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Cup Spy Nov 10: Swiss hit by rain squall, Kiwis enjoy summer's start, Gremlins hit Brits

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 11 Nov 05:53 PST 11 November 2023
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 - Day 60 - Jeddah - November 10, 2023 © Alex Carabi / America's Cup

It was an early day of summer on the Hauraki Gulf, but a squally one in Jeddah. The Brits had a good session with their training boat T6 - until the electronic gremlins struck. The Kiwis were trialling their latest wing foil design on port, with a previous test version on the starboard foil arm.

What happened in the Cup - November 10, 2023:

  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing - sailed their two AC40s from Jeddah, venue for the next America's Cup Preliminary Regatta, and caught a back-hander from an unexpected 25kt rain squall.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand - sailed in the Hauraki Gulf, in a summer seabreeze, testing two wing foils on their AC40 converted to and LEQ12 test boat.
  • INEOS Britannia - The Brits were back on the water in their test boat/LEQ12 T6. They had another productive session, until they experienced some electronic gremlins and ended the session early.
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - did not sail on Friday, but have sailed four days this week.
  • American Magic - American Magic rolled out their AC75 Patriot, on Tuesday, did some sailing on Thursday - but didn't sail on Friday.
  • Orient Express Racing Team - Their AC40 is en route to Jeddah.
  • All teams are/have shipped AC40s to Jeddah for the second Preliminary Event at the end of November.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40x2 - Day 60 - November 10, 2023 - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC40-4 (Yellow) and AC40-7 (Red) at 09:00hrs and 09:30hrs, respectively. Both boats were alongside the dock by 10:00, with One Design sails prepped while Flight Control System (FCS) checks were carried out just off the dock. The morning's north wind dissipated by midday and the sea breeze took over, as the team docked out at 12:30hrs.

One design mainsails were hoisted and the yachts were towed to the Red Sea. One Design J2 jibs were hoisted and the yellow boat began sailing towards Jeddah Waterfront at 12:55. The red boat meanwhile faced issues at the clew, with hydraulic and electronic engineers attending the issue, delaying their start until 13:30. The yellow boat, after resolving problems of their own, then joined the red boat for a warm-up lap around the course at 13:45 before the first race. The red boat sailed over the yellow boat and hooked up, securing a clear start and leading up to the windward gate and unto the leeward gate. The red team's two-point rounding at the leeward gate allowed the yellow boat, with a grippy three-point turn, to exit higher and tack off to the right.

The boats then came to a stop in preparation for the next race.

As the teams prepared for the second stint, a significant wind shift to the left and increasing gusts up to 16kts hinted at an incoming storm. Both boats dropped their j2 jibs and were placed on long tow lines as the wind veered even further left, reaching gusts over 25kts from the land. The boats experienced heeling but managed to avoid capsizing.

The storm passed mostly over the city and within a couple hundred meters of the land. By 15:20hrs, the conditions dropped, providing a window for mainsails to be lowered. The team waited for the adverse weather to clear before cautiously towing the boats back, ensuring safety amidst the challenging conditions.

The yachts were back at the dock and craned out by 17:00hrs, followed by the lifting of the chase boats, marking the end of the team’s first round of sailing in Jeddah.

Throughout the day, the team logged three and a half hours on the water with 85 minutes of sailing time. Of the 33 manoeuvres performed, an 97% were fully foiling.

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40x2 - Day 60 - November 10, 2023 - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

  • Weather: Sunny, 34°. Partly cloudy
  • Wind Strength 8-25kts
  • Wind Direction: 120° - 25°
  • Sea State: Flat 0.5- 0.7mtr
  • Crane In: 0925hrs Dock Out: 1230hrs
  • Dock In: 1555hrs Crane out: 1620hrs
  • Total Tacks: 21 - Fully foiling: 20; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 12 - Fully foiling: 12; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

Crew: Arnaud Psarofaghis, Maxime Bachelin, Nico Charbonnier, Phil Robertson, Nico Rolaz, Bryan Mettraux, Yves Detrey, Jason Waterhouse

INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 38 - November 10, 2023 - Barcelona - AC37 Joint Recon Unit

Team INEOS Britannia rolled out their LEQ12 at 09:30 am, with foil wing and flap #1 on the port side, foil wing and flap #2 on the starboard side, and with the LEQ R01 rudder.

Two Go-Pro cameras were identified, one on each rail pointing up, probably to take pictures of the mainsail profile. The three patches on the mast continue to be there, as well as the camera on the anemometer stick on the bow, pointing backwards towards the jib.

T6 was craned to the water at 10:12 and the team docked out at 11:30, as planned, with Dylan Fletcher and Neil Hunter on starboard, and with Giles Scott and Leigh McMillan on port.

The MN1-3 mainsail and J4-2 jib were selected for today´s session and were the only sails used during the day. Both sails were hoisted at 11:50, and at 12:04, respectively, after coming out from the port. The issues the team had on the mainsail lock during the past days, seemed to be solved.

Team IB started sailing at 12:20 and after doing two short downwinds and one short upwind, performing three gybes and tacks, the boat stopped, and it turned out to be the end of the day.

T6 stayed heading to the wind, stopped, with no chase boat next to it, for approximately 45 minutes. Clear indication that something was not running properly. Nothing specific could be identified. In the meantime, the jib was lowered and folded.

Once ashore, on the interview, Leigh McMillan, trimmer on port side, explained that they had an electronic issue and that they decided to play conservative and head back to the base, even-though he believed it would have been possible to continue with the session.

T6 lowered the mainsail at 13.38 while coming back on the tow, entered the port on the tow, foiling, at 13:50, docked at 14:05 and was craned out of the water at 14:30.

Ineos Britannia plans to resume their sailing sessions on T6 from Monday next week.

Sebastian Peri Brusa – Recon on INEOS Britannia

Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 38 - November 10, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Weather: Sunny, 20°.
  • Wind Strength 13-21kts
  • Wind Direction: 250°-295°
  • Sea State: 0.3mtr swell
  • Crane In: 1012hrs Dock Out: 1130hrs
  • Dock In: 1500hrs Crane out: 1530hrs
  • Total Tacks: 3 - Fully foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 3 - Fully foiling: 3; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

Crew: Dylan Fletcher, Giles Scott, Neil Hunter, Leigh McMillan

Emirates Team New Zealand - LEQ12 - Day 40 - November 10, 2023 - Auckland - Andrew Burgess - AC37 Joint Recon Unit

Day 40 for Emirates Team New Zealand out on the LEQ12.

Another amazing day out on the Hauraki Gulf however with a different wind direction to the rest of the week.

Breeze started off light around 8 kts and ENE before slowly building through the day and tending North eventually peaking around 12 kts.

The session started with a 12 o’clock dock out, before hoisting the M2 and J2 out in front of the base and hooking up a tow to foil towards North Head. Here the team cut the tow and attempted a couple of maneuvers, however soon realised it was still too light. Another tow was needed to get up on the foils and the team sailed upwind a short distance before discovering accelerating pressure through the Motuihe channel and around the bottom of Rangitoto.

The team successfully completed all but a few foiling tacks, beating all the way upwind out towards Rakino Island before stopping for a short lunch break.

A lot of the focus was put on practicing light wind tacks in the marginal wind range. While a high percentage of the tacks were full foilers, the team were suffering huge VMG losses trying to catch and keep speed out of the tacks on both foils, especially the port foil as to be expected. After the quick lunch, the team continued to sail upwind towards Tiritiri Matangi Island further North.

Slowly the sea state which was previously very flat, started to build to around 0.4m and the team decided to bear away and sail a long downwind on the West side of Rangitoto. The team practiced many light wind gybes with the vast majority being successful. Again, in the lulls the VMG losses were noticeable with huge turn-ups and main sail catches to try and keep the yacht on the foils. In the puffs however, the gybes were looking clean and smooth. The difference between 8 knots and 10 knots wind speed being very noticeable. The team continued sailing down to Rangitoto Light House before making another stop at 1425hrs.

Here they took off. Andy Maloney quickly briefed and trained up a surfing legend and special guest, John Florence. He took over the flight control position and did so quite well!

The team basically gybed there way straight back to the base with John on board which included a nice long blast reach back up the inner harbour with speeds which looked to exceed 40knots. The team dropped sails at 1500hrs and were back on the dock within 10 minutes before eventually lifting out at 1530hrs after another successful day on the water.

Today we had a chance to speak with Flight Controller Blair Tuke after sailing for the interview, and he gave us a feeling of how the new foil has been going so far.

Session Statistics: Emirates Team New Zealand - LEQ12 - November 10, 2023 - Auckland

  • Weather: Sunny, 21°. Gradient breeze reinforced with sea breeze.
  • Wind Strength 8-12kts
  • Wind Direction: ENE-NNE
  • Sea State: Flat 0.3mtr
  • Crane In: 1130hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1500hrs Crane out: 1530hrs
  • Total Tacks: 40 - Fully foiling: 36; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 4
  • Total Gybes: 34 - Fully foiling: 29; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 3

Crew: Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke.

Additional Images:

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