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Cup Spy - April 27: Four teams sail - but Kiwis run out of puff

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 28 Apr 2023 08:00 PDT 28 April 2023
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 58 - April 27, 2023 - Barcelona © Alex Carabi / America's Cup

What happened in the Cup - April 27, 2023:

  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing sailed their AC75 out of Barcelona, with one of the objectives being to improve their foiling tacks and gybes. "Sailing was good and an overall improvement compared to previous days, with the most maneuvers completed since commissioning the new upgrades earlier this month," reported the AC37 Joint Recon team.
  • Luna Rossa sailed from Cagliari, in another good productive session that is becoming the hallmark of the Italian campaign. Their only real issue seems to be in self-propelled starts. The team has received its AC-40 which is being unpacked, and is expected to be sailing next week.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand was set up to sail, and went on the water for several hours chasing a light seabreeze.
  • INEOS Britannia sailed out of Mallorca, after overcoming some early issues with the mainsail.
  • American Magic did not sail.
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 56 - April 27, 2023 - Cagliari

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team - Michele Melis:

The LRPP team rolled out their LEQ12 prototype at 10:15 just as the usual morning offshore NW breeze seemed to be dying.

Considering the temperatures of the day seabreeze was expected to fill in the gulf around noon as the team docked out. The mainsail M1 was hoisted with the foresail J2 as the anemometer displayed a TWS of 12-15kn SE "Scirocco" breeze and a light choppy sea state was observed.

Throughout the whole session, the LEQ12 was boarded by 6 crews with rotating helms including the usual two design team members in the passenger seats. By 12:20 chase2 gave a light tow-pull to the LEQ12 gaining some initial boat speed. When almost foilborne it suddenly slowed down encountering a significant wake wave coming from the RoRo ship exiting the harbour.

It seemed that several checks followed below deck.

Once all clear, the first foiling stint commenced at 12:40 lasting 50 minutes in which the prototype sailed a long straight distance upwind towards Sarroch encountering less pressure and bearing away and heading downwind towards Cagliari. Once again the team seemed to be running some upwind & downwind modes before finally stopping to debrief.

Chase 2 laid out the usual race course and the LEQ12 started rounding the marks but splashed down on a downwind course.

The team took a break and shore crew dived below deck. Once up and foiling again, the LEQ12 was observed performing some tacks without raising the windward board up again before bearing away and heading back to the race track testing also its configuration on both boards.

At the leeward gate, one of several prestarts was observed while for the following w/l runs some match racing between the LEQ12 and the chase catamaran for some interference was noted as well.

Once the seabreeze dropped slightly, the Italian team called it a day with an approximate foiling time of 144 minutes, 22 tacks and 26 gybes.

At the LRPP base, the AC40 was being assembled as its commissioning is scheduled for next week [Michele Melis AC Recon].

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 56 - April 27, 2023 - Cagliari

  • Weather: Sunny 20°C
  • Wind Strength 10-15kts
  • Wind Direction: SE
  • Sea State: Beaufort 3
  • Roll out: 1015hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1550hrs Crane out: 1700hrs
  • Total Tacks: 22 - Fully foiling: 16; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 3
  • Total Gybes: 26 - Fully foiling: 21; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 3

Crew: Francesco Bruni, Marco Gradoni, Jimmy Spithill, Andrea Tesei Umberto Molineris

INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 42 - April 27, 2023 - Mallorca

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

The British team encountered a one hour delay out on the water first thing today caused by an issue with one of the upper mainsail battems.

The issue arose around 1245, shortly after the double skin mainsail (M1-2) had been fully hoisted, when a loud bang like something failing under tension was heard from the rig.

The team quickly dropped and bagged both mainsail skins and a man was hoisted up to check the mast for damage while a chase boat was dispatched ashore to bring out a sail maker to remedy the situation. By 1345 the main was back up and once the J2-1 headsail had been plugged in the crew were ready for action by 1400.

In reality no sailing time was lost as the southerly thermal breeze was still establishing itself at this stage and the first 50 minutes of sailing took place in no more than 8 knots of wind. Perhaps as a consequence of the lighter breeze in this early session the tacks seemed less polished than the previous day.

As the breeze steadily increased to an average of 10-12 knots the crew – helmsmen Giles Scott (starboard) and Leigh McMillan (port) with flight controllers/sail trimmers Bleddyn Mon and Luke Parkinson – put the boat through its paces as they once more checked off a list of data gathering exercises for the design team.

This appeared to include experimenting with ride height, bow to stern pitch (bow up), as well as windward (and at times a touch of leeward heel) In fast mode the silver T6 LEQ12 was travelling at 30+ knots upwind and mid to high thirties downwind. Once again copious amount s of mainsail twist was regularly in evidence.

Towards the end of the day they switched to what looked to be prestart match racing maneuvers with a series of aggressive high speed bearaways and round ups.

Following this, a fast power reach to the harbour entrance was followed by sails down at 1645 with dock in taking place shortly after 1700.

Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 42 - April 27, 2023 - Mallorca

  • Weather: Sunny 19° - 24° C
  • Wind Strength 8-12kts Slight chop. [Detail 1340: 180 6-7 knots; 1543:180 11-12 knots; 1600: 150 8 knots]
  • Wind Direction: 170°
  • Roll out: 1105hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1705hrs Crane out: 1800hrs
  • Total Tacks: 16 - Fully foiling: 8 Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 5
  • Total Gybes: 17 - Fully foiling: 14; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 2
Crew:Leigh McMillan, Giles Scott, Luke Parkinson, Bleddyn Mon

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 58 - April 27, 2023 - Barcelona

From the AC37 Joint Recon team:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC75 at 09:30 and docked out for 11:30, a shorter preparation time than previous days. With flat sea and light ‘Garbi’ forecast for the day, the M1 [mainsail] and J2 [jib] were prepared for the start of the session.

The team divided the day into five stints, drilling maneuvers and more often than not sailing low. An issue on board the Recon Vessel required the initial 20 minutes of the first stint, during which ARBR were not fully observed.

The team warmed up with a couple of upwind/downwind and a long reach out and back.

By 15:00 the wind increased as the team took almost an hour’s break, before switching to the J3 jib for the remaining hour and a half of sailing. Sailing was good and an overall improvement compared to previous days, with the most maneuvers completed since commissioning the new upgrades earlier this month.

The team docked in at 16:50 after covering more than 55 Nautical Miles over 5+ hours on the water.

A total of 42 tacks and gybes were attempted (excluding missed manoeuvres in opening 20 minutes), 40% were fully foiling.

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 58 - April 27, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Wind Strength: 8-12kts
  • Wind Direction: S
  • Weather: Sunny 17°C
  • Sea State: Beaufort 2-3
  • Roll out: 0910hrs Dock Out: 1130hrs
  • Dock In: 1650hrs Crane out: 1720hrs
  • Total Tacks: 17; Fully foiling: 6; Touch & Go: 8; Touch Down: 3
  • Total Gybes: 25; Fully foiling: 11; Touch & Go: 8; Touch Down: 6

  • Crew: Arnaud Psarofaghis, Maxime Bachelin, Nico Rolaz, Bryan Mettraux, Nico Stahlberg, Arthur Cevey, Florian Trüb, Théry Schir

    Emirates Team NZ - AC75 - Day 16 - April 27, 2023 - Auckland

    Emirates Team New Zealand was scheduled to sail, but after several days of strong breezes, Auckland had a light seabreeze, which despite forecasts to the contrary didn't make it across the Coromandel Peninsular and into the Hauraki Gulf.

    ETNZ was towed up onto its foils on several occasions inside the Harbour and out into the Hauraki Gulf. The outcome was always the same as the AC75 got foiling behind the chaseboat, found some additional pressure and would start to heel slightly. Then the windward foil arm would be raised, and the tow rope dropped from the AC75.

    The AC75 continued to sail on her self-generated apparent wind for a few minutes before running in a hole in the wind pressure, Te Rehutai would cant slightly to windward, causing the windward foil to snag the water surface eventually pulling the AC75 to windward, and slowing the boat to near a stop. The routine was repeated many times as the AC75 went further further out into the Gulf - all with the same outcome. The session was called off at 1530hrs after travelling 20nm out into the Gulf, with no sign of the advancing SE breeze - except on forecast screens requiring another 15nm of towing to reach. - Richard Gladwell S-WNZ.

    Session Statistics - Emirates Team NZ - AC75 - Day 11 - April 14, 2023 - Auckland

    • Weather: 16°C 10% cloud cover, Sunny
    • Wind Strength: 0-4kts
    • Wind Direction: E and NE
    • Sea State: Slight
    • Roll out: 1000hrs Dock Out: 1300hrs
    • Dock In: 1630hrs Crane out: 1730hrs est.
    • Total Tacks: 3 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0
    • Total Gybes: 0 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

    Crew: (Sailing Team) Nathan Outteridge, Peter Burling, Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke (Power Team) Simon Van Velthooven, Marius Van Der Pol, Louis Sinclair, Louis Crosby, Hamish Bond, Marcus Hansen, Sam Meech

    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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