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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Cup Spy: Tuke gives AC40 the thumbs up - Day 4

by Richard Gladwell/ 28 Sep 01:34 PDT 22 September 2022
Testing in the car ferry wake - America's Cup Recon Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 - Day 4 - September 28, 2022 © Adam Mustill/America's Cup

Fresh off the plane from the Sail GP regatta in Cadiz, Spain, Emirates Team New Zealand's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke put the AC40 through its paces on the Inner Hauraki Gulf today in a fresh seabreeze.

"It was pretty epic. We had the benefit of the commissioning the other guys [Nathan Outteridge, Ray Davies, Sam Meech and Ray Davies] did last week."

"We just got back this morning. It was an awesome day. We had a NE [seabreeze] 15-18kts," Blair Tuke explained.

The crew pulled off tacks and gybes counted in the teens with only one wet tack. "It's pretty easy in the maneuvers," Tuke commented.

"We were pushing it in fast mode today rather than at a higher angle. We were sailing at about roughly 30 knots, with a sailing angle of about 45 degrees Apparent [Apparent Wind Angle].

Part of the test routine for today was refining the flight control autopilot software which is controlling, the ride height with the crew setting basic adjustment parameters. Today's testing involved seeing how the autopilot reacted to trim the AC40 in waves, including hitting a boat wake and discovering if the AC40 would "stuff-in" or in other words, do a spectacular nosedive at high speed.

"We're still working on autopilot, so we tried finding a few more ways to test it. We tucked in behind a few more waves, but it didn't do anything [stuff in], so we went around to Shark Alley, and the waves there lined up for us, which was intentional."

"Then we found the car ferry wake. We literally lined up right on the ferry wake to see how long we would last."

"It was a good testing session."

"We learned a lot today and tested the refinements from the previous days."

"What's impressed me is the work that has gone on, and it's an awesome package. It will be great for the Youth and Women crews in their America's Cup Regattas."

"It will also be a good platform for the teams to do their testing as well," the double America's Cup champion added.

The team is expected to keep testing the AC40 in its one design mode - which will be used for the Youth and Womens America's Cups, as well as being sailed by the America's Cup team in preliminary regattas, the first of which is expected to take place in October 2023 in Sardinia.

At some stage, in the coming weeks, the AC40 is expected to be turned into a LEQ12 (taken out of the AC40 one design class configuration), and with different wing foils tested, along with sails and maybe rigs. The British team have already announced they will be launching an LEQ 12 (a boat between 6-12 metres long) that is purely a test platform and not capable of being configured to comply with the AC40 one design class rule.

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