Please select your home edition
Allen Brothers

America's Cup Rialto: First cross - AC75's duke it out on Auckland harbour

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 21 Sep 2020 08:25 PDT 22 September 2020
Emirates Team NZ crosses American Magic - Waitemata Harbour - September 21,2020 - 36th America's Cup © Richard Gladwell /

The two AC75's currently in Auckland met up on the Waitemata Harbour this afternoon for the first shoot-out of the 36th America's Cup.

Sailing on Course C between North Head and Rangitoto Island the Emirates Team New Zealand and American Magic circulated through the area, making enough racing action for what appeared to be a camera crew in a helicopter hovering above, without giving the ubiquitous reconnaissance teams cause to make a complaint of training in a coordinated manner - which is banned under the Protocol governing the event. However the presence of the helicopter and camera indicates that maybe this was a session that should not be taken too seriously - even so it was a great opportunity to see these remarkable boats up close, and get a taste of the visual banquet that is to come in three months.

The two AC75's crossed tacks frequently and paralleled each other less often.

There was one good hookup with both boats sailing closehauled in the beautiful 10-12 sea breeze. Despite a couple of images in this story, boat handling was generally good - considering the wind direction, strength and the fact that they were sailing in the lee of a 260 m (850 ft) 600-year-old volcanic cone - Rangitoto.

The outcome was a predictable draw - with neither team showing a significant advantage over the other in the brief period they were hooked up, usually one started substantially ahead or behind.

A second run with both boats reaching on port tack, was equally inconclusive - although the teams may have a different view of that assessment.

Most of the session which lasted an hour or so, consisted of the two teams trying to race practice using their laid marks on the Course which is likely to be the most used in the America's Cup, with another run out into the Rangitoto Channel

It was American Magic which stole the show - not because of a blistering boatspeed advantage, but more because they had made it, they were there, in the America's Cup venue and taking on the defending Champion, literally in the Kiwi's own backyard. And that was after being out of action for five month due to the cancelled America's Cup World Series regattas.

The other two Challengers from Italy and UK are either yet to leave or in quarantine.

Leaving their dock about 30minutes after the Kiwis, American Magic towed out on foils as is their want. Te Aihe sailed down the harbour in light winds with variable pressure, but using her Code Zero and foiling with apparent ease. However it all turned to custard at the entrance to the Waitemata, with Te Aihe either running out of wind pressure, getting hit by a header, running out of apparent wind, or a combination of all three. Either way the Code Zero was furled, the towline attached and Te Aihe towed off in the direction of Browns Island or Motukorea and presumably a session running alongside Motuihe Island with a stint in The Paddock off Eastern Beach.

Defiant headed out into the Rangitoto Channel out off the East Coast Bays before returning back down the Channel where Te Aihe happened to be lurking.

Their respective workouts complete on Course C, Defiant headed back out for another two hours of training and another seven-hour session.

For 90 minutes or so we had a glimpse of the sailing spectacle that will be the America's Cup World Series/Christmas Cup, the Prada Cup and the America's Cup itself.

It will be magic.

Related Articles

America's Cup: Valencia Revisited?
A report in the Spanish media indicates that a new bid is in the running for the 37th America's Cup A report in the Spanish media indicates that a new bid from Valencia, Spain is in the running for hosting the 37th America's Cup. Posted on 15 Oct
America's Cup: Big calls ahead for Superstars
Tough calls ahead for Burling and Tuke as they try to balance their 2024 dance card Peter Burling and Blair Tuke announced their arrival back into New Zealand, this week, with a media release making it clear the duo had not re-signed with Emirates Team New Zealand. Posted on 15 Oct
Gladwell's Line: Life in Lockdown Land
In the alternate universe - Planet Cherub - it is great to see the Lockdown being put to good use In the alternate universe - Planet Cherub - it is great to see the Lockdown being put to good use, where the home-build virus seems to be running amok. Fortunately no vaccination is available, and frankly the more who catch it the better. Posted on 12 Oct
Start of a 35yr America's Cup dynasty
New Zealand's now 35 year America's Cup dynasty began October 5th 1986 on Gage Roads, Fremantle New Zealand's now 35 year America's Cup dynasty began October 5th 1986 on Gage Roads, Fremantle, when KZ-7 faced Heart of America in Race 1 of Round Robin 1 in the 1986/87 Louis Vuitton Cup. Posted on 5 Oct
America's Cup: INEOS Britannia announce line-up
America's Cup: INEOS Britannia reveal their Formula 1 and America's Cup line up INEOS Britannia, the Challenger of Record for the 37th America's Cup have announced their design and management team lineup at a live broadcast from Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team's headquarters at Bracknell UK. Posted on 4 Oct
America's Cup: Two F1 teams set to enter AC37
Sail-World understands that two F1 teams are set to partner up with challenger teams for AC37 Sail-World understands that two Formula One teams are set to partner up with challenger teams for the upcoming America's Cup. Posted on 4 Oct
America's Cup: American Magic's defining moment
American Magic's capsize on Day 3 of the Prada Cup was one of the unforgettable moments of AC36 In this new video, American Magic's skipper Terry Hutchinson and others share their memories of the campaign-defining mark rounding and subsequent events, at the end of the penultimate leg of Race 3 of Round Robin 2 of the Prada Cup. Posted on 3 Oct
America's Cup hosting costs overcooked
A change in the financial analysis method for AC36 has upped the "cost" by several hundred percent Significant issues have emerged in the post-event reporting on the 36th America's Cup. They have been highlighted by Irish media reporting a stellar "cost" of staging the next edition. The Event only cost was €27million. Posted on 1 Oct
America's Cup: ETNZ gybes of Kiwi Defence maverick
ETNZ dumps a maverick group claiming to be able provide funding assistance with AC37 AC37 Defenders Emirates Team New Zealand has dumped a maverick kiwi group claiming to be able provide funding assistance with an Auckland Defence of the America's Cup. Posted on 22 Sep
Gladwell's Line: Irish caned over Cup indecision
Irish media cane Ministry of Sport bureaucrats over "indecision" on AC37 hosting The Irish editions of the weekend and Sunday newspapers have taken the Ministry of Sport bureaucrats to task over their "indecision" on the America's Cup hosting bid for Cork. Posted on 20 Sep
Vaikobi 2021 FlexForce - FOOTERArmstrong-Logo-Only-728x90 gif BOTTOMCoast Guard Foundation FOOTER 3