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Cup Spy Oct 11: Four teams sail on Wednesday again in superb foiling conditions

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 16 Oct 2023 01:01 PDT 16 October 2023
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 and Luna Rossa (AC40) - Day 92 - Barcelona - October 11, 2023 © Paul Todd/America's Cup

Four America's Cup Challengers sailed on Wednesday in outstanding conditions for sailing foiling monohulls of both the AC75 and AC40 genre.

What happened in the Cup - October 11, 2023:

  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - sailed out of Barcelona in their AC40OD. While we have video and an interview, there is no report.
  • INEOS Britannia - Did not sail - their test boat T6 is still in the shed after the catastrophic destruction of their rudder and rudder assembly during a towing session.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their AC75, turning in an excellent dry tack/gybe percentage of 1.6% - only doing one "touch and go" of the 61 tacks/gybes performed in the session
  • American Magic sailed their two AC40s, again in development testing - with test wingfoils and one design rigs.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing sailed their AC75 in a session apparently more aimed at sailing style and technique, trying different options.
  • Orient Express Racing Team - no report

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - October 11, 2023 - Barcelona - from Elia Miquel- ARBR Recon Unit

Alinghi Red Bull Racing team had a productive sailing session focused on testing different upwind modes, cant angles, manoeuvres and pre-starts. ARBR team rolled out their AC75 at 10:00h. The yacht was craned in, and pre-sailing checks were carried out, with engineers onboard testing hydraulics on the mast and both foils.

The team docked out at 12:15h, hoisting the M2-2R mainsail and J3-1R headsail inside the port and being towed out by 12:42h. The wind conditions outside were 9kts from 228° with clear skies and fairly flat sea state. They followed the same pattern through all the session, focusing on manoeuvres with flat sea state, pre-starts, rounding marks and race course.

They started sailing by the port entrance until touching down in the very first tack, then they took advantage of checking on the main system traveller. After sailing on displacement mode, they did one leg downwind-upwind, seemingly struggling because of not having enough power on the headsail. After touching-down, they dropped the jib and hoisted It again, following by eight gybes in a short downwind. At 13:42hrs, the team did a 40 minutes run foiling with different modes and cant angle, consisting of nineteen fully foiling manoeuvres with eleven knots (sic). They stopped the AC75 near la Barceloneta Beach and the chaseboat approached to do a cyclors swap. At 15:08hrs, located north of Luna Rossa's marks, they started with the first pre-start, sharing marks with the youth and woman's training with the 69F boats. The race course consisted of two legs upwind-downwind with a GPS mark situated windward, and giving a lot space when rounding the starboard gate in both occasions.

Before starting the second pre-start, the J3-1R jib was substituted with a J4-1R. With a lot of traffic around, they crossed the start line and went for another two legs that lasted 20 minutes. After rounding the gate, they approached upwind by the port entrance, where they finished today's session on the water. The day wrapped up with sails lowered at 16:45hrs, after which the yacht was towed back to the base, docking in at 17:05hrs. The team covered a total of 54 nautical miles over four hours on the water, 145min were spent sailing with 81 manoeuvres performed, 94% fully foiling.

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - October 11, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Weather: Sunny 23°C
  • Wind Strength:9 - 14kts
  • Wind Direction: 220°
  • Sea State: 0.1mtr 0.3mtr
  • Crane In: 1000hrs Dock Out: 1215hrs
  • Dock In: 1705hrs Crane out: 1800hrs
  • Total Tacks: 42 - Fully foiling: 40; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 2
  • Total Gybes: 39 - Fully foiling: 36; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 3

Crew: Maxime Bachelin, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Bryan Mettraux, Yves Detrey, Nicolas Rolaz, Florian Trüb, Nils Theuninck, Arthur Cevey, Augustin Maillefer, Barnabé Delarze, Thery Schir , Nico Stahlberg

New York Yacht Club American Magic (NYYC AM) rolled out their two AC40s 'Magic' at 09.45hrs and 'America' at 10:25hrs. Both AC40s on LEQ12 mode, with the same foils’ configuration as the past two days and last week.

Magic was craned to the water at 10:20, and then America followed at 10:50hrs. Both boats docked out at 11:55hrs, as planned.

The same one-design main sails as yesterday were selected again for both boats, which were hoisted at 12:05hrs while coming out of the port. Once out, one-design J2s were hoisted at 12:10hrs.

The day started with America and Magic speed testing, switching positions to windward and leeward, for approximately one hour.

Two long upwinds and downwinds were executed. Magic, once more, was slightly faster on port tack when sailing upwind standing on foil #4 vs America on foil #2. However, in contrast to other days, on starboard tack when sailing upwind Magic´s performance on foil #1 was much better, being completely evened on speed and angle vs America standing on foil #3.

On the two downwinds, Magic´s performance was also better compared to previous days, especially on starboard tack in which they were faster and lower at times. Remember that in most other days, America was lower same speed achieving a stronger downwind VMG, with Tom explaining that America gives more chances to play the modes and with “something extra”.

American Magic - AC40 x 2 - October 11, 2023 - Barcelona - from Sebastian Peri Brusa - NYYC AM Recon Unit

Reasons? Possibly, Magic´s foils achieve a better performance than America´s in this medium wind conditions of approximately 11 to 14 knots of TWS, flat water, sailing on their J2s´, at whichever boat speeds they sailed today.

From 13:35hrs till 13:45hrs the team took a break and then marks were set.

An upwind-downwind course of approximately two times the distance of a standard racecourse was anchored, with virtual boundaries. It seemed like the intention was to test the foils performance in racing mode, with boundaries and being forced to tack and gybe, simulating racing dynamics.

Both boats did ten tacks per upwind leg, and eight gybes on each downwind.

Three one-lap races were run, doing rabbit starts. Magic was first on every mark rounding and won the three races. The gap difference in between both boats was a bit larger on racing format, than when speed testing in a straight line with no maneuvers and boundaries.

In between Race 2 & 3, there was another break from 14:34hrs till 15:00hrs.

At 15:40hrs a fourth upwind was carried out in which Magic was also first at the top mark.

Then Magic headed back to the base, while America stayed one hour longer training on their own.

Magic entered the port and lowered sails at 16:20hrs, docked at 16:25hrs and was craned out at 17.03hrs. America followed the same routine, approximately one hour behind .

Another solid two-boat testing day for NYYC AM with medium wind conditions.

Session Statistics: American Magic - AC40 x 2 - October 11, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Weather: Sunny 29°C
  • Wind Strength: 10.7kts- 12.5kts
  • Wind Direction: 180° - 190°
  • Sea State: 0.22mtr
  • Crane In: 0945hrs(Magic) 1025hrs (America) Dock Out: 1130hrs Both Magic and America
  • Dock In: 1625hrs(Magic) 1720hrs (America) Crane out: 1703hrs(Magic) 1755hrs (America)
  • Total Tacks: 6 - Fully foiling: 6; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 12 - Fully foiling: 12; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 2

Crew: America: Tom Slingsby (starboard), Paul Goodison (port), Andrew Cambpell (stb) / Michael Menninger (port). Magic: Lucas Calabrese (stb) / Harry Melges (port), Substitute trimmer (stb) / Riley Gibbs (port)

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - October 11, 2023 - Barcelona from Justin Chisholm - ETNZ Recon Unit

Emirates Team New Zealand third and final day of sailing for this week started with an 1100 dockout that saw the Kiwi AC75 out of the harbour with M3-1 mainsail and J1-6 headsail up and ready to sail at 1115hrs.

With the southerly wind at just 6 knots (as measured from the recon boat) and super flat water, the team opted for a towed take off. With the boat flying on two foils downwind at 30 knots the tow turned to the right and the AC75 lifted its starboard windward foil as the tow was released at an estimated true wind angle of 80°.

With the boat up and foiling now in no more than 7 knots of breeze the crew put it through a series of tacks and gybes while the support team hustled to set two start marks in the approximate area of the 37th America's Cup racecourse. Keeping the boat in the air looked precarious at times with the trimmers often having to resort to close to maximum windward mainsail traveller to stay airborne – particularly downwind.

Soon though the breeze began to build and by 1145hrs when the crew performed their first practice start at the pin end of the line the breeze was up to 7-8kts and the boat looked much more comfortable in flight. After a second practice start and a full windward leeward lap the crew stopped at 1211 to change headsails to the J3-6 (wind now at 9kts). This was the first stop since the tow up – a flight time of 50 minutes.

The yacht was off again at 1230hrs with a comfortable self takeoff. Once again the team made two starts (including prestart manoeuvring, with the second one followed by a full windward leeward lap. 1250hrs saw a 10 minute stop to rotate the cyclors before another identical pair of starts plus windward leeward lap.

A food break at 1342hrs (when the wind was at 11-12 knots) was followed by two more practice starts and a full windward leeward lap, before a long multi-tack beat back to the mouth of the harbour for a stop at 1410krs. Sails were dropped by 1420hrs with the boat back on the dock at 1435hrs. The team's next scheduled sailing day is Monday October 16.

Session Statistics: Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - October 11, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Weather: Sunny 25°C
  • Wind Strength 6-12kts
  • Wind Direction: 180° - 190°
  • Sea State: Flat and then a light chop
  • Crane In: 1001hrs Dock Out: 1100hrs
  • Dock In: 1435hrs Crane out: 1505hrs
  • Total Tacks: 37 - Fully foiling: 37; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 24 - Fully foiling: 23; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0

Crew: Peter Burling (Starboard) Nathan Outteridge (Port), Andy Maloney (Starboard) Blair Tuke (Port). Cyclors on rotation: including: Louis Sinclair, Sam Meech, Simon Van Velthoven; Dougal Allan, Marcus Hansen; Cameron Webster, Louis Crosby

Luna Rossa

Weather Observations - Port Olimpic - 11 October, 2023

Another great day in Barcelona, with the breeze in the North at the beginning of the day and then swinging to the South and increasing to 15kts average and gusting 18kts. The breeze settled in that strength and direction for the racing period.

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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