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Cup Spy: Luna Rossa picks up the pace..Slingsby's first sail...Kiwis into cross-overs

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 2 Nov 2022 22:37 PDT 2 November 2022
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - Prototype LEQ12 - November 1, 2022 - Cagliari, Sardinia © Ivo Rovira / America'sCup

What happened in the Cup - November 1, 2022:

  • Luna Rossa sailed their LEQ12 on the Gulf of Cagliari, with a better, more consistent breeze, and had a good session. The Mistral's arrival is expected.
  • American Magic emerged after 11 days in the shed. Cyclors were removed. New hire Tom Slingsby had his first sail in an AC75, he took the helm in light winds off Pensacola.
  • INEOS Britannia are yet to sail their newly launched LEQ12 from Mallorca
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing were expected to sail on Wednesday from Barcelona.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their AC40 One Design early morning on the Hauraki Gulf ahead of a forecast building seabreeze which eventually kicked in at 20-25kts

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Cagliari

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli had a good day in Cagliari, getting in a good session in the sea breeze, and are looking forward to the arrival of the Mistral in the weekend.

Onboard today was the helming duo of AC36, Jimmy Spithill and Francesco Bruni, supported by Umberto Molineris and Andrea Tesei, who really got the boat going in a very slight sea state and hit speeds just above the 30-knot mark.

Speaking afterwards, the ever-affable Bruni was delighted with the progress saying: “It was a very nice day in Cagliari, good sea breeze, on the light side with anything between 6-10knots. It was the first day that we did some foiling manoeuvres, foiling gybes and foiling tacks, and we’re really making some good steps forward. The boat was behaving very well with all the systems working so the team is very excited today.”

With the arrival of the Mistral on Friday or Saturday, the Italians are looking to cycle their LEQ12 up through the wind-strengths and sign-off the sea trials and commissioning process, before proceeding to testing and development.

"We will have another couple of days of seabreeze," he told the AC37 Joint Recon team dockside after the sailing session. "And then finally the Mistral is going to come. We've been waiting for him for a few weeks now. Hopefully, we'll have some very good conditions from Friday to Sunday. The Mistral gives the best conditions for sailing here in Cagliari."

"A good Mistral is flat water and medium to strong wind. So we're really looking forward to that," he explained for the benefit of those not familiar with the Gulf of Cagliari.

At this stage Bruni says it is important to handle the commissioning step by step. He was asked what he thinks is the maximum windstrength the LEQ12 can handle. "We will be checking in medium breeze, then a strong breeze. We had a little bit of bad luck the other day, when we we had a lot of wind and waves which came in suddenly. From here, we will do things a little bit more gradually, over the next days. We probably will be able to handle the boat in 25 knots, but honestly it's hard to say now."

Comparing the LEQ12 to the AC75 - which is twice the size, Bruni says "obviously, it's a smaller boat, so it's a little bit more nervous. It reacts a little bit quicker to every command. But it's fun. It's really good, fun. Wet. It gets wet pretty easily. Probably more wet than the bigger boat. But we have some good Prada clothing that keeps us warm!"

Session Statistics - Cagliari - November 1, 2022 - Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12

  • Wind Strength 4kts (AM) 8-9kts (PM)
  • Wind Direction: NW (AM) SE (PM)
  • Sea State: No Swell (PM)
  • Roll out: 1000hrs Dock Out: 1245hrs
  • Dock In: 1615hrs Crane out:1800hrs
  • Total Tacks: 6 - Fully foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 2
  • Total Gybes: 5 - Fully foiling: 3; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0

Crew: Jimmy Spithill, Francesco Bruni(Helms); Umberto Molineris, Andrea Tesei (Trimmers)

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 One Design - Auckland

Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their AC40 One Design early morning on the Hauraki Gulf ahead of a forecast building seabreeze which eventually kicked in at 20-25kts. While today was supposed to be all about development it was no clear if any new components were employed. There are not the usual shore shots showing wings and the rudders. However it is assumed from sailing shots that the one-design wings were still in place.

With a building sea-breeze, the team took the opportunity to work through their full jib wardrobe, starting with the #J1 and finishing on the #J4. They did one long run out into the Gulf, and when the breeze began to crack in stayed in more sheltered water. Interestingly when the breeze did come in around 1400hrs, the former America's Cup Youth foiling monohull built by Yachting Developments Ltd came out. Being to quite a different concept to the AC40, the "YDL 40" got foiling occasionally upwind, before stopping after doing a couple of miles upwind and towed home. It was an interesting insight into what might have been.

Session Statistics - Auckland - November 2, 2022 - Emirates Team NZ - AC40

  • Wind Strength 8-16kts (AM)
  • Wind Direction: NNE (AM)
  • Sea State: Slight (AM)
  • Roll out: 0815hrs Dock Out: 0900hrs
  • Dock In: 1145hrs Crane out: 1215hrs
  • Total Tacks: 14 - Fully foiling: 13; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 23 - Fully foiling: 15; Touch & Go: 6; Touch Down: 2

Crew: Nathan Outteridge, Peter Burling (Helms); Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke (Trimmers)

American Magic - AC75 Version 2 - Pensacola

Light winds and flat seas again prevailed in Pensacola - maybe fortuitous conditions for a new helmsman to have his first sail on an AC75, even if he is Tom Slingsby, Olympic Gold medalist and America's Cup champion.

The breeze was such that Patriot was towed onto its foils eight times - only once getting on its feet unassisted.

The breeze eased progressively throughout the day, but even so Patriot covered approximately 43nm, comprising five up and downwind legs - spending 24 minutes on the foils for the longest stint of the day.

After moving to the south end of the bay in search of more breeze, it was a lost cause and the day finished with the crew working inside the double skinned mainsail.

Despite the light conditions, and inability to generate enough power to get foiling, Patriot did well to stay airborne for about 50% of the attempted tacks and gybes.

Interviewed dockside after the session, Tom Slingsby was very happy with Pensacola and the AC75.

"It was beautiful out there. This is my first time in Pensacola. It's a foiling paradise with flat water everywhere. And with a huge area to go sailing.

I've sailed in a lot of different places around the world. But I'm really impressed with Pensacola. The weather's amazing, 28 degrees and sunny. I've got no complaints."

The day was a string of first time experiences for the 2012 Olympic Gold medalist, who won the America's Cup a year later.

"It was very light wind, but I could feel the power of the AC75. With every knot of wind, you can feel the boat wanting more and more. It's a lot more righting moment than what I am used to sailing. I look forward to sailing with a bit more wind."

Back in the 2017 Cup in Bermuda, Slingsby as tactician was put on a bike down the back of the AC50 wingsailed catamaran, in what was called a "hybrid" system, backing up the grinders working forward.

Surprisingly the bikes, to power up the hydraulic systems, on the AC75, were off the boat for today's sail which came after Patriot had spent 11 days in the shed.

"I don't think there were any major changes, today. It's just improving a few of the systems to make things run smoothly.

"We didn't have the bikes on today, so it was just a learning and practice day for me and the opportunity to learn how to sail the boat a bit."

Today's sail was a busman's holiday for Slingsby before he heads for SailGP Dubai, to compete in the AC50's - where he has won the first two seasons and enjoys a 4pt margin in Season 3, over current America's Cup champion, Peter Burling at the top of the SailGP points table.

"I'm only here this week, so I can only focus on the next couple of days," he explained.

"For me, it's just about getting more time in the boat."

"I'm just learning about the systems and how efficient our systems are compared to the amount of power we can provide."

It is not known whether Patriot is sailing to its old Version 1 weight used in the 2021 America's Cup of 7600kg or the Version 2 of the AC75 class rule and 700kg lighter weight of 6900kg. The lighter weight including a reduction in crew from 11 to eight, is designed to improve light airs foiling performance. The Patriot crew weren't seeing any of that today.

"We were doing everything we could to get power the boat up and through the un-powered zone in manoeuvres," Slingsby said. "We're trying to get to 90 degrees to power the boat up again on the new tack, but we only had six knots of wind in the end. It's pretty hard to do manoeuvres on that windstrength."

Session Statistics - Pensacola, Fl - November 1, 2022 - American Magic - AC75 Version 2

  • Wind Strength 10kts (AM) 6kts (PM)
  • Wind Direction: NNE(AM) NE (PM)
  • Sea State: Slight (PM)
  • Roll out: 0651hrs Dock Out: 0825hrs
  • Dock In: 1309hrs Crane out: 1400hrs
  • Total Tacks: 22 - Fully foiling: 10; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 8
  • Total Gybes: 7 - Fully foiling: 4; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 3

Crew: Paul Goodison, Riley Gibbs, Dan Morris, Trevor Burd, Terry Hutchinson

Additional Images:

This commentary was written and compiled from video, still images and statistical content extracted from the AC37 Joint Recon program and other material available to Sail-World NZ including photo files, and other on the water coverage from the 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2021 America's Cups.

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