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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Cup Spy Nov 23: Two Cup teams sailing on the Red Sea

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 23 Nov 2023 18:32 PST 24 November 2023
INEOS Britannia - Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 - Day 62 - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - November 23, 2023 © Alex Carabi / America's Cup

The six teams are on various paths ahead of the upcoming second Preliminary Event (Regatta) at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which will be contested at the end of November, first week in December. Two teams are now sailing in Jeddah - Alinghi Red Bull Racing and the INEOS Britannia teams.

What happened in the Cup - November 23, 2023:

  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - No report
  • American Magic - American Magic continued with the AC75 commissioning in Barcelona
  • INEOS Britannia - Started sailing their AC40 in Jeddah, ahead of next weekend's Preliminary Event
  • Emirates Team New Zealand - No report.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing - Sailed their two AC40s off Jeddah, with Arnaud Psarofaghis and Max Bachelin as co-helms on one boat and Dean Barker and Phil Robertson as co-helms on the other boat.
  • 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:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40x2 - Day 62 - November 23, 2023 - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC40-4 (RED) and AC40-7 (BLACK) at 09:15hrs and 09:45hrs respectively and both boats were in the water by 10:15hrs. Pre-sailing checks were carried out, LE mainsails and LE jibs were prepared for both boats ahead of 12:30hrs dock out. The M1-3 LE, a new mainsail, and the J1-3 LE jib, were hoisted on the Black boat, helmed by Arnaud Psarofaghis and Max Bachelin.

Meanwhile, the M1-2 LE mainsail and J1-4 LE jib, were hoisted on the Red boat, helmed by Phil Robertson and Dean Barker.

Stint 1: 7-9kts 265° @ 13:05hrs Sailing commenced at 13:05hrs. The Black boat initiated with a foiling tack but touched down on the second attempt. Seaweed on the starboard foil was identified and cleared. Clumps of seaweed floating in the sailing area is common. Meanwhile, the Red boat, struggled to generate sufficient power for takeoff, eventually necessitating a tow start. The Black boat, after a couple more touch-downs, managed consistent foiling as the wind stabilised 20 minutes into the stint. Notably, the Black boat experimented with a tack instead of a gybe while sailing downwind and concluded at the course start gate. In contrast, the Red boat continued to had issues taking off and required another tow back to the start. The lack of time sailing together as a crew on the Red boat also added to the difficulty in take off technique.

Stint 2: 6-8kn 265° @ 14:05hrs The Black boat sailed around the short 0.5nm course set at 275°, likely emulating a race scenario shortened course and mark roundings. The Red boat spent this time debriefing with the chase boat. This stint only lasted 15 minutes as the two boats regathered to attempt racing in Stint 3. INEOS Britannia towed out and began their first day of sailing further upwind of ARBR. The Swiss teams swapped chase boats to exchange ideas and help the Red boat with takeoff technique.

Stint 3: 5-8kn 270° @ 14:30hrs Both boats faced challenges in takeoff in the dwindling wind, which further decreased from the start of the stint down to around 6kts. The Red boat was tow started while the Black boat managed a self-takeoff but touched down during tacks. Attempts for both boats to self-takeoff on a reach back to base were unsuccessful, leading to tow starts. This stint saw no foiling manoeuvres achieved by either boat. The session concluded with sails dropped at 15:30hrs, bringing the day's sailing to an end.

Post-sailing, both yachts were craned out by 16:30hrs, concluding a day marked by sail testing and adapting to lighter wind conditions on the short course. The team spent three hours on the water, of which 115 minutes were spent sailing. The Black boat was observed to undertake 34 manoeuvres of which 76% fully foiling.

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40x2 - Day 62 - November 23, 2023 - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

  • Weather: Sunny and haze, 33°
  • Wind Strength 5-9kts
  • Wind Direction: 265° - 270°
  • Sea State: Flat 0.2mtr
  • Crane In: 0940 & 1015hrs Dock Out: 1230hrs
  • Dock In: 1540hrs Crane out: 1600 & 1625hrs
  • Total Tacks: 23 - Fully foiling: 17; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 5
  • Total Gybes: 11 - Fully foiling: 9; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 2

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

American Magic - AC75 - Day 55 - November 23, 2023 - Barcelona

It was an early start for the American team this morning with their last-generation AC75 Patriot being rolled out of the hangar in darkness an hour before sunrise.

The ultra-early start was called to try to catch the best of the day’s breeze which was forecast to peak at no more than 10 kts. After rolling out at 0649hrs the boat was rigged and launched by 0800hrs ahead of an on time dock out at 0855hrs. With the MN8-1 mainsail and J1.5-2 headsail holsted by 0925hrs, the boat left the harbour at 0935hrs and within minutes was airborne heading downwind on port in around 9-10 kts of breeze from 015°.

This initial run ended quickly after a gybe attempt that ended in a splashdown with the mainsail appearing to be pinned in tight in the middle of the boat causing it to heel steeply as it slowly turned into the wind. A chaseboat was quickly alongside and a technician jumped aboard and headed below. It took 10 minutes to resolve the issue before the boat was up and foiling again in a 7kt breeze that built quickly to 11 kts from 260° by 1030hrs, resulting in a headsail change at that point to the J3-6.

An approximately 30 minute foiling session followed with the crew appearing to be having a challenging time dealing with the 0.5mtr rolling swell which was running at more or less 180° (S) from the wind.

At times the boat would fly too high and splash down, while at other times it could be seen to be skimming and then punching through the waves. Either mode looked to make for a wet ride for those on board. After running out of wind briefly at 1100hrs the boat was tow-started and headed back into the consistently stronger (but shifty) offshore breeze blowing from the direction of the Barcelona airport.

There were very few tacks and gybes during the session and none of them were foiling manoeuvres. The team stopped at 1200hrs to change batteries and rotate their cyclors but this break turned into an hour and a quarter stop to resolve an onboard issue down below.

The boat set off again at 1315hrs for a few minutes of flight that ended in a displacement tack. After an unsuccessful attempt at a tow up the crew got the boat airborne without assistance for the final flight of the day, which lasted around 8 minutes before the breeze suddenly dropped away below 7kts. Time was called at 1332hrs and the boat arrived back at the dock at 1412hrs.

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 55 - November 23, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Weather: Clear 17° C
  • Wind Strength: 6-10kts
  • Wind Direction: 230°-260°
  • Sea State: Rolling SE Swell and Wind chop
  • Crane In: 0800hrs Dock Out: 0855hrs
  • Dock In: 1412hrs Crane out: 1445hrs
  • Total Tacks: 2 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 2
  • Total Gybes: 3 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; 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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