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Cup Spy - June 9: Brits ring the changes on their test boat.

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 10 Jun 2023 06:08 PDT 10 June 2023
INEOS Britannia Team - Day 59 - T6 (LEQ12) - June 9, 2023 © Ugo Fonolla / America's Cup

Three teams sailed today - the Swiss, British and Italians - technically the Kiwis did too, but we covered their sail in our last report, as their content was available before our deadline.

What happened in the Cup - June 9, 2023:

  • Luna Rossa sailed out of Cagliari for the third successive day, after a ten day break.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing was two-boat racing off Barcelona. Once again Ernesto Bertarelli was back as a co-helmsman along with Dean Barker, and Jason Waterhouse on flight control. Whether these are permanent appointments to the "mushroom crew" remains to be seen.
  • After a day off the Brits emerged from the shed with several new tweaks - which had most observers guessing. Most obvious was a forward facing pitot tube on the starboard wingfoil. There was some demon-tweaking around the mast - all detailed in the report from the AC37 Joint Recon team. However the most intriguing was the action of one crew member painting a coating on the upper surface of the starboard wingfoil. The process was repeated three times - presumably with some form of speed coating which could be seen by the cameras - to show the behavior of the water as it encountered the foil.The Brits tried out some more developments, as described above and below. While the Brits will have signed off their final hull shape for their Cup raceboat, the testing of parts and innovations will continue almost right up to the Cup, which for the Challengers, starts in 14 months time.
  • As mentioned technically Emirates Team NZ raced on this day, Friday however with time zones being what they are, we ran their content as soon as it was available - which was was yesterday.
  • American Magic, last sailed on March 10, from Pensacola Fl, and is expected to be sailing from Barcelona around June 22.
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 59 - June 9, 2023 - Mallorca

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

Any ideas that the British team might be winding down as the end to their time in Mallorca looms were dismissed today when the British LEQ12 T6 test boat was wheeled out of the hangar sporting several changes to its set up.

Most obvious was the addition of a forward-facing pitot tube on the starboard foil, but a new rectangular open enclosure was spotted on the near the bottom of the aft face of the mast, as was a (perhaps) mylar patch on the forward edge of the mast above the spreaders which appeared more bulky on the starboard side. [S-W: a Pitot tube is an 18th century device to measure fluid (air or water) flow velocity.]

Also new was a fairing encircling the bottom of the mast - believed to be a way of smoothly tapering off the bottom front edge of the twin skin mainsail. Out on the water the crew - helmsmen Giles Scott and Ben Cornish with Bleddyn Mon and Iain Jensen on flight control/sail trim (with Luke Parkinson in the fifth man / observer spot at the back on the starboard side) - had clearly been given a list of maneuvers and tests to perform. The most interesting of these involved the application of some sort of coating to the upper outer surface of the starboard foil. Once applied the team would set off on starboard upwind, tack, sail for a few hundred metres in bow up mode and then stop.

A crew member would photograph the foil and then reapply the substance. This process was repeated three times.

Later the focus switched to fast straight line sailing with the crew first sailing upwind on one tack from the Palma city front south out of the confines of the bay, where - after a tack or gybe - they would sail the reciprocal angle back downwind. After three rounds of this a stop was made for new batteries and to change from the J3-2 to the J4-1 headsail (wind now around 15 kts with gusts to nearly 17kts).

To round off the day coach Rob Wilson laid a windward/leeward practice course with a single windward mark and a two-buoy leeward gate. Only one practice start was made with the crew sailing three fast laps before a prolonged stop at 1630 to remedy an unidentified issue (perhaps with the mainsheet system as this seemed to be getting a lot of attention) ended with sails starting to be dropped at 1645. Dock in was at 1715. The team will not sail over the weekend.



Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 59 - June 9, 2023 - Mallorca

  • Weather: Sunny, scattered rain 15 degrees - 19 degrees C
  • Wind Strength 9-16kts Moderate chop
  • Wind Direction: 180 degrees
  • Roll out: 1135hrs Dock Out: 1232hrs
  • Dock In: 1715hrs Crane out: 1755hrs
  • Total Tacks: 24 - Fully foiling: 18; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 3
  • Total Gybes: 21 - Fully foiling: 15; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 3

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 67 - June 9, 2023 - Cagliari

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team - Michele Melis:

The Italian LEQ12 rolled out at 09:20 and was craned in by 09:40 with dockout scheduled for an hour later.

On both foil wings a fence along the leading edge was added towards approximately half of outboard wing span. As soon as the yacht was craned in, the usual Protocol checks followed and the main M1 was locked in the mast fittings and paired with the J1.5 onto which a new window was sewn on its foot.

Once again, the forecast looked valuable for data gathering in conditions closer to AC venue with some offset between wind and wave direction: choppy seastate overlapped with low period 4s SE swell with slightly patchy seabreeze from S between 9-13kn over the day.

The LEQ12 was all set and boarded by six crew during the whole day with rotating members on the joyride seat. The first of several self takeoffs followed by a tack were observed before dropping back hull borne having entered a patch without any pressure.

Quickly was the LEQ12 towed to gain some boat speed and released when up and fully foiling, several intensive series of tacks and gybes followed. Several splash down were observed either exiting maneuver, bearing away and sailing downwind; no major as the LEQ12 was quickly foiling again. At noon, Chase-2 laid out the usual race course with marks and the LEQ12 picked up pace having to occasionally deal with Chase-1 interference for approximately four uncompleted laps while not engaging in the starting box for two times on distance practices.

Having collected the marks, the LEQ12 sailed freely for while until the team called it a day with a total foiling time of 85 out of 194 minutes with 19 tacks, 17 gybes [Michele Melis AC Recon].


Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Day 67 - June 9, 2023 - Cagliari

  • Weather: Rainy 25 degreesC
  • Wind Strength 5-12kts
  • Wind Direction: S
  • Sea State: Swell 1mtr
  • Roll out: 0940hrs Dock Out: 1040hrs
  • Dock In: 1350hrs Crane out: 1500hrs
  • Total Tacks: 19 - Fully foiling: 13; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 4
  • Total Gybes: 17 - Fully foiling: 10; Touch & Go: 4; Touch Down: 3

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

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 - Day 34 - June 9, 2023 - Barcelona

From the AC37 Joint Recon team:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC40-4 (YELLOW) and AC40-4 (RED) at 08:45 and 09:25 respectively, and prepared both boats at the dock for another day of side by side testing and data gathering, a very similar schedule to the previous day. The afternoon 'Garbi' wind gradually intensified from 10-12 knots to 13-15 knots, shifted to South-Southwest. A short chop of 0.6m with a 3 second period grew from the South as the day progressed. One Design sails were used throughout the day on both boats, both starting with J2 jibs, with only an LE mast on the AC40-4 out of class.

Sailing commenced at 12:05, with over an hour of long upwind and downwind stretches, sailing in different modes and playing with setups, as well as switching windward and leeward positions multiple times on the each tack. The first stint ended in front of Badalona, with the YELLOW boat, crewed by Dean Barker and Ernesto Bertarelli, changing to the J3 as the wind started to increase. Meanwhile, the RED boat struggled to drop and hoist the jib, with a sailor going up the mast on multiple occasions.

The YELLOW boat drilled a few tacks and gybes until the RED boat was back under way 15 minutes later.

The AC40s were sailed on long tacks back out to sea, reaching as far as 7NM from land. On the downwind back towards land, large clouds formed and lightning was spotted just North of Barcelona.

The team arrived at Port Olimpic and turned back upwind, sailing out on starboard until the wind eased down to 10 knots from the South, as the large cloud formation grew over the land. At this point, the RED boat tacked back and sailed to land, as the YELLOW boat touched down and required a tow start back to base.

Sails were dropped and an end to the session was called 15:30.

The team spent almost four and a half hours, covering 80 Nautical Miles, the most the team have covered in a single day. 32 manoeuvres were observed of the YELLOW boat, 91% fully foiling.


Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 - Day 34 - June 9, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Wind Strength: 12-15kts
  • Wind Direction: SSW
  • Weather: Sunny 22C
  • Sea State: Beaufort 3
  • AC40-4 Crane In: 0920hrs Dock Out: 1135hrs
  • AC40-7 Crane In: 0930hrs Dock Out: 1130hrs
  • AC40-4 Dock In: 1555hrs Crane Out: 1610hrs
  • AC40-7 Dock In: 0910hrs Dock Out: 1615hrs
  • Total Tacks: 16; Fully foiling: 14; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 16; Fully foiling: 15; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0
  • AC40-4 - Yellow bowsprit; AC40-7 - Red bowsprit;
  • Both AC40s used One Design Wing Foils, Foil Arms, Rudders and Rudder Elevators.
  • Crew: Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Ernesto Bertarelli, Dean Barker, Jason Waterhouse, Yves Detrey, Bryan Mettraux, Nicolas Rolaz

    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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