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Cup Spy - May 12: Kiwis get sailing after weather enforced break. Brits have a good spin in T6

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 12 May 2023 18:55 PDT 13 May 2023
Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - Day 18 - May 12, 2023 - Hauraki Gulf © Adam Mustill / America's Cup

What happened in the Cup - May 12, 2023:

  • American Magic last sailed off Pensacola on May 10, and is now packing to transit to their new permanent base in Barcelona.
  • Luna Rossa last sailed from Cagliari, in their recently launched AC40-OD on May 9. They have sailed for three days in the AC-40OD, with some commissioning issues to be resolved.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand sailed for the first time since since April 28. A storm-battered Auckland has been under weather warning for two weeks - most of which has eventuated with impossible sailing conditions. Suffice to say the weather has punched a hole in the Kiwis test program for the week. Their last sailing day is expected to be on Monday and then the AC40 and AC75 will be transited to Barcelona, to begin sailing in July.
  • INEOS Britannia was the only other AC team to sail - for the fourth successive day in their LEQ12 test boat T6. The Brits had a good day, with their new wing. The Brits returned some impressive foiling tack/gybe statistics - something for which they were not noted in the early days of their test program in T6.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing did not sail their AC75, but did sail yesterday, May 11 in their AC40OD.
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge), save for their announcement during the week that they had started their Youth and Womens crew selection process.

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

Emirates Team New Zealand sailed for the first time since April 28. A storm-battered Auckland has been under weather warning for two weeks - most of which has eventuated - providing impossible sailing conditions. Suffice to say the weather has punched a hole in the Kiwis test program for the week- some of which may be shifted to the LEQ12 and the rest will be picked up on Monday or in Barcelona. Their last sailing day is expected to be on Monday and then the AC40 and AC75 will be transited to Barcelona, to begin sailing in July.

The ETNZ sailing team did have some downtime programmed, last week, with several key members of the sailing team being involved in the Grand Final for SailGP in San Francisco, last weekend. However even so Auckland has suffered a series of weather incidents, flooding, strong winds and big seas for a fortnight.

We walked down to the beach and watched their Friday session on a couple of occasions through 14x gyro stabilised binoculars.

There was an uncharacteristic amount of down time for the reasons mentioned in the AC-Recon report.

We did see one of the runs upwind, with the AC75 sailing vey fast in ideal foiling and sailing conditions (fresh steady breeze and flat water). The chase boats were hard pressed to stay in contact. The AC75 boat was being sailed in the characteristic bow-down position, close to the water surface at the bow, and in very steady flight height. Again that begs the question as to whether they are flying on automated flight control, or on the manual system which must be used for racing, but which introduces human factor into the test sailing which can introduce inconsistency into the test data relative to other runs. An automated flight control system provides consistency into the testing, on the basis that it should not operate in a random way. It is assumed that ETNZ were again sailing with four cyclors, leaving just four sailing crew. One of the team objectives at this stage is believed to understand the nuances of cycle powered hydraulics, and repeat as they did in the AC50 in Bermuda to try different options to reduce the cyclor numbers which can be absorbed by an increased number of sailing crew deployed into specialist manual flight control and sail trimming roles, for racing.

The statistics for dry foiling tacks/gybes are impressive with a dry foiling tack/gybe ratio of 96% - just two "touch and goes" out of 55 maneuvers.

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

Te Rehutai was out of the shed just before 0830hrs and was in the pen floating at 0905hrs.

She was side towed from her berth at 1005hrs and was taken just outside the basin to bend on sails.

The M1 (mainsail) was hoisted and on the lock by 1014hrs followed by the J1 (jib)on its lock by 1017hrs.

It took her some time to get sailing starting at 1049hrs but she came to a stop just east of Devonport wharf and lots of attention was focused on the main sheet traveler system.

Chase 2 headed [back across the harbour] to the base and was back at the yacht at 1116hrs with a box of what looked like ball bearings? [Confirmed in the Dan Bernasconi interview]. The yacht was off the chaseboat and sailing by 1153hrs.

Here she did one 5 mile windward leeward before stopping at 1216hrs to drop the J1 and hoist the J4, being on its lock by 1233hrs.

With 14-16 knots of SSW breeze she was off again doing two more windward leewards before coming to a stop 1310hrs to change Mains from #1 to #2, they did this with the J4 on the deck. The M2 was on the lock at 1348hrs with the J4 re hoisted and locked at 1353hrs.

Te Rehutai was sailing again at 1402hrs this time doing four shorter windward leewards with plenty of manoeuvres thrown in. At 1440hrs she came to a stop about five miles off Murrays Bay and lowered her sails for the tow home.

A stop start kind of day with some good longish sailing sessions.

Session Statistics - Emirates Team NZ - AC75 - Day 18 - May 12, 2023 - Auckland

  • Weather: 14-15°C Fine, Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 12-18kts
  • Wind Direction: S-SW
  • Sea State: Flat - Moderate
  • Roll out: 0905hrs Dock Out: 1005hrs
  • Dock In: 1525hrs Crane out: 1635hrs
  • Total Tacks: 29 - Fully foiling: 29; Touch & Go: ; Touch Down:
  • Total Gybes: 26 - Fully foiling: 24; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0

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

INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 47- May 12, 2023 - Mallorca

INEOS Britannia was the only other AC team to sail - for the fourth successive day in their LEQ12 test boat T6. The Brits had a good day, with their new wing. The Brits returned some impressive foiling tack/gybe statistics - something for which they were not noted in the early days of their test program in T6.

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

INEOS Britannia's third and final day of sailing this week was a barnstormer of a day sailed in a south easterly breeze that built to 16-18 knots.

After rolling out at 1100hrs, launching at 1130hrs, and docking out three minutes early at 1257hrs the British team had the sails up on their T6 LEQ12 test boat (M1-2 mainsail and J4-1 headsail) by 1325hrs. A slight hiccup when the headsail came off its halyard lock as soon as the crew sheeted on was quickly remedied and the boat was up and foiling upwind at 1335hrs for a 35 minute flight that concluded upwind after a tack on to port.

With the breeze up at 15kts by now the yacht looked a little difficult to control at slow speed and one one occasion ended up heeling precariously as it rounded up into the wind. A bow tow was used to get the boat moving forward with flow over the foils on starboard but the take off was self generated. The resulting flight lasted just a couple of minutes however before the boat stopped again after a tack to port.

A self take off followed which led to a 35kts tight reach over to flatter water closer to shore for another stop with a chase boat alongside. An electronics technician was seen on board and after a half an hour delay the team's largest chase boat was sent ashore to pick up what we were told later was a small piece of replacement hardware.

That apparently did the trick and by 1530hrs the headsail was back up and the boat set off on a final one hour stint of airborne maneuvers that saw T6 ripping around Palma Bay at speeds over 30 knots upwind and in the mid to high 40kts range downwind. It was not possible to ascertain whether there was any noticeable speed difference between the two foils.

The session concluded with a short series of downwind high speed bearaways and round ups before a final blistering run to the team's regular start/finish zone off Palma Cathedral where sails were dropped by 1645hrs. Dock-in took place at 1700hrs. No sailing is scheduled over the weekend with Monday the next possible sailing day.

Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 47- May 12, 2023 - Mallorca

  • Weather: Sunny 18° - 21° C
  • Wind Strength 7-15kts Flat sea
  • Wind Direction: 180° - 220°
  • Roll out: 1130hrs Dock Out: 1257hrs
  • Dock In: 1700hrs Crane out: 1730hrs
  • Total Tacks: 26 - Fully foiling: 23; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 3
  • Total Gybes: 19 - Fully foiling: 18; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 1

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. Its format is intended to give Sail-World readers a snapshot of all teams' progress on a given day or period.

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