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Cup Spy Mar 9: Breeze and sea state curtail USA and Italian training sessions

by Compiled by Richard Gladwell/ 9 Mar 21:15 PST 10 March 2023
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 38 - March 9, 2023 - Cagliari © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

What happened in the Cup - March 9, 2023:

  • American Magic sailed off Pensacola in the AC40-5. The team towed offshore into the Gulf of Mexico in a sizable swell, however the wind fizzled out, and the decision was made to tow in, and sail on Pensacola Bay.
  • Luna Rossa sailed from Cagliari, a 12-14kt breeze, and moderate seas (0.5mtrs). The conditions were not easy for foiling, and the Italians struggled on takeoff. Once sailing it was a reasonably productive day, with the conditions asking plenty of questions of the team and LEQ12. Co-helmsman Francesco Bruni noted that what happens in a half-size test boat doesn't necessarily cross-over into the bigger AC75.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand did not sail, and is not now expected to be out until after SailGP Christchurch on March 18-19.
  • INEOS Britannia did not sail.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing did not sail.
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team:

The LRPP team rolled out their LEQ12 prototype at 9:00am, stepped the mast and craned it in following the usual protocol for on board checks in addition to some structural tests.

It has been observed that the foil wings have been swapped between starboard and portside.

Dockout was delayed at 12:30 awaiting for the sea breeze to fill in the bay.

The team headed just outside the harbour finding glassy conditions and fully hoisted the main M1 with the bigger J1 jib and opted for heading offshore for some miles searching for breeze.

The conditions encountered looked quite different with some decent chop waves and 13-15kts of SSW breeze and the team hoisted the J2.

The sailing action started with the first of several self take offs where the team faced some challenges in the process of building boat speed in wavy conditions. To maximise righting moment both leeward crew members sat on windward deck.

Once up and foiling, the LEQ12's flight looked stable, and fast making it quite hard for RIBs to keep up.

As the sea breeze decreased, the team called it a day. As a result, the session was short, but intense, with an approximate recorded foiling time of 42 minutes - along with nine maneuvers which included five tacks and four gybes. [Michele Melis AC-Recon]

"With waves, we are always learning because we are always thinking about Barcelona," co-helmsman Francesco Bruni told the AC37 Joint Recon team.

"We try to really push the boat in, in waves. We know that it's different with a small boat compared to a big boat. "It's always good learning when we sail with waves."

"What was interesting today with the takeoff. Because the boat was really suffering against the waves. We were getting some speed and then the next wave would hit and it was really hard to break through that speed/takeoff barrier. And then once we had that going it was all good. We had to really use all the crew weight to get going.

"But it's always harder to to learn about this because it's a lot smaller boat - so the big boat [AC75] should be different," he added.

Session Statistics - Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Cagliari - March 9, 2023- Day 29

    • Weather: Cloudy 18 degreesC Sunny
    • Wind Strength 12-14kts
    • Wind Direction: SSW
    • Sea State: 0.5mtrs from SSW
    • Roll out: 0920hrs Dock Out: 1230hrs
    • Dock In: 1525hrs Crane out: 1700hrs
    • Total Tacks: 5 - Fully foiling: 4; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0
    • Total Gybes: 4 - Fully foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0

    Crew: Francesco Bruni,Ruggero Tita, Marco Gradoni, Andrea Tesei, Umberto Molineris, Vittorio Bissaro

    American Magic - AC40-5 - March 9, 2023 - Day 5 - Pensacola.

    From the AC37 Joint Recon Team:

    America was craned in at 1120hrs and docked out at 1300hrs after a long delay due to approaching thunderstorms.

    The storms subsided and America was towed to the Pass while Chase 4 went off shore to check conditions.

    The report was one meter swell with very light winds. The team stood by at the entrance to the Pass for about an hour as they assessed the situation and hoisted the M1.

    At 1400hrs the decision was made and America was towed off shore. The team spent a few minutes making adjustments to the Mainsail clew plate with hand tools, while hoisting the J1.

    America got up and sailed upwind on port tack for about ten minutes before attempting a tack and touched down. Two sketchy tow up attempts were unsuccessful. The team then lowered the jib and had a quite bumpy tow back into the Pass at 1525hrs.

    The breeze in the bay was right around 8k out of the SSE and the team again hoisted the J1 and began sailing at 1631hrs. America got quite a few maneuvers in but then called an end to sailing at 1708hrs as the daylight faded.

    In all, America completed 21 maneuvers, 10 windward/leewards, sailed approximately 21nm, and had a combined flying time of 45min. Top speeds were approximately 23k upwind and 31k downwind.

    "We were delayed on land for a bit due to some weather to the west of us and but the forecast looked okay for outside," said American Magic Michael Menninger after the session had concluded. "We knew this would be a bit wavy, but we thought we'd have a little bit more breeze. But unfortunately when we got out there - there was not enough wind and so but it was not good. We did some takeoff practice in some big waves and light air. And so, you know, got some learnings there. And unfortunately we didn't have enough breeze out there to get some quality sailing. So we came back into the bay and luckily got in roughly an hour of good sailing."

    Menninger told Mike Petersen of the AC37 Joint Recon team, that on the Gulf of Mexico the sea state was "two and a half feet, like seven, eight seconds period. But it seemed a bit more at times, probably a metre plus. And so it was challenging and takeoffs were really hard on one of the tacks."

    Asked about being able to surf the AC40, Michael Menninger responded "when you get any wave angle, that's a little bit different than the true wind angle or true wind direction. It's possible.

    "So on port tack today at 93° or 100° True, were able to do a bit of surfing and take off. And unfortunately, starboard tack is the flip side of that, and the waves are a bit more balanced. I think it's going to be a feature of just figuring out what the wave angle is relative to the wind direction and trying to use the waves to advantage," Menninger said.

    Session Statistics: American Magic - AC40-5 - Pensacola - March 9, 2023 - Day 5

    • Weather: Light rain 77°F
    • Wind Strength 5-7kts
    • Wind Direction: SE
    • Sea State: 4ft Swell (Offshore) <1ft (Inshore)
    • Roll out: 1120hrs Dock Out: 1300hrs
    • Dock In: 1720hrs Crane out: 1740hrs
    • Total Tacks: 13 - Fully foiling: 10; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 1
    • Total Gybes: 8 - Fully foiling: 7; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down:

    Crew:Paul Goodison/ Tom Slingsby, Lucas Calabrese/Michael Menninger

    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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