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Cup Spy July 24: American Magic exploit testing rule

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 25 Jul 2023 18:49 PDT 25 July 2023
INEOS Britannia and American Magic - LEQ12 - Day 44 - July 22, 2023 - Barcelona © Paul Todd/America's Cup

Three America's Cup teams sailed using various strategies from two-boat racing testing in Barcelona, to a first sail in Barcelona, to a solo testing sail session in Cagliari. Emirates Team NZ are expected to be out on Tuesday.

What happened in the Cup - July 24, 2023:

  • INEOS Britannia have set up in their new base in Barcelona and went sailing today in their AC40.
  • American Magic - sailed out their AC40 and LEQ12 out of Barcelona, they exploited a provision in the AC40 Class Rule 12 which allows development parts to be switched between AC40 hulls - which works the way of teams which own two or more AC40s. However the part cannot be modified between uses on boats.
  • Luna Rossa - sailed their LEQ12 from Cagliari.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing did not sail. The team are moving into their new permanent base, in Port Vell.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand have shut down their sailing program until Tuesday.
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

Weather conditions at Barcelona July 24, 2023:

On the water the AC37 Recon teams reported a breeze of 10-14kts, and a breeze from 110°-120°. At the real-time observation station at Port Olimpic the wind averaged 12.5kts around 1500-1600hrs, gusting 16kts from 170° to 090° blowing at this strength and direction until 2200hrs when it dropped to 2kts and swung to 260°.


American Magic used a legal exploitation of a provision of the rules which permit the teams, if they own two AC40 hulls, then they can switch the development parts and configurations using two hulls, instead of just one hull (which becomes an LEQ12). The provision allows more combinations of test gear to be evaluated - for example with one development wing foil being carried on different AC40s on different days. If the teams are testing with One Design sails, then the provision means that the boats can be calibrated on one tack, and then tested on the other tack where the two foils can be tested with all other factors being equal.

The situation is well explained in the video below from Mozzy Sails.

Of course, the seaway is not equal for both tacks. Also there is no certainty that the results from the test boat will scale up to the AC75 Race boat, as the 38.5fter and the 69fter (overall length) have different foiling geometries.

Further as always, the teams need to "test their tests" to make sure that the results from the sailing sessions are accurate and are not compromised by factors which emerge after the session, and which taint the test data.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Report:

Luna Rossa - LEQ12 - Day 44 - July 24, 2023 - Cagliari

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team:

Today the Italian LRPP team rolled out their LEQ12 prototype at 12:00 and the yacht touched water at 12:15.

Routine checks followed and the yacht was towed out of the harbour on point at 1300hrs.

The mainsail M1-1 was hoisted with the J4-1 as the seabreeze was steady and strong measuring 12-14kn from 175TWA according to the RU anemometer with increasing choppy seastate. With six crew onboard, the first foiling stint began with a light pull on port tack by Chase2 before the LEQ12 self took off pretty easily considering the seastate.

Once up and foiling the prototype performed a series of tacks before a touching down on the last one. Not a major as the LEQ12 was back up foiling shortly after completing the usual sailing path around the gulf while some marks have been already laid out.

The chop seemed to be increasing with approx 1m height and after a short break the prototype headed to the leeward gate for a prestart and sailed around the course for four legs. The second prestart practice was interrupted by a heavy splash down exiting the gybe after which some checks were made by shore crew below deck while sailors gathered around the jib track.

Three additional foiling stints were counted taking off self-fly with the usual leeward crews on windward before crossing once speed has been gained; then the team seemed to conduct series of maneuvers off the race course.

After a long straight line run downwind the LEQ12 stopped in by the harbour gate while Chase 2 went back to the base bringing the newest mainsail out. M1-1 was lowered with the J4-1 while M1-2 was hoisted with the J1.5; now the wind conditioned looked slightly Barcelona like with some decent chop and the decreased seabreeze to 8-10kn 175 TWA.

Once all set, the LEQ12 sailed for another 25 minutes executing several maneuvers closer to shore before coming to a stop for the day with 3 pre-starts, approx. 119 foiling minutes, 31 tacks, and 32 gybes.

- [Michele Melis AC Recon].

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa - LEQ12 - Day 79 - July 24, 2023 - Cagliari

  • Weather: Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 9-14kts
  • Wind Direction: 170°-175°
  • Sea State: Beaufort Choppy
  • Crane In: 1215hrs Dock Out: 1300hrs
  • Dock In: 1920hrs Crane out: 1940hrs
  • Total Tacks: 31 - Fully foiling: 25; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 4
  • Total Gybes: 32 - Fully foiling: 27; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 3

Crew: Francesco Bruni, Marco Gradoni, Andrea Tesei Umberto Molineris, Ruggero Tita, and Bruno Rosetti

American Magic - LEQ12 - Day 44 - July 24, 2023 - Barcelona

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team:

Full racing mode today with Magic on LEQ12 configuration.

Magic rolled out at 0915hrs with a One Design wing foil on port, and the silver wing foil on starboard side - the same one that America, not sailing today, has been using so far.

Initial crew was Harry with Riley and Severin with Lucas, but they had a full crew rotation half way through the day with Paul and Michael plus Finn and Andrew. They began sailing at 1229hrs after a longer than usual jib hoist with mainsail #3 and jib #2.

Conditions were slightly gentler than yesterday, but not flat yet. Wind was 7-9kt from 160° wind and wind shop of 0.7m at 3.3sec periods from 180°, with a cross swell of 1.2m, with 4.5sec periods from 100° swell.

Four marks were laid, consisting of a windward gate plus leeward gate, and two laps were sailed before stopping at 1307hrs to change the initial jib #2 for another jib #2 that we couldn’t identify.

Then they sailed four more one-lap races and one two-lap race with short stops to debrief in between each of them.

Plenty of prestart, two foil, maneuvers were executed and round ups at the leeward gate were getting better and better as the day went by.

Plenty of tacks, 47, and gybes, 27, executed as well but not all of them clean as the waves were still there to complicate things.

Again, many crash-splashes, four, due to either ventilation or to dropping the hull to windward that required a complete restart of the boat.

This is the list of races with times including prestart periods:

  • Race 1 & 2: 1229hrs to 1258hrs, one lap each.
  • Race 3: 1313hrs to 1328hrs, one lap.
  • Race 4: 1338hrs to 1404hrs, two laps.
  • Race 5: 1429hrs to 1504hrs, one lap.
  • Race 6: 1517hrs to 1533hrs, one lap.
  • Race 7 & back to port: 1541hrs to 1607hrs, one lap.
  • Dock in was at 1626hrs.

- Lea Sitjà (AC37 Joint Recon team)

Session Statistics: American Magic - LEQ12 - Day 44 - July 24, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Weather: Cloudy
  • Wind Strength 10-14kts
  • Wind Direction: 110°-120°
  • Sea State: Beaufort 5
  • Crane In: 0915hrs Dock Out: 1136hrs
  • Dock In: 1544hrs Crane out: 1710hrs
  • Total Tacks: 47 - Fully foiling: 30; Touch & Go: 7; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 27 - Fully foiling: 21; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 6

Crew:Lucas Calabrese, Harry Melges, Paul Goodison, Finn Rowe, Riley Gibbs, Severin Gramm, Andrew Campbell, Michael Menninger

This commentary was written and compiled from video, still images and statistical content extracted from the AC37">">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.

Additional Images:

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