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America's Cup Rialto: December 2 - Persisting with the Code Zero as the clock ticks down

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ 2 Dec 2020 03:43 PST 1 December 2020
INEOS Team UK - Waitemata Harbour - December 2, 2020 - 36th America's Cup © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

Three of the four America's Cup teams trained today, in another northerly breeze that started light - just above the minimum for racing, and increased to 13-15kts in the afternoon. Great sailing in the warm sunshine. Has summer arrived?

Emirates Team New Zealand launched early - 0730hrs - but sat across the dock for three hours before heading out into the Rangitoto, where they trained with the Code Zero in its ideal conditions.

For reasons that are not entirely clear the defending champions are putting in a lot of time with the super-sized jib, flying it whenever the conditions allow, while the other teams very quickly get onto their #1 hull hoist jib and get foiling with that.

As they have done before Emirates Team New Zealand, used the sail upwind and down, including tacks and gybes. They seem to have mastered the foiling gybe, but upwind the drag from the big sail is a foiling killer.

Maybe the Kiwis remember their opening gambit from the first race of the 2000 America's Cup, when Luna Rossa had them in a controlling position in the start box - when the Kiwis popped a Code Zero and drew away from the surprised Italians. That set them up for their first of five race wins.

Once the breeze cracked in, the Kiwis and Brits headed out of the Rangitoto Channel into the building seabreeze for which the Hauraki Gulf is fondly remembered by all who have raced in it.

Like they did in the weekend, Emirates Team New Zealand sailed well out into the Gulf and around the bottom (eastern end) of Waiheke Island and into Course E, or The Paddock, where Luna Rossa was working out.

The Brits dropped some racing marks in the upwind downwind configuration to be used for the Cup and put in some serious practice for most of the afternoon, before packing up just after 1600hrs.

The Brits and Kiwis packed it in an hour later with both sailing back up the Waitemata - just avoiding the outgoing Wednesday night race fleets.

American Magic's Patriot stayed in the team hangar for the day and last sailed on Thursday of last week. It is expected that Patriot is undergoing a major upgrade

Practice Racing is expected to get under way next week - which may give a first inkling of relativities of the teams.

Calling all Cup Fans - support your favorite team

This America's Cup will be different for international fans, who thanks to COVID-19 travel restrictions into New Zealand won't be able to attend the regatta, unless they hold, a New Zealand passport and are prepared to live in two weeks of quarantine.

But you can still show your support for the team and feel part of the event - at racing watch parties and similar.

Or order now for a unique Christmas gift for that special America's Cup fan you know.

Get your favorite team clothing from the store.americascup.com/collections official supplier for all teams and the America's Cup event.

For American Magic's range click on store.americascup.com/collections/american-magic

For Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's range click on store.americascup.com/collections/luna-rossa-prada-pirelli-team

For INEOS Team UK's range click on store.americascup.com/collections/ineos

For Emirates Team New Zealand's range click on store.americascup.com/collections/team-emirates-team-new-zealand

For the America's Cup AC36 Event range of clothing and kit click on store.americascup.com/collections/cup-collection

For the North Sails AC36 range of clothing and kit click on store.americascup.com/collections/ac-by-north-sails

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