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Cup Spy - May 16: Swiss back in the AC75, while the Kiwis change gear in their sailing program

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 16 May 2023 20:57 PDT 17 May 2023
Foil arm testing - Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 62 - May 16, 2023 - Barcelona © Job Vermuelen / America's Cup

Only two of the six teams sailed today, May 16. Alinghi Red Bull Racing were back on the water off Barcelona, sailing their AC75 in marginal foiling conditions. They have now grown to a three boat team, with their second AC-40 visible at the team base. The Kiwis swapped two crew squads onto the AC40 One Design - with little change in performance, based on the dry tack/gybe statistics.

What happened in the Cup - May 16, 2023:

  • American Magic has ceased sailing pending a move to Barcelona with their AC75 and AC-40. Media continue to report in New Zealand that American Magic has sought dispensation from the Arbitration Panel to not be required to compete in the Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Rumours continue to swirl in NZ, with one mainstream outlet reporting that Alinghi Red Bull racing are the only team to have responded to the Arb panel saying they will sail in Jeddah. That begs the question as to whether that means the other teams have sat on their hands on the issue and are ambivalent about the supposed security risk, or are not intending to sail in Jeddah, either.
  • Luna Rossa did not sail.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand resumed sailing in their AC40-3 One Design, turning in a scorecard of 80 tacks and 80 gybes staying foil-borne for all but three of the 160 maneuvers. Interestingly they switched from the "Possibles" team to the "Probables" team midway through the session.
  • INEOS Britannia did not sail.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing sailed their AC75 from Barcelona for their 62nd day in the AC75. Light winds appeared to make dry tacking and gybing difficult. The Swiss team appears to have taken delivery of their second AC-40, which must remain as a One-Design.
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

Emirates Team NZ - AC40-3 OD - Day 5 - May 16, 2023 - Auckland

Emirates Team New Zealand resumed sailing in their AC40-3 One Design, turning in a scorecard of 80 tacks and 80 gybes staying foil-borne for all but three of the 160 maneuvers. Interestingly they switched from the "Possibles" team to the "Probables" team midway through the session, which consisted of some very tight racing practice.

Between the two teams in the dry tack/gybe statistics there seemed to be little difference in performance. It is not known if the AC40 OD was flying on automated flight control with both crews, or if they were flying manual. If the latter, it was a very impressive performance across the two teams. While the team is actively recruiting Youth and Women's crews, they sailed with Liv Mackay in the "Possibles" [S-W terminology borrowed from All Black Trial teams when they had selection games.]

It would seem likely that Mackay with her SailGP experience in the F50, and no Olympic class commitments will be the skipper-designate of the Womens crew. It will be interesting to see if ETNZ continue to run a mix of Youth and Womens AC sailors with the Possibles/Probables squads as a way inducting new team members and lifting the standard of Youth and Womens sailing which will pay a good medium to long-term dividend - and also what induction strategy the other teams follow.

The Probables squad has been the principal team on the AC75 program along with the four cyclors. The evenness of the tack/gybe statistic - given the Possibles lack of recent on the water training time points to ETNZ having a very high co-relation between their simulator (which can be all the Possibles have used) compare to the mix of simulator and on the water practice with the Probables over the past couple of months. It is a situation that will be watched over the coming couple of months until the team starts sailing in Barcelona, in July.

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

The AC40 was on the docks edge by 0920hrs with many of the younger sailors in the team involved in her launching and rigging.

There was a 30 minute delay to dock out called to wait for the SW breeze to push over the city, at 1133hrs the AC40 was side towed from her berth with the main plugged in she was taken in tow astern and moved down to Rough Rock [off North Head] to hoist sails.

The main was on the lock at 1158hrs with the J1 [jib] shortly after. She was off the chase boat and sailing by 1219hrs. The session started with a short lap of the inner harbour, then a lap of the southern end of Rangitoto Channel. Finally pushing out to a 2nm windward leeward course set about 3nm NE of Takapuna beach.

In this first session the yacht was crewed by [Possibles] Liv Mackay Josh Junior, Sam Meech and Marcus Hansen.

At 1314hrs she stopped and changed to the #2 jib, sailing again at 1320hrs and getting into pre start practice followed by one lap of the course.

Three of these were observed with the complexity getting higher and higher with some very slick gybes, round up and tacks witnessed.

At 1415hrs the AC40 came to a stop and the J2 was swapped out for the J3 and [Probables] Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Blair Tuke and Andy Maloney took over the controls.

At 1519hrs she was up and sailing and straight into a pre start leading into one lap of the course. As with the session before the complexities of each successive prestart got progressively higher.

At 1547hrs the marks were lifted and she headed back towards Auckland, coming to rest off Orakei at 1600hrs

Session Statistics - Emirates Team NZ - AC40-3 OD - Day 5 - May 16, 2023 - Auckland

  • Weather: 15°C Fine
  • Wind Strength: 5-14kts
  • Wind Direction: SW
  • Sea State: Moderate
  • Roll out: 1000hrs Dock Out: 1133hrs
  • Dock In: 1620hrs Crane out: 1705hrs
  • Total Tacks: 80 - Fully foiling: 79; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 80 - Fully foiling: 78; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0

Crew: [Probables] Nathan Outteridge, Peter Burling, Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke,[Possibles] Josh Junior, Liv Mackay, Sam Meech, Marcus Hansen

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 62 - May 16, 2023 - Barcelona

From the AC37 Joint Recon team:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC75 at 0845hrs, and following standard procedures, docked out at 1200hrs. The M1 mainsail and J2-1L Jib were hoisted in the port, as the yacht was then towed to and released at the port entrance, where sailing commenced at 1235hrs.

The conditions for the day consisted of light wind below 10 knots, from the South East turning to the South. A residual 0.5m swell from the East was present.

The team began with a half hour upwind and downwind phase, before stopping to attend to an issue. Support crew were on board attending to the mainsail clew and mainsheet/traveller area , with hydraulics engineers working below deck. Parts were brought on board from the base via a support boat.

After an hour and a half pause, sailing resumed with another two phases sailed. The team put in a few tacks and gybes, as well as a couple of mark roundings about the 2NM windward/leeward course.

The team’s new AC40 was spotted in the yard, in One Design configuration. It was confirmed that the original AC40 is still in its tent with the new “Tubercle” foil still on the port foil arm.

The team spent just over four hours on the water, covering over 38NM. 19 tacks/gybes were performed, of which 58% were fully foiling.


Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 62 - May 16, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Wind Strength: 6-9kts
  • Wind Direction: S
  • Weather: Sunny 18°C
  • Sea State: Beaufort 2-3
  • Roll out: 0920hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1610hrs Crane out: 1635hrs
  • Total Tacks: 8; Fully foiling: 3; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 4
  • Total Gybes: 11; Fully foiling: 8; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 3

  • Crew: Maxime Bachelin, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bryan Mettraux, Nico Rolaz, Yves Detrey, Arthur Cevey, Nils Theuninck, Barnabé Delarze, Théry Schir. [Starboard: Max B + Nico R + Nils T + Théry S, Port: Arnaud P + Bryan M + Barnabé D + Arthur C, Yves D rotating with Bryan M]

    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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