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Cup Spy Dec 19 : All five teams were out of the shed for the first time - four sailed.

by Richard Gladwell/ 20 Dec 2022 01:14 PST 20 December 2022
INEOS Britannia - Sail testing - December 19, 2022 - Mallorca © Ugo Fonolla / America's Cup

What happened in the Cup - Dec 19, 2022:

  • INEOS Britannia sailed for the first time for a few minutes in light winds at the end of the day. Most of the day was spent in set up and more testing.
  • American Magic sailed on the Gulf of Mexico in a confused seaway of up to 1 metre swells and wind chop. The breeze started at 12ks and faded to 5kts. Patriot appeared to be foiling OK in the top end conditions, but struggled when the wind eased.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their LEQ12 on the Waitemata and Hauraki Gulf in light winds, with the video crew shooting some very interesting long sequences.
  • Luna Rossa sailed from Cagliari, in the morning, before the breeze dropped around 1130hrs.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing came out of the shed for the first time since November 16. The deck has been cut and a new pre-fabricated module fitted. There is a self-tacking jib, but as yet no cyclors.

INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Mallorca - December 19, 2022

INEOS Britannia conducted a three and a half hour sailing test session in low wind speed off Mallorca in calm seas in their LEQ12, half-size AC75 prototype.

Top sailing journalist, Justin Chisholm was on the water and made various observations on the new additions on the British boat:

  • The British team's much awaited first day of sailing was very much a commissioning/shakedown session to find out how the sails fit and the various control systems functioned.
  • After rolling out a fraction over 30 minutes behind schedule at 0901 the mast was stepped and the rigging attached - a process that took an hour and a quarter.
  • After launching, the support crew and technicians were busy testing the hydraulic systems relating to the rig. A portable electric winch pedestal was fitted to the foredeck and used to hoist a support team member to the top of the mast to fit three data aerials and the wind instruments.

  • Soon after the sails were loaded aboard and dock out took place at 1321.
  • Out in Palma Bay in minor flat conditions the team hoisted the double skin boomless mainsail and attached the hydraulic ram system to the aft end.
  • Soon after a support crew member was hoisted to the top of the mast and appeared to be working on the halyard lock. Soon after the main was taken down again and the support crew member hoisted halfway up the mast to give attention to the aft side of the mast.
  • A second main hoist - including the halyard lock work - proved successful and the boat was towed over to the east side of the bay where the breeze had started to fill in. While this was happening the headsail was hoisted, dropped, and then rehoisted.

  • At 1545 the boat was released from the tow and sailed in displacement mode for 35 minutes as the crew checked the sail controls.
  • Two slow tacks took place in displacement mode.
  • Two attempts were made to tow the boat onto into foiling mode (on one foil) but neither lasted more than a few minutes and the boat looked unstable and on the edge of control.
  • Take off speeds were estimated to be around 17 -20 knots with peak speed estimated to be in the high 20 knot range.
  • With light fading, at 1640 the long tow home began. Once the sails were dropped and packed away the boat was towed on two foils at around 18 - 20 knots and looked stable in flight.

Session Statistics - Mallorca - December 19, 2022 - INEOS Britannia - LEQ12

  • Wind Strength 0kts(AM) 6-8kts (PM)
  • Wind Direction: S (PM)
  • Roll out: 1046hrs Dock Out: 1321hrs
  • Dock In: 1745hrs Crane out: 1815hrs
  • Total Tacks: 2 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 2
  • Total Gybes: 0 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

Crew: Giles Scott, Ben Ainslie, Luke Parkinson, Iain Jensen

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Barcelona - December 19, 2022

Alinghi Red Bull Racing's Boat One was rolled out onto the forecourt and craned into the water for the first time since November 16th.

The AC37 Recon Team report that Alinghi RBR have refitted the deck with a self-tacking jib track. Over the break in sailing sessions, the deck was cut and previous systems removed, replaced with a pre-fabricated module and supported with structure.

The jib systems were then fitted about the interior. No testing of the new jib track was done, however other systems checks were carried out, with wings being raised and dropped on occasion.

They said they could see no evidence of cyclor systems in the cockpit.

To fit the new self tacking system, the Recon team say the clew of the jibs have been cut within Technical Regulations Rule 4.3 limitations to accommodate the track where necessary. Alinghi RBR have now packed the Boat One away and will not roll out until January 2023.

American Magic - AC75 Version 2 - Pensacola - December 19, 2022 - Day 27

American Magic ventured out onto the Gulf of Mexico for just the second time, and the first with a useful sailing breeze.

According to the AC37 Recon Team the breeze in the morning was in the high teens and it died off throughout the day.

Patriot was towed offshore and began sailing just before 1300hrs. At that time the wind was 12k with slightly higher gusts. Swell and wind chop was estimated at three feet (with the occasional set of 4-5ft waves).

The residual chop on top of the swell was confused and coming from different directions, creating the washing machine effect.

The Recon RIB could not keep pace with Patriot as it spent more time out of the water than in it.

Because of Patriot's unusual underbody shape "it was difficult to discern(at times) whether Patriot had touched down or if the hull and foil were on different parts of the wave. There were several instances where the main hull was on top of the wave and the foil was in the trough. During those instances Patriot would quickly come off foil as there appeared to be no water under the foil."

A review of the available video shows that Patriot handled the conditions surprisingly well.

Patriot sailed approximately 30nm, comprised of seven upwind/Downwind legs, and completed 11 maneuvers, and ended sailing at 15:13hrs, when the wind became too light.

Patriot self foiled six times and was towed up six times.

Session Statistics - Pensacola - December 19, 2022 - American Magic - AC75 V1.5

    • Wind Strength 13kts (AM) 5kts (PM)
    • Wind Direction: E (AM) E (PM)
    • Sea State: 3ft(AM) 3ft (PM)
    • Roll out: 1000hrs Dock Out: 1129hrs
    • Dock In: 1600hrs Crane out: 1645hrs
    • Total Tacks: 8 - Fully foiling: 3; Touch & Go: 4; Touch Down: 1
    • Total Gybes: 3 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 1

    Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Cagliari - December 19, 2022 - Day 19

    The Italian's day started before sunrise with the LEQ12 splashing down at 7:10am. Conditions were forecast to be very light winds with clear skies. This was the lightest breeze and lowest temperature of the 19 sailing days so far.

    Usual checks by the shore crew were shortened to just a couple of hours before the prototype was headed out into the Gulf of Cagliari, and headed south toward la Sella del Diavolo (Devil's Saddle). The early start paid off with some productive lower wind limit sailing, straight line sailing and maneuvering until the breeze dropped around 1130hrs. 

    With this boat, it seems that it struggles to self-launch onto the foils in lighter winds. This is apparent on video, and seems to be confirmed by the AC37 Recon Team. This is despite pumping the mainsail by constantly powered and depowered ("pumping") the leeward board arm seems to be close, almost two close, to the waterline and creates a lot of drag which affects the LEQ12's ability to self-launch onto the foils at the lower end of the wind range.

    Once foiling the LEQ12 seems to be fine and a good test platform - which is the main objective.

    Session Statistics - Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Cagliari - December 19, 2022 - Day 19

      • Wind Strength 7-9kts (AM)
      • Wind Direction: NW (AM)
      • Sea State:
      • Roll out: 0640hrs Dock Out: 0830hrs
      • Dock In: 1150hrs Crane out: hrs
      • Total Tacks: 9 - Fully foiling: 4; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 3
      • Total Gybes: 13 - Fully foiling: 10; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 1

      Crew: Francesco Bruni, Marco Gradoni, Andrea Tesei, Umberto Molineris/Vittario Bissaro

      Emirates Team NZ - LEQ12 - Auckland - December 20, 2022 - Day 7

      Light weather prevailed as the Kiwi summer starts to take hold, but unfortunately the breeze was at the bottom of the racing range (6.5kts) and below today. "Flat sea. Fantastic power boat conditions", was how the AC37 Recon Team described the conditions on the Waitemata Harbour. The first 2 1/2 hours were very light and fluky, with two longish (5 miles approx) tows.

      The leeward crew sometimes moved to windward on deck to try and promote flight in the light winds. Breeze built to about 9-10 knots for the end of the session where it dropped out on the tow back up the harbour.

      Session Statistics - Emirates Team NZ - LEQ12 - Auckland - December 20, 2022 - Day 7

        • Wind Strength 0-5kts (AM) 5-10kts (PM
        • Wind Direction: N (AM) N (PM)
        • Sea State:
        • Roll out: 1210hrs Dock Out: 1300hrshrs
        • Dock In: 1715hrs Crane out: 1745hrs
        • Total Tacks: 7 - Fully foiling: 5; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 1
        • Total Gybes: 15 - Fully foiling: 10; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 2

        Crew: Nathan Outteridge, Peter Burling, Andy Malone, Josh Junior

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