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Cup Spy Sept 27: Swiss bring AC75 back into play

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 28 Sep 2023 04:32 PDT 27 September 2023
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 84 - Barcelona - September 27, 2023 © Paul Todd/America's Cup

Three teams sailed on Wednesday - Emirates Team New Zealand and American Magic from Barcelona, while Luna Rossa continued sailing off Cagliari, in their LEQ12 test boat. Alinghi Red Bull Racing launched their AC75 and did a couple of hours setup and testing, Orient Express Racing Team (FRA) trained alone in their AC40 One Design.

Cup Spy has left New Zealand for a couple of weeks. Over the coming fortnight - due to limited facilities - we can only produce a very limited analysis of the daily activities from the teams.

Normal service will resume on October 10.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - September 27, 2023 - Barcelona

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC75 for dock testing today.

ARBR started the day packing their AC40 gear in a container bound for Jeddah. Once the trailer left, they rolled out the AC75 at 10:40h with the same configuration as they did last week for their Open doors Red Bull event. T Wing with flat bulb and ETNZ Legacy Foil on starboard and Y Wing with round bulb and AM Legacy Foil on port side.

After the mast procedure, by 11:25h, the AC75 was craned into the water and placed alongside the chaseboat, where they spend two hours on electronic, hydraulic, comms and foil testing moving them up and down.

At 13:20h they craned the yacht back to the base and haul out.

American Magic - AC40/LEQ12 - September 27, 2023 - Barcelona

AM rolled out their AC40 "America" from the shed at 10.15 am. The boat was craned to the water at 10:53 and the team docked out at 12.45, as planned. The CMN3 main and the J3 were hoisted inside the port and were the only sails used during the day.

The original plan was to have a two-boat training session and then perform some races using marks. However, NYYC AM's second AC-40 "Magic" that came out from the port approximately forty-five minutes behind America, discovered some issues after sailing for half an hour on their own. After dealing with it for half an hour next to one of the team's chase boats, sails were lowered and Magic was slowly towed back to the base without being able to foil on the tow. The problem's source could not be identified, but Michael on the interview mentioned an oil leakage The team adjusted their plan for the day and continued to train with America on their own.

Standing with the same configuration as yesterday, today's training consisted of mostly sailing on a straight line, trying different modes, combined with some tacks and gybes.

As regards the maneuvers, the stronger the wind intensity, the easier it gets with these foils' configuration for NYYC AM to tack and gybe consistently flying, on both tacks.

Particularly, at the beginning of the day, when wind intensity was under 15 knots of TWS, tacking from starboard into port seemed really hard, touching down on most of the tacks, as yesterday.

However, as the wind intensity increased towards the afternoon, their tacking performance from starboard into port improved drastically. They were able to do most of the tacks flying consistently.

Nevertheless, in opposition, as the wind increased, it became harder to maintain the boat flying consistently on port tack when sailing upwind at full speed on VMG mode. They were regularly falling aggressively when the wind intensity was over 17 knots.

America was sailed back to the port, where sails were lowered at 17:05, the boat was back in the dock at 17:20, craned out at 17:50 and back in the shed at 18:15.

Sebastian Peri Brusa - Recon on NYYC AM

Emirates Team NZ - AC75 - September 27, 2023 - Barcelona

This week's second consecutive day of AC75 sailing for Emirates Team New Zealand was in sharp contrast to the sub-10 knot winds of the previous day with the early afternoon's 9-10 knots building to 15 knots by the end of the team's three hours and 45 minute session. Sea conditions began with a light wind-driven chop and zero swell building to a moderate 0.5 metre chop by the final hour of sailing. AC75 B2 rolled out at 1100 - thirty minutes delayed on the scheduled time. Rigging was completed by 1130 and the boat craned into the water 10 minutes later. Dock out was 1230 and by 1245 sails - M2-3 and J2-6 - were up by 1245.

The boat left the harbour at 1255 and was on foils almost immediately in 9-10 knots of wind and a slight chop. After a 15 minute fast (40 knots+) downwind run with one foiling gybe, the crew - helmsmen Peter Burling and Nathan Outteridge with Andy Maloney and Blair Tuke on sail trim / flight control (plus cyclors) - stopped to change headsails to the J3-6.

The boat set off again 15 minutes later for 35 minutes of windward leeward laps which stopped at 1400 for a rotation of the cyclors. Upwind speeds were in the low to mid-thirties. 15 minutes later the crew began a second session of windward / leeward laps which lasted 20 minutes before another stop to change to the J4-6 headsail. After 15 minutes the boat set off again but this time went straight into a series of three pre-start and then windward / leeward laps around a virtual racecourse.

This session took 30 minutes before another stop and cyclor rotation. A duplicate 30-minute session beginning at 1525 concluded with a long upwind session back to the harbour entrance that ended in a series of five short tacks along the harbour breakwater.

The boat came to a stop outside the harbour at 1550 with sails dropped by 1600 and dock-in taking place at 1615. Another AC75 sailing day has been scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday September 28).

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - September 27, 2023 - Cagliari

The Italian team LRPP opted for an afternoon seabreeze training day and rolled out their LEQ12 prototype at 12:30, quickly stepped mast and cables before craning in by 12:40. On the recently changed starboard wing several orange marked dots were observed across all wing span. After the usual dock checks, the team docked an hour later as the southerly seabreeze was filling in. The main M1-2 was hoisted by 13:40 followed by the J2-1. The LEQ12 was boarded by 6 crew, by means of 4 sailors and two guests on the joyride seats. Before taking off traveling at 16kn at 75TWA on portside tack, the breeze was measured at 12-14kn from 175 degrees with flat sea state.

During the first 48 minutes long foiling stint, the LEQ12 followed a course path, executing some tacks with straight line in between before bearing away on starboard tack for a long downwind run gybing once and trimming up again on portside tack. This procedure has been observed twice before changing the routine for the last two times on the other tack hence bearing away on portside tack. Once the LEQ12 came to a stop, sailors swapped between pods and onboard/offboard chase1.

The seastate has increased with chop from 180 of approx 0.5/0.7meters. The second foiling stint lasted approx 2 minutes ending shortly after sailing a while on portside tack quite low for end plating before dropping the windward board to decelerate, sailors gathered and seemed to debrief. No major as a minute after the LEQ12 performed the third self take off of the day and the training routine procedure kept on going for two runs.

After a long downwind run, the LEQ12 stopped closer to the harbour so to drop off the guests at the LRPP base while chase2 placed a windward and leeward gate. RU awaiting at leeward gate as the LEQ12 passed through and headed on its first upwind leg, bears away on the right hand windward mark splashing down after the first gybe. Here the pressure was measured at 15-17kn with some significant wind chop and the J2-1 was lowered to hoist the J4-1.

Once up and foiling the LEQ12 headed straight downwind, rounded the mark for another upwind leg and after crossing the line it sailed mostly downwind completing its last foiling stint in front of the harbour. Sails were lowered and the day was called after an approx total of 28 tacks,26 gybes, and 140 total minutes foiling time [Michele Melis AC Recon].

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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