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Cup Spy Mar 25: Luna Rossa end testing block..Kiwis take on fresh breeze..Brits progress

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 27 Mar 16:03 PDT 28 March 2023
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 45 - March 25, 2023 - Cagliari © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

Three teams sailed on March 25. In Auckland Emirates Team NZ, unusually sailed on a Saturday, expecting lighter winds for the sea-trialing of their upgraded AC75, however late in the day the breeze kicked in at 18kts, and the AC75 lit up. Meanwhile, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli reached the end of a testing block and the LEQ12 has gone back into the building facility for the next upgrade - expected to take 10 days. The British team continues to test their W-foil, this their third day of sailing since their LEQ was relaunched after a longer than intended repair/upgrade period.

What happened in the Cup - March 25, 2023:

  • American Magic did not sail today after having sailed their AC-40 One Design off Pensacola for the fourth day of the past six.
  • Luna Rossa sailed their LEQ12 from Cagliari, also for the fourth time in six days.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their AC75, upgraded to Version 2, for the third consecutive day.
  • INEOS Britannia sailed their LEQ12, for the third time since it was relaunched four days earlier on March 21.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing did not sail, this day, but had sailed for four consecutive days on their AC75, earlier in the week.
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

Emirates Team NZ - AC75 - Auckland - March 25, 2023 - Day 4

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team [Alastair Moore AC-Recon]:

The race yacht was rolled out of the shed just after midday, the rig was lifted into position an stepped by 1230hrs and she was in the water in the pen at 1245hrs.

At 1400hrs she was side towed from her berth and just outside the breakwater she was taken under bow tow from chase 2.

Te Rehutai dropped her tow just north of Bean rock where main and J2 were hoisted together with the jib in the lock by 14.20 and the main not too long after at 1423hrs. The team now had a short 17 minute sailing session with a short two min up wind and then a run down to the beginning of the back paddock.

Often speeds were greater than the recon boat could achieve with breeze about the 15-16 knot range with some big holes in it.

Chase 1 was back alongside at 1459hrs where I watched a change of Jib from the #2 to #3. She was sailing again at 1524hrs.

Now the breeze was steady around the 15 knot mark and with the flatter water she really lit up! Charging down towards the bottom end of Waiheke she started to horizon.

Session Statistics - Emirates Team NZ - AC75 - Auckland - March 25, 2023 - Day 4

  • Weather: 23°C 20% cloud cover, Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 12kts
  • Wind Direction: SSW
  • Sea State: Slight
  • Roll out: 1245hrs Dock Out: 1400hrs
  • Dock In: 1708hrs Crane out: 1739hrs
  • Total Tacks: 6 - Fully foiling: 5; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 12 - Fully foiling: 10; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 1

Crew - Sailing: Nathan Outteridge, Peter Burling, Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke. Power: Simon Van Velthooven, Marius Van Der Pol, Louis Sinclair, Louis Crosby

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Cagliari - March 25, 2023 - Day 45

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team - Michele Melis:

The LRPP team rolled out their LEQ12 prototype at 8:00am, stepped the mast and craned in undergoing the usual protocol checks at the dock.

This time several sailors were involved in these routine procedures as well under the guidance of shore crews. As dockout was scheduled for 9:30am, the main M2 was locked just before the Italian prototype was towed out of the harbour. The forecast promised slightly more breeze compared to what the team faced in the gulf, which was certainly still pretty solid: flat water with 10-12kn NW.

Shortly after removing from the starboard wing what seemed to be a rope caught during the tow, all sailors seemed to be involved deeply in the hoisting and preparation of the mainsail along with the hoisting of J2. The prototype was towed up by Chase 2 and the first foiling stint started with a tack transiting from starboard to portside tack and and bearing away afterwards.

In the first part of the sailing session straight line sailing for testing seemed to prevail until Chase 2 laid out the usual leeward gate and windward mark. After practicing two starts and sailing two legs, the wind dropped to 7-8 kn in the upper part of the racecourse and the team opted for the J1.5 to keep rounding the marks.

During the whole day the LEQ12 sailed with six crew which swapped position several times including a new entry from the LR youth campaign on the passenger seat. The AC37 Recon Team unit alternated the RIB position between awaiting at the marks for closer observation of round ups or starts and following the prototype on racecourse. The LEQ12 has been observed spending approximately 15 minutes sailing on two boards trimming up, bearing away and changing tacks several times in open waters.

After practicing this mode, the LEQ12 headed again towards the leeward gate practicing additional starts with time on distance before rounding further the laid marks. The prototype kept on sailing for another stint before Chase 2 grabbed the marks and sails have been lowered. Certainly, another solid sailing day for the Italian team as a total foiling time of 138 minutes, 37 tacks, 34 gybes and a series of marks roundings maneuvers have been recorded.

The team will be working on their LEQ12 for some mods in the shed for the next 10 days. [Michele Melis AC-Recon]

Session Statistics - Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Cagliari - March 25, 2023 - Day 45

  • Weather: Cloudy 18-24°C
  • Wind Strength 10-12kts
  • Wind Direction: NW breeze
  • Roll out: 0820hrs Dock Out: 0930hrs
  • Dock In: 1340hrs Crane out: 1500hrs
  • Total Tacks: 37 - Fully foiling: 24; Touch & Go: 9; Touch Down: 5
  • Total Gybes: 34 - Fully foiling: 26; Touch & Go: 6; Touch Down: 2

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

INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Mallorca - March 25, 2023 - Day 27

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

A solid day of data gathering for the INEOS Britannia team as helmsmen Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott, with trimmers/flight controllers Ian Jensen and Leigh McMillan put the British LEQ12 T6 through her paces in close to perfect testing conditions with an initial 6 knot southerly breeze ramping up to 13 knots over the six hour/72 nautical mile session.

After rolling out of the team hangar at a few minutes before 1000, T6 was rigged, launched, and setup ready for an 1150 dock out. A 10-minute stop and go towing session without sails started the day off, but by 1315 the silver test boat was released from a side tow with the M1-1 mainsail and what looked like an unused (yet to be confirmed) J2 headsail.

The boat was soon in the air under its own power in around 8 knots of wind but as the pressure quickly ramped up the crew stayed with the J3 for under 10 minutes before trading down to the J3 for the rest of the session. Other than a few periods of downtime alongside a chase boat T6 spent the vast majority of the afternoon in flight mode as the sailors pushed the boat hard both upwind and downwind.

Notably, they appeared at times to be experimenting with sailing high angles upwind, as well as working on sailing the boat at a ride height that had the newly reconfigured (deeper) bustle skimming the wave tops upwind and down. The new w-shape starboard foil wing seemed to be performing well with no noticeable lack of straight-line performance – although the foil was seen to break surface on more than one occasion, which required a bit of remedial action from the crew to avoid a crash.

Tacks and gybes looked smooth with the majority carried out at speed and from foil to foil. After a battery change stop at 1600, the final over one hour flight session saw the British boat rip around two laps of Palma Bay before coming to a halt outside the city's cathedral at 1715. Sails were down by 1745 and the boat was back on the dock by 1800.

No sailing is planned for Sunday or Monday with Tuesday the next targeted testing day.

Session Statistics - Mallorca - March 25, 2023 - INEOS Britannia - AC40 - Day 27

  • Weather: Sunny 15° - 22° C
  • Wind Strength 6-13kts
  • Wind Direction: 180°
  • Roll out: 0957hrs Dock Out: 1150hrs
  • Dock In: 1800hrs Crane out: 1830hrs
  • Total Tacks: 12 - Fully foiling: 8 Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 2
  • Total Gybes: 19 - Fully foiling: 14; Touch & Go: 5; Touch Down: 0

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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