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America's Cup Rialto: January 7 - a quieter day

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ 7 Jan 05:21 PST 7 January 2021
American Magic - Waitemata Harbour - January 6, 2021 - 36th America's Cup © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

A week out from the start of the Prada Cup, today was a quieter day, with the lightest forecast of the week.

Only two of the four teams ventured out.

INEOS Team UK was first away, obviously keen to see if they had found a solution to their light-air woes of the America's Cup World Series.

They headed far out into the Hauraki Gulf, in search of better breeze, and away from the public gaze.

On the America's Cup inner courses, the fickle breeze was blowing in a circle - according to the several recording devices read by the Predictwind network.

Around 3pm INEOS could be seen sailing far out on the horizon, with her speed being indicative of having found the light air foiling solution for which her team are so desperate to find. Or, there was more breeze. She returned to the Rangitoto Channel foiling quite easily downwind in maybe 8kts.

She was joined by American Magic as the breeze dropped from the northeast around 4.30pm, and filled in from the southwest at around 12-15kts. It had been blowing from the west for most of the afternoon on Auckland's west coast, and as is normal in the summer, the breeze swung and freshened in the late afternoon.

American Magic and INEOS Team UK both trained in the same area - the eastern end of Course D by Motuihe Island - and stayed out well past 6.00pm in the fast fading light and light rain.

The media discussion point today has centred around the new skeg on American Magic's Patriot, and how it is intended to work.

A flick back at yesterday's image file, shows the forward profile of the AC75's hull closing very close to the surface of the water forming a near-perfect end-plate. [Shown in the lead image at the top of this report.]

It is hard to say definitively how this translates into boat speed, but three of the four teams are headed in this direction.

Images from January 6, 2021 of American Magic's new extended skeg

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