New Zealand hasn't been out at all this week.

The wind is forecast to be similar to today on Friday, increasing on Saturday, and easing back on Sunday.

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