Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

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: Defender rebuffs NYYC overtures
The America's Cup Defenders and Challenger of Record have rebuffed NYYC's Challenge Unsurprisingly, the America's Cup Defenders, along with the Challenger of Record, have rebuffed the surprise Challenge lodged by the New York Yacht Club, on May 6, and announced earlier today. Posted on 9 May
Gladwell's Line: Pressing ignition on pro-sailing
The sail racing world is spluttering back into life after over 12 months of being hostage by COVID The sail racing world is spluttering back into life after over 12 months of being hostage to the COVID pandemic - here's a look at how SailGP and the America's Cup coped, plus the 2024 Olympic event quandary. Posted on 6 May
American Magic ready to sail with 7-8 days notice
American Magic's Terry Hutchinson says they are all ready to go sailing at 7-8 days notice American Magic's Terry Hutchinson says the AC36 Challenger are all packed and ready to go sailing at 7-8 days notice, if the next venue is Auckland, otherwise they will head back to the USA. Posted on 3 May
SailGP Bermuda: Dramatic onboard collision video
Dramatic video footage shot from on-board Japan SailGP as their courses intersected with USA SailGP Dramatic video footage shot from on-board Japan SailGP as their courses intersected with USA SailGP on Leg 3 of Race 4 of Day 2 of SailGP Bermuda. Nathan Outteridge describes how it unfolded. Posted on 26 Apr
ACHof: Induction of Peter Montgomery and Ed Baird
America's Cup Hall of Fame: Induction of Peter Montgomery and Ed Baird On March 19, 2021, just a couple of days after the Emirates Team New Zealand successfully defended the America's Cup, the America's Cup Hall of Fame held an Induction Ceremony to welcome broadcaster PJ Montgomery and America's Cup winner Ed Baird Posted on 22 Apr
America's Cup: Luna Rossa's control systems outed
AC36 Challenger Luna Rossa explain how their systems work and the rules that govern their use Handling a boat like the AC75 requires the use of sophisticated management and control systems actioning a compact network of valves and pistons. Here Luna Rossa explain how their systems work and the rules that govern their use Posted on 14 Apr
Coutts more confident of SailGP Bermuda proceeding
SailGP needs COVID dispensations for Bermuda event to proceed on schedule Russell Coutts, CEO of SailGP has told Bermuda Tonight that he is more confident of the first regatta in the 2021 circuit getting underway as scheduled, despite there being only 10 days left until the scheduled start on April 24. Posted on 14 Apr
SailGP: Bermuda goes into seven day lockdown
Bermuda will enter a "shelter at home" policy, ending after the start of SailGP Round 2 It has been announced in Bermuda that the island will enter a "shelter at home" policy for the next seven days at least. The Premier says no exceptions will be made for SailGP for training or racing. Posted on 12 Apr
36th America's Cup put under the microscope
The international broadcast team for 36AC give their take on the breakpoints of regatta Key moments and analysis on the 36th America's Cup. This includes several interviews with key team members on their recollections of some of the more spectacular incidents, which were glossed over at the time due to the pace of the event. Posted on 10 Apr
America's Cup: Gulf Wars - your record of 36AC
A souvenir record of the regattas of the 36th America's Cup is now on sale across all regions A souvenir record of the regattas of the 36th America's Cup is now on sale in New Zealand, and available internationally published just over a week after racing concluded in the 36th America's Cup. Posted on 31 Mar
Sea Sure 2021 - Transom Fittings - FOOTERSavvy Navvy 2021 SW FOOTER v2Reverso Air 2021 FOOTER