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Cup Spy Sept 1, 2023: American Magic chops through the foil and sail test schedule

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 2 Sep 2023 07:05 PDT 31 August 2023
American Magic - AC40 - Day 62 - Barcelona - September 1, 2023 © Paul Todd/America's Cup

All six Cup teams sailed off Barcelona. Five participated Practice Racing ahead of the first Preliminary Event in mid September. American Magic chose to skip the Practice Racing and do development testing. Skipper Paul Goodison said he was very pleased with their achievements this week - hey were helped with hitting a good patch of consistent breeze on both days.

What happened in the Cup - September 1, 2023:

  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing, INEOS Britannia, Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and Orient Express Racing Team sailed in the Practice Racing for the second day. Two more days are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of next week.
  • American Magic sailed one of their AC40's undertaking mainsail testing, instead of the Practice Racing. They encountered a challenging sea-state with several spectacular splashdowns.

Commentary: American Magic tick off testing schedule

American Magic decided to skip the Practice Racing for the second successive day. As new coach Kyle Langford explained yesterday, the US team have some design deadlines to meet and decided to spend Thursday and Friday on foil and sail testing.

Today, they used only one AC40 with a test foil on both foil arms.

Elia Miquel of the AC37 Joint Recon Program watched the session and caught up with American Magic's skipper, Pau Goodison - a Gold medalist in the Laser class at the 2008 Olympics in Qingdao, China.

"It was a fantastic day, " he said after the session. "Obviously, we had a lot of things on the test list to get through today, the two main sails being the real primary goal. Both are custom mainsails to different sizes. And as it was, the forecast just worked out beautifully.

"We started off in that 8kts to 12kts with it slowly building. And then by the time we switched over main sails, we were seeing 14kts and up to 20kts, at times when we're a long way offshore."

"We managed to see both main sails in their conditions and get a bit of a read for them. So it was a really good day."

From the Recon boat, American Magic was observed to be nose-diving when sailing on the portside foil.

Goodison explained that they didn't have some of the settings right in the early phases of the session, and got the technical team on the Chase boat to make some alterations.

"By the end of the day, they felt a lot more settled, and the things we're testing seemed to come good," he said.

Elia Miquel said they had observed American Magic hitting 38kts on one of the long reaches, and asked Goodison how much of the leg had been done on autopilot and how much on manual flight control?

"We were playing around and switching between them all day," Goodison explained. "I think a couple of times we're through a manual flight over 40 kts, and a couple of times we're autopilot over 40 kts. But it's a matter of getting a bit of a feel for the differences between the two sessions and just seeing what we can learn."

Goodison said he was happy with what the team had achieved over the week of testing - which began testing foils and hydrodynamics and finished with aerodynamics - the sails and rig.

However, he admitted that on Thursday and Friday, "it's always hard when you look over your shoulder and see the other guys racing and feel like you're missing out a bit."

"But we've achieved what we needed to do. Next week, the focus is to race, and hopefully, we will get amongst the other AC40s and get some race practice.

Weather conditions at Barcelona September 1, 2023:

In the two charts above - the top one showing a 24hr view and the second chart showing 48hrs of data recorded at a height of 12 metres at Port Olimpic at the shore side of the America's Cup course. American Magic docked out at 1300hrs when the breeze was hitting 12kts today. It built to 17kts gusting 20kts later in the day. American Magic docked in at 1700hrs.

In the 48hr view we can see a repetitive pattern in the breeze, which is of interest as we are now inside the 12 month window for the 2024 America's Cup which gets underway around August 22, 2024.

The wind was slightly stronger today than yesterday. But on both days the breeze stablised in the South 180° around noon, and did not move very much all day.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

American Magic - AC40-OD x 2 - Day 62 - September 1, 2023 - Barcelona

It was a big testing day for the American Magic team, who rolled out only one of the AC40s from the shed.

America docked out at 13:00hrs with Tom Slingsby, Lucas Calabrese, Michael Menninger and Andrew Campbell on board. Later in the session they switched with the second crew. NYYC AM team did not join the practice race, for the second successive day, as their primary goal was on testing two different main sails.

They hoisted the Main and J2 inside the harbour, in a flat sea state and with 8kts of wind from 200º . They started foiling from inside the harbour.

After five minutes, and single tack and gybe they hoisted a different J2 and proceeded to do two laps, which consisted of 3 tacks and 2 gybe.

The wind slowly built to 15kts and choppy sea conditions when they lowered the Main and the J2.

At 14:43hrs, they started bearing away with a different Main and J3.

The crew seemed to be pushing the boat beyond its limits as they stopped at 15:05hrs after five ventilations that made them lose all their speed. Elia Miquel - Recon Unit NYYC AM

Session Statistics: American Magic - AC40-OD x 2 - Day 62 - September 1, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Weather: Sunny 24° C
  • Wind Strength: 8-15ktskts
  • Wind Direction: 205°
  • Sea State: Choppy 0.5mtr
  • Crane In: 1045hrs Dock Out: 1300hrs
  • Dock In: 1705hrs Crane out: 1850hrs
  • Total Tacks: 17 - Fully foiling: 13; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 3
  • Total Gybes: 12 - Fully foiling: 9; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 3

Crew: America: Tom Slingsby, Lucas Calabrese, Michael Menninger, Andrew Campbell and Paul Goodison.

Images from Practice Racing

Results from Practice Racing - Day 2 - Barcelona:
Race 1
1/ Alinghi Red Bull Racing
2/ INEOS Britannia
3/ Emirates Team New Zealand]
4/ Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
5/ Orient Express Racing Team

Race 2
1/ Emirates Team New Zealand
2/ Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
3/ Alinghi Red Bull Racing
4/ INEOS Britannia
5/ Orient Express Racing Team

Race 3
1/ Emirates Team New Zealand
2/ Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
3/ Alinghi Red Bull Racing
4/ Orient Express Racing Team
(INEOS Britannia retired)

Race 4
1/ Emirates Team New Zealand
2/ Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli
(Alinghi Red Bull Racing, INEOS Britannia, Orient Express Racing Team DNF)

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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