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Cup Spy Oct 9: A busy day at Barcelona for all teams in magical summer weather

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 10 Oct 2023 06:40 PDT 11 October 2023
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 90 - Barcelona - October 9, 2023 © Paul Todd/America's Cup

On Monday five teams sailed in idyllic conditions, as Summer showed it was not yet done with Barcelona.

Two - Alinghi Red Bull Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their Version 1, upgraded AC75s. The third American Magic sailed paired AC40s.

The remaining two, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and INEOS Britannia trained alone. There were no images or reports of Orient Express Racing Team sailing, however it is assumed they were also out.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - October 9, 2023 - Barcelona

Champagne conditions for Alinghi Red Bull Racing team, who did 40 manoeuvres around 70 nautical miles in almost four hours of sailing session.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing (ARBR) team rolled out their AC75 at 10:00h. The yacht was craned in and pre-sailing checks were carried out, with electronic, system, hydraulic and IT engineers on board.

The team docked out at 12:00hrs, hoisting the M2-2R mainsail and J1-2R headsail inside the port and being towed out by 12:22hrs. The wind conditions outside were 10knts from 'Garbí' 220º with clear skies and fairly flat sea state. Today's session was focused on manoeuvres and to check on the performance of the boat in those wind and sea state conditions.

At 12:24hrs, they started sailing in front of la Barceloneta beach. The first stint, consisted on nineteen manoeuvres during two laps upwind-downwind making 40knts average. With the breeze raising up, they did a jib change. . At 13:18hrs, they were sailing with their bow down low on their starboard foil compared with the other tack, crashing with the waves and touching-down in both of the tacks that they did during that period.

Following, they did another jib change, hoisting the J3-1R with the repaired clew that they broke last week during a hard nose-dive. . At 13:40hrs, on the third stint, they did two more laps with nine tight angle manoeuvres playing with the cant angle. They stopped after a tack and changed crew configuration. Beside the chase boat, they spotted oil leaking out of the system on their port foil arm and after twenty minutes, they managed to solve the problem and called it a minor issue.

At 14:35hrs, with 12 knots average from 220º, they started bearing away for a long run on their port foil, following with two more laps and a zig-zagging downwind with hard luffs approaching to the coast. . At 15:15hrs, they started the last stint, which consisted of nine fully foiling manoeuvres during two laps of twenty-five minutes. By 15:40hrs, ARBR team lowered the sails and towed the AC75back inside the harbour, docking in at 16:10hrs.

[Report by Michele Melis AC Recon].

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - October 9, 2023 - Barcelona

Emirates Team New Zealand began the week with a three hour session aboard their last generation AC75 sailed in close to perfect training conditions with the breeze in the 12-14 knot range and flat to very light chop sea state.

The Kiwi yacht began rolling out of the hangar at a fraction after midday and with the mast setup completed in just 30 minutes the boat was craned into the water at 1236. After docking out on time at 1330 the team had the M2-3 mainsail and J4-6 headsail hoisted by 1350hrs and were out of the harbour and up on foils at 1355hrs.

Making the most of the then 12-13 knots of southerly wind and the super flat sea state the crew set off on a long fast downwind run at speeds estimated to be in the high 40 knot range.

After four smooth and fast foiling gybes the boat turned up for a long upwind run with six foiling tacks. Another long windward / leeward lap followed immediately before two more shorter (half distance) laps preceded a stop at 1420. When the crew set off again 15 minutes later the began a series of 'races' around a virtual windward leeward course.

Based on the prestart manoeuvring and the highly unpredictable pattern of tacks and gybes around the racecourse it seems likely the crew are racing against some sort of virtual competitor - although how that 'ghost' boat might be being controlled is impossible to say.

After three of these practice races there was another stop at 1450 to rotate the cyclors.

Although this stop lasted in the end for 30 minutes there were no obvious signs on deck of a breakdown with the crew simply sitting or standing as they waited to get under way again. Two more 30-minute, three-race sessions were held (with a 15 minute break in between) before time was called at 1625 with sail dropped by 1645 ahead of a 1655hrs dock in.

[Justin Chisholm]

American Magic - AC40 x 2 - October 9, 2023 - Barcelona

NYYC AM rolled out their AC40s from the shed at 09.00 (Magic) and at 09:12 (America).

Both boats on LEQ12 mode, with the same foils' configuration as last week, but both with modifications on their respective port side wings

Magic with foil wing #1 and foil flap #1 (FW1 and FF1) on the port side, with modifications on the wing, and foil wing and foil flap #4 on the starboard side (FW4 and FF4).

America was composed with foil wing and flap #3 (FW3 and FF3), also with modifications on this port side wing, and with foil wing and flap #2 (FW2 and FF2) on the starboard side.

America was quickly craned to the water at 09.40, while in contrast Magic stayed ashore for one hour until 10.45. During this time, the shore team checked the tension on the shrouds. First on the uppers with the lowers disconnected, and then with the lowers connected.

In addition, the system for adjusting the rudder rake was checked moving it forward and backwards multiple times.

In the meantime, on America, a shore team member worked with materials on the port side steering cockpit, while another person worked on the inside of the back part of the starboard side trimmer's cockpit. It could not be identified what they were specifically doing.

Furthermore, blue circular Dacron insignia stickers were added on the masts of both boats, not sure for which purpose.

Both boats docked out at 11:30, as planned.

The same one-design main sails as last week were selected again for both boats. Once out of the port, one-design J1s were hoisted at 11:55 approximately, on both boats.

The first part of the day consisted of speed testing. Two long upwind and downwinds were carried out. On the downwinds, specially on starboard tack, America was lower at same speed, with more abilities to play different modes, while Magic was higher, at times faster, but not being able to achieve the same downwind VMG as America.

On the upwinds on starboard tack no conclusive evidence could be achieved, while on port tack magic standing on foil #4 was slightly faster the two times.

At 12:50 there was a short break and the J1s were replaced by J3s on both boats, as the wind intensity was increasing quickly.

Once on the J3s, while speed testing for 40 minutes, the comparative performances in between the two boats, both upwind and downwind and in the two tacks, were maintained.

At 13:45 while sailing downwind, issues onboard America were found and both boats came to a stop. After dealing with it for fifteen minutes, with shore team members going under the deck through the front hatch, no solution could be found, and sails were lowered at 14:00.

Immediately after, America was towed back to the base in displacement mode at low speeds.

At 14:20 the training continued onboard Magic, which headed towards the racing area and practiced some upwind-downwind laps using marks, doing three to four tacks/gybes per leg, including some pre-starts maneuvers.

The hardest maneuvers were tested such as double tacks just before the top mark rounding, sharp turns in the pre-start box area, double gybes just before the gate mark rounding, and also performing early tacks just after the gate mark rounding.

At 15:08 there was a twenty-minute break in which some crew members were rotated and then the training continued for twenty-five more minutes with the same focus.

Magic entered the port and lowered sails at 16:00, docked at 16:05 and then both boats were craned out. America at 16.20 and Magic half an hour after, approximately, indicating the end of the day.

[Sebastian Peri Brusa - Recon on NYYC AM]

Weather Observations - Port Olimpic

It was a very good day in Barcelona in Barcelona, with the breeze settling in at 12-15kts and stayed at close to that strength from 1200hrs until after 1800hrs.

The breeze was steady at about 180° (South).

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. Weather information is by Predictwind

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