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Cup Spy - June 6: Kiwis reveal second new wing foil .. Plenty of spectators for Swiss practice

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 7 Jun 07:06 PDT 8 June 2023
Emirates Team New Zealand - LEQ12 and AC40 - Day 31, June 7, 2023 © Adam Mustill / America's Cup

Three teams sailed today - June 6 and 7 in New Zealand.

The Swiss continued two boat training in their AC40s, but without Ernesto Bertarelli co-helming today. Nevertheless there was plenty of spectator interest in their race practice session.

The Brits put in a solid day of speed sailing and testing on their test boat "T6".

The Kiwis revealed their second test wing, which is a move in a new direction - but maybe not so unusual given Emirates Team NZ's penchant for taking new design directions. The new foil is described as "asymmetric" in that the two halves of the wingfoil are different - the right hand half has up tip, the left hand side has "down tip". Whether the foil should be viewed as a single operating unit, or a foil of two halves is a matter for the team to know and others to find out.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing have a similar concept with the "tubercle" foil, which is also a "foil of two halves" with one half being a tubercle design, and the other half being a conventional minimum surface foil. On the Swiss foil we don't know the weights of the two halves - whether they weigh the same , or if more weight can be built into the tubercle - along with a couple of possible performance gains. If the tubercle concept is an improvement, and can absorb all or some of the weight contained in the foil bulb - reducing drag - then there is a further benefit from the Swiss design thinking.

The other point with the new Kiwi foil is that it is not flat, anhedral or dihedral - the only other foil that has gone into that twilight zone is the INEOS Britannia "W" foil, which was seen, but not used in the 2021 Prada Cup in Auckland, and was trotted out on T6, or the Brit's development boat, in Barcelona.

Tony Rae - is one of "The Few" in Emirates Team New Zealand, who were part of the first NZ America's Cup Challenge in Fremantle in 1986/87. Today he is On Water Operations Manager. Trae has also performed the role of on-board medic in several round the world races, and seems to have a similar paramedic role in the current campaign. In the dockside interview, Rae explained that today's on the water training was being broken down into match racing segments, with the latest session focussing on the pre-start tactics.

He also explained that the team was in the midst of a full pack-out for Barcelona, with the AC75 having already left. The two AC40's are currently being used for training. It is believed that the AC40 One Design will be sent to Barcelona, with the LEQ12 version staying in Auckland, and will presumably be used for testing.

On that basis the team will be unable to practice match racing until the return of that AC40 - if in fact it is not left in Barcelona, like the AC75. The teams are permitted only to sail in Barcelona from July 1 to October 31, 2023. The team requires one AC40-OD to compete in the first Preliminary Event in Vilanova, 45kms away from Barcelona in mid-September, and again at the end of November - December 3 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The team's race boat is expected to be launched in February 2024 - with the shift in focus going onto commissioning, development and debugging of the new AC75 taking priority. Already time is running out for the Defending champion - but Nathan Outteridge revealed in a later interview that the Kiwi AC40-OD would be kept in NZ as long as possible and only shipped to Europe for the first of the two Preliminary Regattas in mid-September. Once gone, it would seem there will be no more match racing practice until January 2024 - and then during breaks in the AC75 schedule after its launching. However several of the team have the first SailGP Regatta of Season 4 starting in Chicago in a week - with racing starting in mid-June and practice for a few days before that.

Racing between teams is prohibited in Barcelona in the July 1 to October 31, 2023 period.

What happened in the Cup - June 6, 2023:

  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing continued two boat racing off Barcelona, with Maxime Bachelin taking the place of Ernesto Bertarelli on the AC40 and joined Dean Barker as co-helm.
  • INEOS Britannia sailed their test boat T6 off Palma.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand resumed two boat testing off Takapuna Beach. They revealed a new wing foil at their launching today.
  • American Magic, last sailed on March 10, from Pensacola Fl, and is expected to be sailing from Barcelona around June 22.
  • Luna Rossa did not sail.
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

Emirates Team NZ - LEQ12 - Day 31 - June 7, 2023 - Auckland

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

After the AC40 was rigged and launched at 10.48 the LEQ 12 rolled out of the shed sporting a new asymmetric narrow bird wing like foil on the starboard arm. She was rigged and sitting next to her stablemate at 11.17.

Just after midday both yachts were taken by bow tow down to Mechanics bay where they both bent on sails. Both yachts carried their J3s and I think the LEQ12 used M2, both on the locks about 12.20.

Off chase at 12.30 the yachts ran down Rangitoto channel where the breeze softened to around the 6-7 knot mark for 15 min or so. Here the LEQ12 stayed on her foils through out where as the AC 40 needed to be towed up.

After four or five gybes the yachts came to a stop at 13.02 just North of the shipping channel off of Takapuna beach boat ramp.

Here chase one set a start line with the yachts starting sailing at 13.11, we watched back to back pre start manoeuvres all pushed down into "coffin corner" of the start box. The yachts would take it in turns leading or chasing and both entering on starboard and heading hard left to come up against the course boundary.

After three or four pre-starts the yachts would do a one tack beat and then a one gybe run looking to stay close to each other through out.

After two more similar sessions lasting about 25 minutes each the yachts headed back up the harbour at 14.46 coming to a stop off Mechanics Bay (at the entrance to the inner Waitemata) at 15.09 to douse sails

Emirates Team NZ - LEQ12 - Day 31 - June 7, 2023 - Auckland

  • Weather: 18°C Fine
  • Wind Strength: 8-14kts
  • Wind Direction: SE
  • Sea State: Choppy
  • Roll out: 1117hrs Dock Out: 1204hrs
  • Dock In: 1535hrs Crane out: 1548hrs
  • Total Tacks: 28 - Fully foiling: 26; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 30 - Fully foiling: 29; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0

Crew: (LEQ12) Nathan Outteridge, Peter Burling, Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke (AC40) Josh Junior, Leo Takahashi, Sam Meech, Marcus Hansen

INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 57 - June 6, 2023 - Mallorca

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team:

INEOS Britannia made full use of a close to perfect sailing day on Palma Bay today with winds ranging from 12-40 knots from the south west and a flat to light chop sea state.

The team's T6 LEQ12 test boat was rolled out on the dot at 1000 AM and was rigged and ready to go for an on time dock out at midday. Once out of the harbour the team hoisted the M2-2 mainsail and the J3-2 headsail.

T6 was released from a side tow at 1245 and was in the air moments later at the beginning of what turned out to be an hour and a half of virtually continuous airborne sailing.

Unlike so many other days on the water the focus today seemed to be less on checking off a list of exercises from the design team and more about sailing the boat fast in race mode. There was plenty of straight line sailing – both upwind and down – early in this first session but the number of maneuvers ramped up steadily during the second half of the session.

Both the tacks and the gybes looked crisp and well executed and from the recon boat we got the distinct feeling that the sailors – helmsmen Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott, with trimmers Leigh McMillan and Iain Jensen (and fifth man observer at the back on the starboard side – Bleddyn Mon) – were thoroughly enjoying putting the silver-hulled test boat through its paces.

After a short (15 minute) stop at 1415, the crew were back at it for the second session of the day which was given over to racecourse practice around a windward/leeward course comprising a single windward buoy and a two buoy leeward gate.

Three two-lap rounds were sailed – each beginning with some pre-start box maneuvering and time on distance runs to the start line. Mostly, the mark roundings were clean and fast but there were a couple of touch downs – one on final approach to the starboard leeward mark after a later gybe on to port; and the other on the exit of a JK (270° turn) maneuver around the port leeward mark. Time was called at 1525 with the J3-2 down by 1535 and the mainsail drop completed by 15 40. Dock in was at 1555.

Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 57 - June 6, 2023 - Mallorca

  • Wind Strength: 12-14kts
  • Wind Direction: S-SSW
  • Weather: Sunny 22-26°C
  • Sea State: Slight chop
  • Roll out: 1040hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1555hrs Crane out: 1620hrs
  • Total Tacks: 32; Fully foiling: 28; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 2
  • Total Gybes: 31; Fully foiling: 30; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 1

Crew: Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott, Leigh McMillan, Iain Jensen (5th Man/Observer Bleddyn Mon)

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 - Day 32 - June 6, 2023 - Barcelona

From the AC37 Joint Recon team:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC40-7 (marked in Red), stepped the mast and craned in the yacht, ahead of a team meeting. The AC40-4 (marked in Yellow) was rolled out at 09:45 and was craned in besides the other AC40, both perpendicular to the dock. The two yachts started on different setups, with the M1-1 LE mainsail and J3-1 OD jib on the AC40-4, and the M1-2 OD and J2-2 OD sails on the AC40-7. The afternoon thermal 'Garbi' wind gradually increase from 9-12 knots to 13-15 knots, clocking slowly from due South to South-Southwest throughout the day.

The two yachts started off sailing separately, warming up in the first stint with 19 manoeuvres, only one of which was “Touch & Go”. The second stint started with pre-start practice followed by a race. Along with the team’s chase boats, were guest and media boats, all together watching the starts and racing on the 1NM windward/leeward course (with leeward/start gate). After close fighting leading to the start, Maxime Bachelin on the Yellow boat put two boards down and performed a quick double tack open a gap to the stern of Arnaud Psarofaghis on the Red boat. Arnaud was forced to put in a tack on the pin end to make the line in time, however found a crowd of chase and guest boats in the way, while Max continued on starboard tack. The start was abandoned and the 40s re-entered the starting box with more space to sail.

A different pre-start saw both boats sailing separately in clear wind. On the approach to the start, Arnaud put the breaks on with both boards down to slow down, as Max lifted the windward board and accelerated to the line. Arnaud started on pin end and tacked shortly after, while Max started in the middle and went for the boundary. At the first crossing, Max was in front, and held the lead up to the top mark. Dean on port helm of the Yellow boat gybed shortly after rounding while Nico C on the Red boat went for the boundary to sail a one gybe downwind.

A solid gybe by Dean put Max in front of Arnaud on the layline to the leeward gate, where they both rounded to starboard. Arnaud performed a JK manoeuvre around the mark, to sail the other side of the course, Max followed shortly after. The two yachts sailed on starboard out of the course towards the horizon, possibly to escape the multiple boats chasing. This is where two boat testing begun.

The team sailed a long upwind, 6.5NM out from the port, before both yachts bore away for a long downwind towards Masnou. Sailing was put on pause while the crew ate lunch, meanwhile a technician was observed below deck and attending to the jib track area on the Yellow boat. At this point, the wind increase prompted the Red boat to exchange the J2 for the J3, before both boats started the third stint with a long two tack upwind. After a short pause, they sailed a long downwind to Badalona, switching windward/leeward positions half way through.

The fourth stint saw a tacking duel from Badalona all the way back to base, sailing all the way into the port entrance. The Red boat almost lost balance, but saved the capsize, as both teams proceeded to drop sails and end the day. After crane out, it was noticed that the top surface of the Delta foil, covering the flap join, was damaged again after having been repaired from the previous day. Another four hour day on the water saw the AC40-4 covering over 70NM and 61 maneuvers (92% fully foiling).

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 - Day 32 - June 6, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Wind Strength: 9-15kts
  • Wind Direction: SSW
  • Weather: Sunny 22°C
  • Sea State: Beaufort 4
  • Dock Out AC40-4: 1105hrs
  • Dock Out AC40-7: 1100hrs
  • Dock In AC40-4: 1540hrs Crane out: 1555hrs
  • Dock In AC40-7: 1535hrs Crane out: 1620hrs
  • Total Tacks: 32; Fully foiling: 30; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 28; Fully foiling: 26; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0

  • Crew: Arnaud Psarofaghis , Nicolas Charbonnier, Maxime Bacelin, Dean Barker, Yves Detrey , Bryan Mettraux, Nicolas Rolaz , Jason Waterhouse

    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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