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Cup Spy Oct 19: Southern Ocean arrives in Barcelona

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 20 Oct 2023 06:03 PDT 21 October 2023
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 96 - Barcelona - October 19, 2023 © Paul Todd/America's Cup

Three of the six America's Cup Challengers Alinghi Red Bull Racing, Luna Rossa and INEOS Britannia, were reported as sailing on Thursday.

What happened in the Cup - October 19, 2023:

  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing was out for a session of three hours, of which 37 minutes were spent actually sailing in the session. The breeze forecast to increase later in the day, arrived early forcing the Swiss to stop training after one impressive sailing display beating to windward in 19kts and seas recorded at 1.5mtrs. Impressive.
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - Sailed in fresh winds and a hefty seaway off Cagliari. Issues with a sensor led to the decision to end the session after a couple of hours.
  • INEOS Britannia - The Brits were reported to be sailing their AC40 in One Design mode off Barcelona in the fresh breeze and big seas. 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 did not sail, and said they would not on Friday either. But expected to be out testing on Saturday and Sunday. Their return to Auckland - to sail in the Kiwi summer is believed to be imminent.
  • American Magic also did not sail - presumably because of the adverse weather forecast.
  • Orient Express Racing Team - No report or mention by the Alinghi Red Bull Racing Recon Team.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - October 19, 2023 - Barcelona - from Elia Miquel- ARBR Recon Unit
Alinghi Red Bull Racing team rolled out early their AC75, with the main goal of seeing the boat behaivor with a full range of wind up to the limit and rough sea state. ARBR team rolled out their AC75 at 7:30h. The yacht was craned in, and the usual pre-sailing checks were carried out.

The team docked out at 9:30hrs, hoisting the M2-2R mainsail and their biggest J1-1 headsail inside the port, and being towed out by 9:55hrs. The wind conditions outside were 1.5kts - 3kts from 250° and massive waves from 200°. Only INEOS with their one design AC40 and Alinghi were spotted training today on waters of Barcelona.

At 10:00hrs, Alinghi started sailing with one assisted take-off by the port entrance, which lasted less than ten minutes and three manoeuvres. The height of the waves was making them lose all the power when being down of the waves. They sailed around in displacement mode for twenty minutes, trying and struggling with the take-off procedure.

At 10:40hr, they towed the yacht straight to the November buoy, situated 2nm from the harbour, where the wind was starting to fill in. With 9kts average, they did two laps upwind-downwind sailing cautiously with a low ride, as they were trying to keep the rudder on the water avoiding ventilations and nose-dives. With the last bear away, the team ended up in one area where the wind was still too light and made them touch-down. With all the sky covered in clouds and the quickly increasing wind - filling in from the sea-horizon, they used a tow line to drop the J1-1 and hoist the J3-2.

Right after, with puffy and rough sea state they did a short upwind and downwind. On the gybe heading towards Barcelona, the swell was picking the boat up making it surf and going into the waves with the bow making them lose the stability. At 11:25hrs, they changed the crew configuration - and then went upwind for 5nm with 19knts and a rough sea state.

At the end of that leg they decided to lower both sails at 11:40hr, and tow the boat back to the base, docking in at 13:00hrs. The team covered a total of 30 nautical miles over two and a half hours on the water, 37min were spend sailing with 62 manoeuvres performed, 63% fully foiling.

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - October 19, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Weather: Partly cloudy 23°C
  • Wind Strength 8-19kts
  • Wind Direction: 240° - 250°
  • Sea State: 2.0m - 200°
  • Crane In: 0730hrs Dock Out: 0930hrs
  • Dock In: 1300hrs Crane out: 1400hrs
  • Total Tacks: 4 - Fully foiling: 3; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 4 - Fully foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 2
Crew: Maxime Bachelin, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Bryan Mettraux, Yves Detrey, Florian Trüb, Nils Theuninck, Arthur Cevey, Augustin Maillefer, Barnabé Delarze, Thery Schir

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - October 19, 2023 - Cagliari from Michele Melis - LRPP Recon Unit

The Italian team Luna Rossa Prad Pirelli (LRPP) rolled out their LEQ12 prototype at 12:00hrs and quickly stepped mast before craning in by 12:15hrs.

Several changes were noticed on the appendage configuration, with a modified flat Wing01 back on starboard replacing the anhedral Wing03 and Wing03 on portside.

The daily forecast looked shifty and unstable with several weather systems travelling towards the gulf. At 13:30hrs the team headed out of the harbour with 13-15kts pressure from 225° True Wind Angle (TWA) and what seemed to be the first launched main M1-1 was hoisted with some clew changes different between starboard and portside.

The main was then paired with a new launched J2 as the breeze suddenly dropped and shifted to 145° TWA, almost capsizing the LEQ12. The seastate swell looked larger than forecasted with .7-.8m at 8secs from 135° in addition to some formed chop from 225°.

As the four sailors took position, the wind had dropped completely and the team towed the prototype further offshore ultimately finding some pressure of 14-16kts from 215° TWA allowing an upwind sailing run on starboard tack of approximate 5 mins. A short sailor check on jib track and foot followed before tacking in displacement mode and looking for a take off on port tack.

The latter was successful, and the LEQ12 started sailing for another approximate 10 minutes, completing two tacks before bearing away on portside tack and falling off its foils sailing downwind. In these difficult seastate condition and with a smaller replacement RIB, it was challenging for the AC37 Joint Recon Unit to follow closely the LEQ12 for proper and safe footage.

Several shore crew jumped an board and checks below deck can be assumed for a sensor issue (according to interview) before the team decided to drop the sails and had back to the harbour.

Crew: Francesco Bruni, Jimmy Spithill, Umberto Molineris, Andrea Tesei

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - October 19, 2023 - Cagliari

  • Weather: Sunny 29°C
  • Wind Strength 11-16kts
  • Wind Direction:135° - 215°
  • Sea State: 0.8mtrs from 225°, and 0.4mtr from 220°
  • Crane In: 1215hrs Dock Out: 1330hrs
  • Dock In: 1545hrs Crane out: 1700hrs
  • Total Tacks: 3 - Fully foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 0 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

Weather Observations - Port Olimpic - 19 October, 2023

The breeze recorded at Port Olimpic at a point 12 metres above water level was averaging 20-25kts keeping some teams ashore. Gusts on this day - which in 12 months will be well into the 2024 America's Cup Match - topped 30kts. The breeze was steady from the south except for one period early afternoon.

The wave height at the America's Cup Buoy showed the waves at the highest yet seen since we have had access to the measurement, at over 1.5mtrs and reaching 2.5metres around midnight.

Additional Images:

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