Please select your home edition
Edition
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - Top 728 x 90px - 004 gif

America's Cup Rialto: Oct 3 - A nice steady day for Emirates Team NZ

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 3 Oct 2020 16:54 PDT 4 October 2020
Emirates Team New Zealand - Waitemata Harbour - October 3, 2020 - 36th America's Cup © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

Light winds in the form of a patchy 10-12kts westerly offshore breeze, made Saturday a steady day on the Waitemata Harbour.

At this of the America's Cup, if there is a criticism of Emirates Team New Zealand, is that they look a bit too smooth and slick. Are they pushing themselves hard enough to stay ahead of the Challengers?

Yet to be announced is how they are going to manage their buildup once the Prada Cup gets underway, and the Challengers are able to sail against each other - but as Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand can only sail alone, or against a second boat they own.

Obviously, the team get plenty of testing benefit from a good day like Saturday, but as Head of Design, Dan Bernasconi confirmed earlier in the week, the Kiwi team have caught up from their COVID-19 lockdown experience and are back on their original roadmap for the 36th America's Cup. The team is in its final test routines and are ready to step across to their second boat and race boat when it comes on stream - expected to be November.

After towing out foil-borne due to the light winds, Te Aihe set up on the old America's Cup course are well out from the East Coast Bays of Auckland's North Shore, and did a series of runs that took them closer to Gulf Harbour on the Whangaparaoa Penisular at the northern end of the inner Hauraki Gulf and 15nm from the team base in downtown Auckland.

The team got away around noon, carrying a couple of TV sports media aboard the chase boat who were transferred to the AC75 and each rode in the 12th crew member position at the stern of Te Aihe.

Around 1600hrs the Kiwis returned (with all the rival recon teams having seen enough for the day, and long gone home) and had some issues dropping their #1 jib, requiring a crew member to be lifted to the forestay attachment point, presumably to remedy a halyard which had jammed in its sheave.

That issue sorted, Te Aihe hoisted what appeared to be a #3 headsail and did several runs on the Stadium Course - Course C - in a breeze which had freshened nicely and appeared quite steady with even pressure - even close to the container terminal.

With New Zealand having just clicked onto Daylight Saving Time, this scenario was interesting in that it was conducted at the same time and in the same patch of water as the majority of the Cup racing is expected to take place.

As discussed previously the breeze for the day has usually settled in nicely by 4.00pm and hangs around to 6.00pm or later.

Emirates Team NZ has spent more time in this area than the only other Challenger in Auckland, American Magic - who often opt tow out and back through this racecourse. While the inner Waitemata Harbour is near useless for speed testing, it is a fact that the teams will have to be adept at coping with fluctuating pressure and direction, along with the vagaries of tidal flow both in the harbour channel and on its edges.

With the pending arrival of the other two Challengers on the Waitemata, it will be interesting to see if they put any weight on late afternoon training sessions on the Stadium Course, or opt for the more comfortable long runs out in the old America's Cup courses.

We have yet to see Te Aihe or the now decommissioned Defiant trying to fly and furl a Code Zero on the confines of Stadium Course, although both obviously have trialled the big jib set from the bowsprit on runs out in the Gulf, or on the occasions when they pass through the Stadium Course on their way to the test area of the day. There is no indication yet on the crossover for the Code Zero which was a significant factor the last time it was used on the AC72 in San Francisco.

While Emirates Team New Zealand may be back in the groove for their test and development program - which will come to a peak in early March for the start of the 36th Match, the Challengers do not have the same latitude. With their second-generation AC75's either in Auckland or en route, the clock is starting to run down at a concerning rate.

The first of the Challengers will begin packing up and heading home in just four months - at the end of January. Their development program will be interrupted by the Christmas Cup/America's Cup World Series in mid-December, and of course the Christmas and New Year shutdown in New Zealand.

Related Articles

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
America's Cup: Two feet
A unit of measurement, avatar and a couple more often helpful in sailboat racing It can be a unit of measurement. Also the very extremities you use for balance when standing up. Then on March 5 this year, we saw that they can even belong to an avatar assisting you and your cause via reinforcement learning. Posted on 28 Mar
America's Cup: Sole challenger creates opportunity
Lone challenger ploy creates opportunities for excluded teams going into AC38 While claims of a single challenger against the current defender continue to circulate, the move could create opportunities for the excluded teams - putting them in a very strong position for the 38th America's Cup. Posted on 28 Mar
Future America's Cup direction still unclear
The NZ Govts off of $5million with conditions attached doesn't work in the context of the next Cup As Emirates Team New Zealand crossed the finish line at 5.11pm on St Patrick's Day the NZ Government issued a media release offering a $5million funding line with conditions attached. It is expected to be politely declined. Posted on 25 Mar
Emirates Team NZ online shop - SALE
Sale ETNZ and North Sails Outerwear - Up to 60% off selected items Sale ETNZ and North Sails Outerwear - Up to 60% off selected items at emiratesteamnzshop.com Posted on 24 Mar
America's Cup: Sliding Doors
If the 2021 America's Cup proves one thing, it's that design and innovation reigns supreme If the 2021 America's Cup proves one thing, it's that design and innovation reigns supreme. It would be easy to focus on large catamarans, even bigger monohulls, perhaps even seeing the Kiwis start foiling the AC72 cats, or their cyclors of Bermuda. Posted on 23 Mar
America's Cup direction set out in joint statement
The 37th America's Cup will take a new direction of which some details have been revealed today The 37th America's Cup will take a new direction of which some details have been revealed in the joint statement released by the Defender Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Challenger of Record for AC37, Royal Yacht Squadron Racing. Posted on 19 Mar
America's Cup: RYSR and INEOS Team UK confirmed
INEOS Team UK and Royal Yacht Squadron Racing confirm acceptance of their Notice of Challenge INEOS Team UK and Royal Yacht Squadron Racing have confirmed that their Notice of Challenge for the 37th America's Cup (AC37) has been accepted by RNZYS and have become the Challenger of Record for AC37. Posted on 19 Mar
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 6 jpg BottomSavvy Navvy 2021 SW FOOTER v2Cyclops 2020 - SmartlinkNano - FOOTER