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Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW LEADERBOARD

Cup Spy Dec 10: American Magic goes offshore, Luna Rossa hit by strong winds

by Richard Gladwell/ 10 Dec 2022 18:28 PST 11 December 2022
Patriot - AC75 - December 9, 2022 - Pensacola, Fl © Paul Todd/America's Cup

What happened in the Cup - Dec 10, 2022:

  • American Magic sailed in a 2hr 20 minute session which started in 9kts and faded to 6kts. The sea state was more than in the Bay, but nothing close to Barcelona.
  • Luna Rossa sailed off Cagliari on a day which started light, but the breeze increased to 25kts, when the decision was taken after 90 minutes sailing to return to base.
  • INEOS Britannia remained ashore and is not expected to make another appearance until Sunday or Monday.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing went into the shed in Barcelona on November 16 for upgrades and is yet to emerge
  • Emirates Team New Zealand are repairing their AC40/LEQ20 after a violent nosedive on November 21. There is no date announced when it will begin sailing.

American Magic - AC75 Version 2 - Pensacola - December 9, 2022 - Day 23

American Magic sailed their AC75, modified to suit some elements of the Version 2 of the AC75 class rule, out on the Gulf of Mexico for the first time since they first sailed on October 15. It was their first experience of sailing on the open sea, and maybe Barcelona-type conditions. The sailing session lasted 2hrs 20 minutes in a breeze which started at 9kts and eased to just 6kts.

To date all American Magic's sailing has been on the near landlocked Pensacola Bay - which offers flat water and usually light to moderate winds - ideal for foiling, but not so great for training for the 2024 America's Cup, which will be held on open water, at Barcelona.

"It was super, super hard out there," cyclist John Croom commented after the practice session. "We give them power and they take it."

"Everything was pretty much smooth sailing, everything went up well, and yeah, so no breakages or anything like that," the US representative track cyclist added.

Today, Patriot sailed approximately 40nm, comprised of four windward/leeward and reaching legs. Patriot was towed offshore today at 1.30pm, and began sailing at 30 minutes later, using the regular mainsail and a light air J#1 jib.

During the day, Patriot did five starts - doing unassisted takeoffs on three occasions and were towed up on two others.

In total they did completed 28 foiling tacks and gybes, and had a dry tack/gybe percentage of 80% - which is a good level in the conditions.

These percentages mean little at this stage of the campaign, because they can be easily honed closer to the racing events - provided the boat design is not too cranky, and its wingfoils will generate enough lift at lower speeds in tacks.

Also the maneuvers are not being undertaken under racing pressure, where they have to be taken at a particular position on the course, or risk losing distance on a competitor.

"There's obviously a lot of power going into the manoeuvre in the manoeuvre and then coming out of the manoeuvre," Croom explained. "What we're finding is that it's taking a lot of power. So we're having to produce a lot of power throughout the entirety of the efforts. It's just constant full gas."

The power put in by the cyclists is measured individually via a power meter Croom explains.

Rather than a case of one cyclist putting more power in than the others, "it kind of offsets," he says. "So like we meet each other in the middle. But now we're pretty much kind giving the most that we can throughout the manoeuvres. And if somebody's got to pick up for another, somebody picks up for another, but usually it comes back tenfold."

The longest flying time was reported by the AC37 Recon teams as being 24 minutes. They also reported total foiling time as 66 minutes in total in the two hour total session - meaning they sailed for approximately half of the available time.

Top boat speeds were reported at approximately 35kts upwind/40ts downwind in a 9kt true windspeed.

"The team took the jib down after sailing downwind (east) for about 8nm and the breeze backed down to 6kts. Patriot was then towed upwind back towards the pass, and began sailing again.

Patriot was on foils for a combined total of approximately 66 min. Flight times ranged from two minutes to 24 minutes (with the individual foiling sequences lasting 11min, 24min, 2min, 24min, 5min). Three headsails were loaded into the support rib, but only one used. The team were probably expecting fresher breezes than eventuated.

The team are expected to have a weekend off, but there is no rest for the cyclists. "We'll be getting fitter, getting stronger, so we can keep doing manoeuvres keep doing race laps. And keep the consistency high, and produce as much power as they need."

"I haven't really felt we've had a day off training right yet. Literally a day off for us, like a day off at base, is about five hours out on the road. That's pretty crazy, actually," he explained.

Session Statistics - Pensacola - December 9, 2022 - American Magic - AC75 V1.5
  • Wind Strength 9kts (AM) 6kts (PM)
  • Wind Direction: W (AM) W (PM)
  • Sea State: 1ft (AM) 1ft(PM)
  • Roll out: 1125hrs Dock Out: 1258hrs
  • Dock In: 1635hrs Crane out: 1700hrs
  • Total Tacks: 16 - Fully foiling: 13; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 12 - Fully foiling: 10; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 1

Crew: Tom Slingsby, Paul Goodison, Andrew Campbell, Colton Hall, Trevor Burd, Dan Morris, Lucas Calabrese

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Cagliari - December 10, 2022 - Day 15

Luna Rossa Parada Pirelli returned to the Gulf of Cagliari aware of a forecast of winds up to 25kts.

In the morning the wind shifted from SE, to SW to NW while stepping the mast. The change in wind direction caused in a careful lifting of the prototype by the shore crew.

After docking out, the team found shifty and patchy conditions with light sunshine and rainbows on the Gulf. The incoming weather front brought rain, the wind dropped completely until the sky cleared and strong steady breeze of 18kn with gusts of 25kn came down the bay.

After having successfully tacked, and sailing in breeze of 20kts Luna Rossa had quite significant splash dive on a close hauled/close reach course. As the wind continued to increase to 25kn and the Italian team called it a day

"It was a hard day," said co-helm Francesco Bruni in a dockside interview after the session. "The forecast was from five to 25 knots and a very stormy day. We knew that was going to be a difficult day with the weather. But I guess with that we had a good session. We achieved many goals today. So we're pretty happy with today."

In the 90 minute session Bruni says they worked through a few tests with sails and foils. "It's a lot always a long list, and we had to check some new equipment, and small little changes. But everything went pretty well."

"We used the day as the best we could, and then we dropped the sails just before the wind picked up to 25 knots.

"It was a good timing. I'm very happy with our team, and how we decide when to start the day, and when to stop the day."

It was noted by the AC37 Joint Recon team charged with following the Italian team, that Luna Rossa were taking six sailors on board the LEQ12 test boat, and stacking five to windward in an effort to generate more righting moment, to encourage the 12metre long yacht, a half scale AC75, to start foiling.

"We are checking with different displacements on the boat," Bruni explained, "and checking how the foils are behaving."

"it is obviously a lot harder when the breeze is light than when it is blowing 10 knots.

"We had two extra guys on board, today - one of them was a big guy. It makes a big difference, when we're we're struggling a little bit to take off.

"Today the wind was also going anywhere from 6-12 knots. But we wanted to focus more on the boat, not so much on the take-off. We also wanted to see how the boat was behaving with more weight the platform."

In the run-up to Christmas, Bruni says they will be sailing next week, and was optimistic that the forecast would be good for Monday.

"The good thing is that we are fully recovered from the problem we have with the mast [when it was dropped while being rigged],and the boat is going better and better day by day."

Session Statistics - Cagliari - December 10, 2022 - Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12

  • Wind Strength 6-9kts (AM) 17-24kts (PM)
  • Wind Direction: SSW (AM) WSW (PM)
  • Weather: 18 degreesC, clouds and rain (AM) 16 degreesC Sunny (PM)
  • Sea State: 0.4 SW (AM) 0.4 SW (PM)
  • Roll out: 0900hrs Dock Out: 1050hrs
  • Dock In: 1315hrs Crane out:
  • Total Tacks: 2 - Fully foiling: 1; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 3 - Fully foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 1

Crew: Jimmy Spithill, Ruggero Tita, Vittorio Bissaro, Umberto Molineris, Andrea Tesei, Marco Gradoni

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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