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Marine Resources 2022 - LEADERBOARD

Cup Spy - May 17: Kiwis reveal a new wing foil; Swiss, Italians and Brits all sail

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 18 May 06:25 PDT 17 May 2023
New wing foil - Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 - LEQ12 - Day 23, May 17, 2023 © Adam Mustill/America's Cup

What happened in the Cup - May 17, 2023:

  • American Magic has ceased sailing pending a move to Barcelona with their AC75 and AC-40. No further developments - either officially or from Rumour Control - in the American Magic reported reluctance to sail in the second Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah.
  • Luna Rossa sailed their LEQ12 out of Cagliari for the first time since April 27.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand resumed sailing in their two AC40s - one in One Design mode the other as an LEQ12, with a new wingfoil - which was in contact with a floating log soon after starting sailing. It was repaired and the two AC-40's resumed sailing. The AC75 is being packed down to go to Barcelona.
  • INEOS Britannia sailed their LEQ12 test boat T6.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing sailed their AC75 from Barcelona for their 63rd day in the AC75. No update on their second AC-40 of which they have taken delivery,
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

Emirates Team New Zealand launched two AC40's for today's session on the Waitemata Harbour.

The LEQ12 was fitted with a new wing foil, which unfortunately struck a piece of floating debris, putting a hole in the foil arm - which the shore crew repaired, enabling the session to resume in the late afternoon.

We can now see the progression of the team's last three foils from the 2021 America's Cup to the first test foil used on the LEQ12, and the latest foil which consolidates the thinking on both and goes in a new direction with the foil bulb.

The new wing foil (fitted to the starboard foil arm) features a thin wing, with a larger bulb. The slightly anhedral foil has the wing set well to the back of the bulb. The designers have chosen to make a tradeoff between increased drag from a larger bulb, against reduced drag from the thinner, narrower wing. The design is a progression down the minimum wing favoured by ETNZ in the last Cup. The leading edge of the wing is aligned with the trailing edge of the foil arm.

The wing/bulb intersection is much more acute than the version used in the 2021 America's Cup, which tapered the bulb into the wing in a sweeping curve shape, than the latest LEQ12 wing.

The former test foil used on ETNZ's LEQ12 test boat has a similar wing to the new foil, but with a wing/bulb attachment style which has much in common with the the 2021 AC75 wing foil used in the last America's Cup. The up-tips on the 2021 AC75 foil do not feature on the two latest foils, and significantly ETNZ seem to be of the view that the wing shape itself is enough to take care of any tip vortices, without specific design assistance to address the tip vortex issues. It is assumed that the anhedral shape of the two new wings will flatten under pressure, even turning dihedral under load.

Emirates Team NZ - LEQ12 - Day 23 - May 17, 2023 - Auckland

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

The AC40 was on the dock edge by 1030hrs and in the water at 1049hrs.

Next up the LEQ12 was in position on the dock edge at 1056hrs, and in the pen at 1118hrs. At noon both yachts were slipped from their berths and taken in tow astern out to Rough Rock (North Head) to hoist sails.

On the LEQ12 the J2 was on the lock at 1226hrs and the main at 1232hrs. She was off the chase boat and sailing by 1246hrs.

On her second tack of the day just under North Head the LEQ12 hit a log floating [S-W: there's a lot of debris in the harbour, after recent storms, and half-hearted efforts to clean it up] with the starboard arm just below the water line in foiling trim.

After a quick inspection from the chase boat the LEQ12 dropped its sails and was towed back to base to be hauled out.

She was back in her cradle by 1345hrs and a team of boat builders got to work.

After lots of grinding and trimming a brew of 5-min epoxy bog and some fiber was used to fill the hole. At 1440hrs she was back in the water and she was being towed back out to sea by 1455hrs.

After several attempts to get foiling under the city the chase boat was hailed and took her in tow. The LEQ12 dropped her tow off Devonport wharf at 1528hrs. From here she headed down the Rangitoto channel and out past A buoy.

The LEQ12 did lots of moding on port gybe to check the new foil. After two hours of straight lining and moding she went into one pre start drill just off Number 12 buoy.

Here the LEQ12 was pushed very hard into two full anti clock wise circles before sheeting on and beating back up the harbour in a dying breeze.

She came off he foils just West of the Devonport Naval Base in a very light spot and the chase boat came alongside to help douse sails.

The LEQ12 was back in the pen at 1731hrs.

On the new foil's performance, coach Ray Davies says "it is quite hard to tell - purely off numbers. So it's quite nice when you can line a couple of boats, and work that way."

"The team's just charging at the moment. We've got a lot going on when you look around the yard. It's like crazy how much we got going on but we're smashing it out and looking forward to getting up to Barcelona later in the year and get rid of this kit up there."

The team is not expected to sail for five days - with Auckland due to be hit by another imminent weather system.

Session Statistics - Emirates Team NZ - LEQ12 - Day 23 - May 17, 2023 - Auckland

  • Weather: 15 degreesC Fine
  • Wind Strength: 5-10kts
  • Wind Direction: SW
  • Sea State: Slight
  • Roll out: 1050hrs Dock Out: 1200 - 1455hrs
  • Dock In: 1322hrs - 1735hrs Crane out: 1805hrs

Crew: Nathan Outteridge, Peter Burling, Liv Mackay, Josh Junior; Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke, Marcus Hansen, Sam Meech

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 57 - May 17, 2023 - Cagliari

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team - Michele Melis:

After three weeks of being in the sheds, the LRPP's LEQ12 was rolled out at 1300hrs after having a delay awaiting for the strong Maestrale to drop.

Before being craned up, the mast base has been armed with weight bags. Shore crew began with the stepping procedure, quite challenging but well managed in 24kn gusts of Maestrale.

On the newest port side wing FW03, two go-pro cases, one additionally embedded into the foil arm stock and shape mods on the flattened flap centre were noticed.

Surface portions of different roughness perhaps a of film marked by white dots were observed on pressure and suction sides of both foils.

Some minor adjustments on the main sheeting system and systems wiring at mast base were also observed.

After running through the usual procedure checks, the M2 mainsail was locked in the mast. Dock out was scheduled for 1430hrs and then postponed to 1530hrs awaiting for the Maestrale to drop further.

Exiting the harbour, the forecast looked quite promising with flat waters and steady 14-16kts NNW and gusts up to 19kts. The M2 mainsail was fully hoisted with the J2 jib and six crew boarded the LEQ12.

A first take off was observed on starboard tack as two crew sat on windward. On a 90 degree TWA and with a boat speed of 17kts, the LEQ12 took off and began the first sailing stint upwind before bearing away. Upwind boat speeds of approximately 32-34 kts and 40-43kts downwind were recorded.

Throughout the day, the team seemed to test some foiling modes in addition to some two-boards time dropping and raising the windward board heading downwind. After a short break, the sailors debriefed polished the Go-pros and the LEQ12 took off again on starboard tack bearing off shortly after. During this run the team seemed to focus on a series of radical bearaways and trimming back up.

On one of these the LEQ12 splashed bearing off. Nothing major, as couple of minutes later, the prototype was observed foiling on starboard tack keeping on going their practice. In addition to some classic maneuvers, two successful foil-to-foil JKs and one Chicago have been observed. With this productive day on their LEQ12 looking stable and fast, the team called it a day with an approximate foiling time of 76 minutes, 9 tacks and 7 gybes

[Michele Melis AC Recon].

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 57 - May 17, 2023 - Cagliari

  • Weather: Sunny 21°C
  • Wind Strength 14-16kts
  • Wind Direction: NW Maestrale (Mistral) breeze
  • Sea State: Flat
  • Roll out: 1300hrs Dock Out: 1525hrs
  • Dock In: 1745hrs Crane out: 1900hrs
  • Total Tacks: 9 - Fully foiling: 7; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 7 - Fully foiling: 6; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0

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

INEOS Britannia - INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 49 - May 17, 2023 - Mallorca

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

It was another workmanlike session from the British team today in Mallorca as they made the most of the south-westerly thermal breeze that build over the day to a peak of 18 knots to for some prolonged flight sessions around Palma Bay.

After rolling out at 0900 the team's T6 LEQ12 test boat was rigged and launched by 0940 and out on the water with sails up (M1-2 mainsail and J2-1 headsail) by just after midday.

Although the first flight took place in in around 9 knots, the wind ramped up quickly and after just 20 minutes sailing the J2-1 was swapped for the old faithful J4-1.

As the breeze clicked up above 15 kts T6 looked very comfortable with this revised sail combination as the crew put the boat through more of the upwind tests we saw during the previous session - at times once again forcing the boat to fly bow up as they coaxed it into sailing narrow angles to the wind on port (using the new 'banana') foil.

A couple of times they appeared to push too far causing the boat to fall sideways to windwards for a big splashdown. Although the focus seemed to be on data gathering in this upwind mode, the crew also pushed the boat fast in a straight line downwind with speeds in the low 40 knot range at times downwind.

At the end of this mammoth second session - which lasted almost an hour and a half - the boat stopped for a battery change before jumping straight back onto its foils for a third session that saw more of the same upwind testing runs. The final session of the day saw the crew racing around a windward leeward course with a single windward mark and two-mark leeward gate.

The leeward gate roundings were all fast and slick - other than one when the crew had to soak down at a low angle on two boards to round the right hand buoy - and included one very accomplished high speed JK round up and tack maneuver. Time was called on the day shortly before 1600hrs with dock in taking place at 1615hrs. With a good forecast for the rest of the week the expectation is that the the British team will sail Thursday and Friday - but this is not yet confirmed.

Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 49 - May 17, 2023 - Mallorca

  • Weather: Sunny 18 degrees - 21 degrees C
  • Wind Strength 10-18kts Flat sea
  • Wind Direction: 220-240 degrees
  • Roll out: 0940hrs Dock Out: 1135hrs
  • Dock In: 1615hrs Crane out: 1645hrs
  • Total Tacks: 24 - Fully foiling: 22; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 20 - Fully foiling: 20; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

Crew: Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott, Leigh McMillan, Luke Parkinson

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 63 - May 17, 2023 - Barcelona

From the AC37 Joint Recon team:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC75 at 0845hrs and docked out at 1130hrs following standard pre-sailing checks. A modification to the starboard steering wheel was noted, narrower grips have been added.

The M2-2L 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 1200hrs.

Another day of Garbi afternoon thermal South wind, reaching about 15 kts. A residual East swell was still present on the water, coming together for a conflicting chop.

The team started with a few gybes downwind, before stopping for 15 minutes. A diver from Chase Alpha was seen in the water, supposedly checking for impact damage as a lot of debris was floating around following the rain in previous days.

It's assumed that no damage was found, as sailing resumed after a jib change to the J4-1R. The team continued with another five stints, at times sailing with two boards down and practicing mark roundings about the 1.5NM two mark course.

So far this month of May, the team seem to be more consistent with tacks than gybes, with almost a 20% difference in performance today. Overall, today the team completed a total of 56 maneuvers, (57% fully foiling) the most of any day on the AC75 so far. Over 55NM sailed in 4 hours on the water.

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 63 - May 17, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Wind Strength: 11-15kts
  • Wind Direction: S - Garbi afternoon thermal S wind
  • Weather: Cloudy 17 degreesC
  • Sea State: Beaufort 3-4
  • Roll out: 0915hrs Dock Out: 1130hrs
  • Dock In: 1535hrs Crane out: 1600hrs
  • Total Tacks: 29; Fully foiling: 19; Touch & Go: 8; Touch Down: 2
  • Total Gybes: 27; Fully foiling: 13; Touch & Go: 5; Touch Down: 9

Crew: Maxime Bachelin, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nico Charbonnier, Bryan Mettraux, Nico Rolaz, Yves Detrey [Power Group] Arthur Cevey, Augustin Maillefer, Barnabé Delarze, Théry Schir

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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