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Cup Spy - June 7: Italians return, Brits cop a seaway surprise, Kiwis enjoy a late summer's day.

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 8 Jun 01:50 PDT 8 June 2023
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 65 - June 7, 2023 - Cagliari © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

The British, Italian and New Zealand teams sailed today - all in their LEQ12's with the Kiwis being the only ones to indulge in some two boat testing. The Brits struck some Barcelona type sea-states. The Italians returned after a 10 day absence.

What happened in the Cup - June 7 & 8 (NZ), 2023:

  • INEOS Britannia sailed their test boat T6 off Palma, taking on a building breeze and seaway, looking for some Barcelona like conditions - and found them - with the dry tack/gybe success percentage dropping below previous flat water sessions.
  • Luna Rossa sailed out of Cagliari for the first time in 10 days. Team boss Max Sirena was aboard. Some changes have been made to the wing foil and cockpits of their LEQ12 test boat.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand resumed two boat testing and match racing off Takapuna Beach. Nathan Outteridge outlined the team's program and transition into Barcelona - covering the next month. The first group leaves Saturday.
  • American Magic, last sailed on March 10, from Pensacola Fl, and is expected to be sailing from Barcelona around June 22.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing did not sail
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 65 - June 7, 2023 - Cagliari

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team - Michele Melis:

After a week of sailing their AC40 before taking it apart on this day [S-W: not sure what this means - according to AC37 RFS the Italians last sailed their only AC40 on May 15], the Italian LEQ12 rolled out at 11:00 and the yacht was craned in by 11:20 with dockout scheduled for 12:30.

Some modifications were observed by the cockpit screens layout, and the starboard wing looking slightly more anhedral with removed winglets on inboard and outboard tips onto which the flap fully extends.

Dockout was postponed twice and the usual protocol checks lasted slightly longer as below deck a speculative hydraulic issue occurred seeing very briefly what looked like an accumulator being passed into a hatch.

Once all clear the yacht was towed out of the harbour by 15:00 hosting 6 crews including Max Sirena on the SB joyride seat. The mainsail M1 was hoisted with an added window sewn on its foot and paired with the J2.

The seabreeze had already filled in and the anemometer displayed 12-14kn SE with choppy seastate overlapped with the rest sights of a SE swell approximately .5m 7s.

The LEQ12 was all set by 15:15 and the first of several self takeoffs was recorded after which the windward flight trimmer was observed checking and adjusting the main luff while standing on deck. In the following foiling stints, the LEQ12 seemed to follow a path sailing mostly straight line: take off on portside tack, tacking onto starboard tack before bearing away and heading downwind, gybing and trimming back up.

Additionally to some two-boards time heading downwind, the team seemed to be testing several foiling modes. Considering the overlapped seastate, the LEQ12 looked well composed and upwind boat speeds, perhaps close reach/hauled, of 33-35kn have been recorded while after a quick bear away, RU chase could keep up with 39-41kn on broad reach.

The seabreeze looked to be decreasing to 8-11kn SSE, when Chase-2 suddenly dropped some marks to be rounded while the LEQ12 performed a series of quick tacks and gybes. Once the race course was laid, one windward/leeward lap was observed in addition to one practiced time-on-distance start. Approximately 15 minutes later, the marks were recovered by Chase-1 and the LEQ12 sailed for a little while free-sailing and came to a stop at 17:15. The team called it a day with a total foiling time of 83 out of 178 minutes with 13 tacks, 9 gybes [Michele Melis AC Recon].

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 65 - June 7, 2023 - Cagliari

  • Weather: Sunny 27°C
  • Wind Strength 10-14kts
  • Wind Direction: SSE
  • Sea State: Choppy
  • Roll out: 1120hrs Dock Out: 1500hrs
  • Dock In: 1720hrs Crane out: 1900hrs
  • Total Tacks: 13 - Fully foiling: 11; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 10 - Fully foiling: 8; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0

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

Emirates Team NZ - LEQ12 - Day 32 - June 8, 2023 - Auckland

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

Another two boat day with both yachts towed out to Rough Rock arriving at 10.48 to bend on canvas (sic). J3 and M2 were chosen and on their locks by 10.57.

A small run out Rangitoto Channel to a course of 2nm in length set off Milford and Takapuna beaches where we saw similar pre start drills to yesterday. Each yacht taking turns to lead in or chase. Not standard entry’s as both yachts came in on the same board. After the third or fourth pre start a one lap race would follow with more tacks and gybes than yesterday.

Not having timing meant not really knowing who won each start exactly but it was a fairly even day with my scoring showing the LEQ12 having done better than the AC40 in 6 of the 10 “starts”

The New foil looks to be both faster and higher up wind and lower and faster down, with a very effective high slow mode.

After the competition of the third set of pre start and race drills the marks started to be collected at 13.07 and after a good beat in 10-12 knots from the SE the LEQ12 came to a stop off Mechanics bay at 13.30 to drop sails and prep for the tow back to base.

Session Statistics - Emirates Team NZ - LEQ12 - Day 32 - June 8, 2023 - Auckland

  • Weather: 23°C 20% cloud cover, Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 10-16kts
  • Wind Direction: SE
  • Sea State: Choppy
  • Roll out: 0946hrs Dock Out: 1035hrs
  • Dock In: 1351hrs Crane out: 1427hrs
  • Total Tacks: 45 - Fully foiling: 43; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 35 - Fully foiling: 35; Touch & Go: 0; 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 58 - June 7, 2023 - Mallorca

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

The British team's unwavering faith in the weather forecast paid dividends today after a complete flat calm at midday eventually transitioned into an – albeit patchy and shifty – southerly gradient breeze that ramped up from 6 knots to as high as 15 at times.

The millpond conditions around midday could not have been more of a contrast to the lumpy, bumpy, seastate that the new breeze kicked up on the southern extreme of Palma Bay that featured a short swell mixed with a moderate chop. If this seaway made life unpleasant on board the three ribs chasing the British T6 LEQ12 test boat today, then the British sailors had plenty on trying to keep the boat flying cleanly.

Rather than shy away from the the rougher water the British crew – helmsmen Ben Ainslie and Giles Scott with flight controllers/trimmers Leigh McMillan and Luke Parkinson (with Ben Cornish in the fifth man/observer position on the starboard side) – dug hard into the fresher breeze and bigger waves further offshore, no doubt taking advantage of the chance to put their boat through its paces in some rare Barcelona-like conditions in Palma.

Given the trickier sea state it was no surprise that the tacks and gybes were less consistently slick than the previous day's flat water conditions and there were numerous splash downs both upwind and down. The team was sailing with a new M2-2 mainsail and initially a new J2-2 headsail (later swapped for the tried and trusted J3-2).

The day concluded with a long downwind run from just outside the bay heading back towards Palma's city front. The boat was a little over half way back when the breeze began to fade dropping it off the foils and triggering a long foiling bow tow back to the harbour where the process of dropping sails began at 1640.

The mainsail drop was delayed by a lack of lube on the luff tacks but was finally down at 1715. Dock in took place at 1730. No sailing is scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday).

Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 58 - June 7, 2023 - Mallorca

  • Weather: Cloudy and warm 23° C
  • Wind Strength 7-15kts
  • Wind Direction: 170°
  • Sea State: Choppy offshore
  • Roll out: 1015hrs Dock Out: 1130hrs
  • Dock In: 1730hrs Crane out: 1800hrs
  • Total Tacks: 20 - Fully foiling: 12; Touch & Go: 4; Touch Down: 4
  • Total Gybes: 23 - Fully foiling: 18; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 3

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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