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Cup Spy - June 8: Kiwi 'A' Team gets the hurry up from their match race crew

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 9 Jun 07:42 PDT 10 June 2023
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 66 - June 8, 2023 - Cagliari © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

The Swiss, Italian and New Zealand teams sailed today - all in their 40fters (LEQ12 and AC40 One Designs) with the Kiwis and Swiss indulging in some two boat testing.

The Kiwis sailed their two AC40's returned to their one-design state in a series of exercises including multiple pre-starts and some one leg races. The alternate crew took it to the first-stringers. However maybe that should not be a surprise, given that outside America's Cup racing, the "second" crew is more experienced at Match Racing, with Josh Junior having won a NZ National Match racing championship. Leonard Takahashi is the most experienced match racer in the squad, having sailed at Congressional Cup level, and multiple national and international youth championship events.

Luna Rossa had a day for sponsors and team officials. The weather also showed up in the form of a 16-18kts SSE breeze, ideal conditions for the Italian team to put on a show for their backers.

The Swiss made some changes to their AC40 being used as test boat, removing the "tubercle" test wing foil, and replacing it with an AC40 One Design foil. The team did some straight line testing with the two boats, however the session was brought to an early end when a team drone crashed into the starboard mainsail skin, putting a hole in the fabric.

What happened in the Cup - June 8 & 9 (NZ), 2023:

  • Luna Rossa sailed out of Cagliari for the second successive day, sailing in a fresh breeze in front of team backers and senior officials.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand resumed two boat testing - but struggled to find a minimum strength breeze - eventually doing so off Eastern Beach in the area better known as Course E in the 2021 America's Cup. Counting up the outcomes of the various exercises, the alternate crew beat the 2021 America's Cup crew, 4 wins to 3 wins.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing also encountered light winds off Barcelona, but enough for foiling, and have a five hour session, marred by the drone strike covered in the AC37 Joint Recon team's report. Ernesto Bertarelli was back as a co-helmsman along with Dean Barker, and Jason Waterhouse on flight control.
  • American Magic, last sailed on March 10, from Pensacola Fl, and is expected to be sailing from Barcelona around June 22.
  • INEOS Britannia did not sail.
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 66 - June 8, 2023 - Cagliari

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team - Michele Melis:

The Italian LEQ12 rolled out at 11:00 and the yacht was craned in by 11:20 with dockout scheduled for 12:45.

It appeared to be an important day for the team as all the main sponsors and officials were present, some of which were hosted on board as well.

As soon as the yacht was craned in, the usual protocol checks followed. Expecting higher range breeze, the mainsail M2 was locked in the mast fittings and fully hoisted just outside the harbour pairing with the J4 with an added window sewn on its foot. The forecast looked valuable with steady 16-18kn SSE sea-breeze with increasing significant chop reaching approximately 1m towards the end of the sailing day.

The LEQ12 was all set by 13:10 and the first of several self takeoffs was recorded with occasionally up to six crew members sitting to windward and crossing to leeward one after another when the LEQ12 gained speed bearing away slightly almost skimming on waves and trimming back up when foilborne.

The sea-state certainly provided for some take off challenges but the team seemed to improve the transition during the day along with the foil-to-foil maneuvers ratio playing with some cant angles and usage of windward board. Exiting the first tack, the LEQ12 splashed down and self took off shortly after on starboard tack sailing straight line towards offshore before bearing away and heading more inshore sailing around the VIP boat for a while. By 14:00 the seabreeze seemed to have dropped slightly and the J4 has been lowered hoisting the J2 and sailed with it for several stints offshore of Giorgino before heading downwind towards the harbour gate coming to a stop.

The LEQ12 was then back on tow line and floating for 45 minutes while chase1 entered the harbour boarding other guests. At 15.45 Chase-2 dropped off two pairs of guest which were hosted on the joyride seats and the LEQ12 performed some short stints including some tricky bear-aways in increased choppy seastate before coming to a stop. With significant choppy seastate RU struggled to fully keep up with the LEQ12 on several courses and opted for anticipating its course for steadier footage. The team called it a day with a total foiling time of 75 out of 238 minutes with 12 tacks, 9 gybes [Michele Melis AC Recon].

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 66 - June 8, 2023 - Cagliari

  • Weather: Sunny 27 degreesC
  • Wind Strength 13-17kts
  • Wind Direction: SSE
  • Sea State: Choppy SSE 1mtr
  • Roll out: 1130hrs Dock Out: 1245hrs
  • Dock In: 1640hrs Crane out: 1800hrs
  • Total Tacks: 12 - Fully foiling: 7; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 2
  • Total Gybes: 9 - Fully foiling: 5; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 2

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

Emirates Team NZ - LEQ12 - Day 33 - June 9, 2023 (NZT) - Auckland

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

Another two boat day with both AC40 yachts towed out to Northern Leading to bend on sails arriving at 12.20.

The LEQ12 hoisted a new one design main and a new OD #2 jib. The Jib went up and down several times, each time after attention to each batten and the corners was observed, at 12.29 the J2 was on its lock, The Main on its lock at 12.34.

At 12.47 both yachts were off chase and sailing to windward out the Motukorea channel (Browns Island, at the western end of Course E from 2021 AC) keeping in close company.

At 13.10 both yachts arrived at the start area of the course that chase one had prepared at the western end of the Back Paddock (Course E from 2021 AC.

With Chase-1 just off her bow the LEQ12 dropped her main at 13.18. We saw a lot of attention being focused on the batten ends.

At 13.42 the main was back on its lock and she was sailing again at 13.52 in a gentle 6-7 knots from the SSE.

We then watched three quick pre start drills finishing at the first cross. The AC40 won two starts and the LEQ 12 one.

The yachts now paused at 14.20 after the third pre start went into a one lap race which the LEQ 12 won by 20 seconds.

At 14.30 we went into another session of starting drills with only two more full laps of the course observed. The focus appeared to be on pre start and timing.

Of this block of five starts, two were even the AC40 won two, and the LEQ12 won one.

The race marks began to be pulled at 15.14 as the yachts started running for home, In fading breeze the LEQ12 and AC40 came to a stop off of Mechanics Bay at 15.31.

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

  • Weather: 18 degreesC Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 6-12kts
  • Wind Direction: SE
  • Sea State: Moderate
  • Roll out: 1117hrs Dock Out: 1205hrs
  • Dock In: 1551hrs Crane out: 1623hrs
  • Total Tacks: 47 - Fully foiling: 45; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 30 - Fully foiling: 28; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 1

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

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 - Day 33 - June 8, 2023 - Barcelona

From the AC37 Joint Recon team:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC40-7 (Red) and AC40-4 (Yellow) at 08:50 and 09:25 respectively, and prepared both boats at the dock for a day of testing and data gathering.

The Delta Tubercle foil has been removed from the starboard foil arm of the AC40-4 and replaced with the original One Design foil. The GoPro mountings were also removed from the masthead.

The afternoon 'Garbi' wind maintained relatively consistent speeds, ranging between 5-8 knots, and predominantly oscillated between due South and South-Southeast directions.

The team continued to use their M1-1 LE mainsail on the AC40-4, however started with the J1-1 OD for the first stint before switching to the J1-1 LE for the remainder of the day. The AC40-7 sailed with the M1-1 and J1-1 OD sails all day.

Sailing commenced at midday. Unfortunately the first hour of sailing was lost from the GPX file. The two boats met and sailed downwind to the forum, before turning upwind to sail on starboard towards the horizon. After both boats tacked, they continued upwind on port for a long stretch, bearing away once they reached the Port of Barcelona and sailing a two gybe downwind, 8nm to Badalona.

After a short break and a jib switch, the yacht was tow started and side by side sailing continued, as the yachts often switched positions, played around with and compared different settings, trying to figure out what works best. This was repeated several over several stints, until the team drone crashed into the starboard mainsail skin, putting a hand size hole in the leech of the M1-1LE mainsail.

The sails of the Yellow boat were dropped, and the yacht was towed back to base. Meanwhile the Red boat continued sailing upwind, drilling tacks, before turning downwind back to the base.

The team spent almost five hours on the water, covering just under 60NM. Out of the nine maneuvers observed, eight were fully foiling.

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 - Day 33 - June 8, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Wind Strength: 6-8kts
  • Wind Direction: SSE
  • Weather: Sunny 22 degreesC
  • Sea State: Beaufort 2-3
  • AC40-4 Crane In: 0945hrs Dock Out: 1125hrs
  • AC40-7 Crane In: 0910hrs Dock Out: 1130hrs
  • AC40-4 Dock In: 0945hrs Crane Out: 1125hrs
  • AC40-7 Dock In: 0910hrs Dock Out: 1130hrs
  • Total Tacks: 3; Fully foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 6; Fully foiling: 5; Touch & Go: 8; Touch Down: 1
  • Crew: Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Ernesto Bertarelli, 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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