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Cup Spy Nov 21: Luna Rossa knocks out almost 60 tacks/gybes in a two hour foiling session

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 22 Nov 2023 20:46 PST 17 November 2023
Luna Rossa - LEQ12 - Day 100 - Cagliari - November 21, 2023 © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

Only two teams sailed - Luna Rossa out of Cagliari in a session that appeared to be mainly about racing practice. American Magic encountered funky breezes in Barcelona, which made consistent foiling difficult.

What happened in the Cup - November 21, 2023:

  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - sailed out of their main base in Cagliari in a session that appeared to be mainly about racing practice. The Italians had quite an intense day with the AC37 Joint Recon team recording just under 60 tack/gybes on their scorecard in two hours of foiling time.
  • American Magic - The US team had an interesting day in winds in the 6-10kts range, struggling to get foiling on several occasions - apparently due more to a softness in the breeze, rather than any shortcoming in the boat.
  • INEOS Britannia - Did not sail - they had rudder/rudder box issues from the previous day - there is no further comment from the team as to the nature of the damage, or the impact it will have on their testing program.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand - Did not sail.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing - Did not sail.
  • 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. No further official update on security concerns.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (LRPP) - LEQ12 - November 21, 2023 - Cagliari

The Italian team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (LRPP) rolled out their LEQ12 prototype at 9:00hrs, stepped mast and craned the yacht in by the 9:10hrs with an additional anemometer mounted on the bowsprit. The appendage configuration looked the same with Wing-03 on starboard and Wing-04 on port, both surfaces slightly modified including flaps as confirmed by previous Declaration 40.

At the dock, the team spent longer time on board rises/drops of starboard wing, perhaps double-checks on previous FCS [Foil Control System] bug. Six crew members boarded the LEQ12 and the yacht was towed out of the harbour at 10:00hrs.

With some clouds over the sky, the breeze seemed to be light at first, measured at 7-9kts from 315° while main M1-1 and jib J2-2 were being hoisted.

The LEQ12 began sailing with a self take off on port tack toward the shore, bore away and gybed shortly after heading downwind on starboard tack for a longer straight line run. After one gybe only, a straightline run on the other tack followed before trimming up on both boards. The sailing routine proceeded for two rounds before the stint was interrupted by a splash-down exiting the tack manoeuvre from starboard to port tack; these first tacks still looked slighlty unbalanced.

The LEQ12 self took off and kept on sailing upwind before bearing away on the other tack for one last downwind run dropping the windward board several times and splashing down heavily after a gybe. Quickly back foilborne, the LEQ12 came back down and a JK was observed coming to a stop while sailors seemed to debrief.

Once up and foiling, the team focussed on some bear aways and round-ups on starboard tack before running an intense series of maneuvers, first upwind tacks and then alternating with quick gybe series. The breeze decreased to 9-11kts from 320° but the team kept flying their J4-1. Once the primary chase stopped, the LEQ12 sailed around it for some laps practicing some mark maneuvers with the majority dry and quickly executed. Several modes were run by the team shifting from higher to lower ride heights along with different presets for board entry angles, drop/rises speeds and dynamic cant changes for both boards depending on maneuvers.

As the wind was forecasted to ramping up quickly above upper range, the LEQ12 headed upwind for a last series of tacks before the day was called with approximately 118 minutes foiling time, 29 tacks and 27 gybes.

[Michele Melis AC Recon].

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa - LEQ12 - November 21, 2023 - Cagliari

  • Weather: Sunny 24°C
  • Wind Strength 7-13kts
  • Wind Direction: 315°-320°
  • Sea State: Flat
  • Crane In: 0910hrs Dock Out: 1000hrs
  • Dock In: 1314hrs Crane out: 1400hrs
  • Total Tacks: 29 - Fully foiling: 24; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 3
  • Total Gybes: 27 - Fully foiling: 23; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 2

Crew: Marco Gradoni, Francesco Bruni, Andrea Tesei, Umberto Molineris.

American Magic - AC75 - Day 53 - November 21, 2023 - Barcelona

The American team had to be patient today to give enough time for the battle between two opposing wind systems to eventually be resolved in favour of the familiar southerly breeze that came in at 6-7 kts just before 1300hrs before building to a peak of 11 knots by 1500hrs. After rolling out at 0845hrs and launching at 0923hrs the American AC75 left the dock at 1107hrs.

With a lumpy sea state and less than three knots of wind outside the harbour the team opted to hoist the MN8-1 mainsail inside the harbour mouth before beginning a wait of an hour and 10 minutes before leaving the harbour with the J1-6 headsail hoisted. With the southerly breeze now established but only peaking at 7kts the team sailed in displacement mode for around 30 minutes before the wind ramped up enough for the sailors to coax the boat into the air at 1325hrs.

That first flight lasted only two minutes before ending with a touch down tack which was followed by some more displacement sailing (including one or sometimes two sailors backing the headsail by holding the clew to pull the bow around to enable the boat to bear away).

With the breeze building to 10 kts the crew swapped headsails to the J2-5 and began a prolonged period of foiling around a practice windward / leeward racecourse made up of windward and leeward gates. Once again Patriot looked stable in flight in a straight line but sometimes struggled through tacks and gybes – although the ratio of foiling manoeuvres felt higher than during the last sailing session.

There were several touch down tacks and gybes during the session but in the main the boat was able to take off again almost immediately.

After multiple windward leeward laps punctuated with occasional stops for a food break and battery change and a rotation of the cyclors, time was eventually called shortly before 1600hrs. Sails were down by 1615hrs and the boat arrived back at the dock at 1630hrs. Another sailing session has been scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday November 21).

Report from Sebastian Peri Brusa - AC37 Joint Recon Team

Crew: Paul Goodison, Tom Slingsby, Riley Gibbs, Michael Menninger, Andrew Campbell; John Croom, Madison Molitar, Colten Hall, Tim Hornsby, James Wright

Session Statistics: American Magic - AC75 - Day 51 - November 21, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Weather: Sunny 16° C
  • Wind Strength: 6-11kts
  • Wind Direction: 180°-200°
  • Sea State: Light moderate chop
  • Crane In: 0923hrs Dock Out: 1107hrs
  • Dock In: 1558hrs Crane out: 1630hrs
  • Total Tacks: 13 - Fully foiling: 7; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 4
  • Total Gybes: 11 - Fully foiling: 6; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 3

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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