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Cup Spy Jan 13 : Three teams have very different trainings

by Richard Gladwell/ 13 Jan 23:43 PST 14 January 2023
Passing a race mark - Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - January 13, 2023 - Cagliari © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

Three of the six teams entered in the 2024 America's Cup took to the water today in Barcelona, Cagliari and Pensacola.

The three sessions had quite different weather, outcomes and achievements. American Magic's was curtailed by strong winds. Luna Rossa got into race mode using marks in training for the first time by any team, and after six weeks off the water, the Alinghi RBR crew flicked through 15 tacks/gybes with nine being dry. INEOS Britannia started where they had left off in the previous session enjoying a 13-14kts and performed 14 maneuvers, with nine of these being recorded as "Touch and Go", and three as "Dry" gybes.

What happened in the Cup - January 13, 2023:

  • INEOS Britannia had another strong session on Saturday (see separate report), having stayed ashore, on Friday, after two good consecutive days on the water off Mallorca, where their three-way live data setup was run up. Several key team members are involved in SailGP Singapore this weekend.
  • American Magic sailed on Pensacola Bay, in a curtailed session when the breeze topped 22kts - report, images and video below.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand are not expected to sail until January 16, after a couple of weeks of stormy weather, more of which is forecast for next week. Several key team members are involved in SailGP Singapore this weekend.
  • Luna Rossa sailed on the Gulf of Cagliari, foiling fast and easily in relatively flat water and in a breeze which built to 18kts. This was the first session that we have seen any team using racing marks, putting a new edge into the session - report, images and video below.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing sailed off Barcelona in a 2.5hr session in 10-11kt breeze, using the idyllic foiling conditions to get a 60% dry tack/gybe percentage, and only one touch down in 15 maneuvers. This is a big step up from the Swiss team, and a pointer to what they may have achieved during their six week break from sailing training - report, images and video below.
  • No further developments from the late entry French K-Challenge, but an announcement is due next week.

    Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Cagliari - January 13, 2023 - Day 20

    From the AC37 Joint Recon team:

    The day at the LR base started with roll-out at 9:00, while stepping the mast, some team members were observed gathered behind the PS wing focussing on the recently changed wing trailing edge behind bulb for an perhaps unsmooth junction between wing and flaps. Boat splashed down at 9:30 and RIB left the dock to check forecast in the gulf and place some marks to be rounded in the sailing session.

    Dock out was scheduled for 10:45, slightly delayed due to some maintenance on the uncovered steering control system. As usual on a daily basis, team members were strategically placed to hide the RU any view from the Recon Square (a marked area on the dock)

    Leaving the harbour the team found steady offshore pressure of 8-10kn with flat waters and, after hoisting main+J2, headed to the marks. The Recon RIB was placed on marks for closer observation when rounding and followed the prototype on several legs.

    The LEQ12 definitely looked on racing pace foiling for 116 minutes inshore covering approx. 70nm including approx. 5 upwind and 6 downwind legs with an approx. total of 54 maneuvers depending on lay line 4-6 tacks or 3-5 gybes per leg with an higher success rate for maneuvers. The breeze increased to 13-16kn at 12:00 and team hoisted the J4 until 14:15 where the breeze increased further and team decided to called it a day.

    World Champion and Tokyo2020 Gold Medalist in the Nacra 17 Ruggerio Tita was on the starboard helm of the Italian's LEQ12, which looked magnificent sailing fast in the fresh breeze and flat seas.

    "It was a fantastic day Mistral blowing here in Cagliari from 10 to 15 knots, maybe a bit more at the beginning. And super flat water. This is the first day, we put some marks in the water. And we've been doing good roundings, So we are quite happy from the day," Tita said.

    In a previous interview co-helmsman Francesco Bruni was questioned as to the differences between the port and starboard positions, which was evident when the LEQ12 prototype was being handled through tacks and gybes.

    The same question was asked again.

    "For sure, there are many differences," he replied. "Of course, the foils make a lot of difference. The biggest thing is that the commands we have on the boats are different. Getting used to one or two instead of the others is the most challenging thing. For me, that was the hardest part."

    Today was significant, as being the first time in this America's Cup cycle, that racing marks were laid, to give the Luna Rossa crew some shape to their training, and introduce some of the pressure of racing when boat positioning comes into play before executing a manoeuvre - be it a tack, gybe or mark rounding, plus handling the always challenging bear away.

    Tita was asked if there "were any plans for running some more marks during the week, or is this going to be something we see more often?

    "This was the first day and was a test because we didn't know if the GPS and the Mark were working. But we passed the test. I'm not sure if next time we're gonna go with the mark, or maybe it was just today. But yes, it was really nice to run some marks."

    Session Statistics - Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Cagliari - January 13, 2023 - Day 22

    • Wind Strength 8-9kts (AM) 18kts (PM)
    • Wind Direction: NW (PM)
    • Sea State: Flat water
    • Roll Out: 0920hrs Dock Out: 1050hrs
    • Dock In: 1440hrs Crane Out: 1600hrs
    • Total Tacks: 29; Fully foiling: 17; Touch & Go: 7; Touch Down: 5
    • Total Gybes: 25; Fully foiling: 16; Touch & Go: 5; Touch Down: 4

    Crew: Francesco Bruni, Ruggerio Tita, Andrei Tesei, Umberto Molineris, Vittario Bissaro, Bruno Rosetti

    American Magic - AC75 Version 2 - Pensacola - January 13, 2023 - Day 33

    From the AC37 Joint Recon team:

    Patriot sailed inshore today, covered approximately 14 nm, comprised of 4 foiling runs on W/L legs. Five headsails were loaded into the support RIB, 1 was used. Sailing began at 9:09, AM completed two maneuvers and ended sailing at 10:19hrs. Patriot had a total flying time of 15 Minutes.

    Top speeds were approximately 39k upwind (according to RIB GPS). Patriot did not sail downwind long enough to gauge speed. The conditions today were high to above high range. Patriot foiled for five short stints with around 15 minute breaks in between. At each break in sailing, attention was given to the mainsheet/traveler and on one occasion a crewman went up the rig to inspect the luff of the main.

    American Magic were caught in deteriorating weather, with an increasing breeze, and wisely called the training session off before the situation got out of hand.

    Design team member Dan Flanaghan, was interviewed dockside after the training session.

    Having covered the rather obvious reasons as to why today's season was curtailed, he was questioned as to how a typical day worked for a design team member.

    "It depends on the day," Flanaghan responded. "If I'm in a container, it's either looking at the next design, or looking at the loads from the previous day's sailing, trying to monitor some of the loads on the water. And then trying to correlate what we see on the water with what we see in the simulations."

    Turning to the rate of design progress being made, Flanaghan predictably said American Magic were "making a lot of progress. Obviously, we're testing a lot of systems on Patriot testing a lot of concepts, and then simulating. Then we correlate what we see in the simulations with what we see on the water.

    "I think the team's really happy with the progress and really happy with where we're going," he added.

    Sailing was ended when conditions became top end according to the interview. Patriot is not expected to roll out again until Tuesday 1/17.

    Session Statistics - Pensacola - January 13, 2023 - American Magic - AC75 V1.5 - Day 33

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