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Cup Spy Dec 7: USA and Swiss resume AC75 training off Barcelona

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 8 Dec 2023 03:48 PST 8 December 2023
American Magic and Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 104 - Barcelona - December 7, 2023 © Alex Carabi / America's Cup

What happened in the Cup - December 7, 2023:

  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing - Returned to Barcelona from Jeddah, where they last sailed on Monday December 4. On Thursday they resumed training in their AC75
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - Suffered a compression crack in the port topside of their LEQ12 on Tuesday. There is no update on the repair.
  • American Magic - Sailed out of Barcelona on Thursday in their AC75. They have some new systems onboard which are being "debugged" during sailing trials.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand - Did not sail and have returned to Auckland. Their "A" Sailing Team is in Dubai for the next SailGP event over the weekend.
  • INEOS Britannia - Did not sail - No update on their situation - they had rudder/rudder box issues for the second time in mid-November.
  • Orient Express Racing Team - No report, however they will be sailing in the SailGP Dubai, this weekend.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

American Magic - AC75 - Day 57 - December 7, 2023 - Barcelona

American Magic closed off the week in Barcelona with a second productive sailing session in winds that built as forecast from 7kts around midday to a peak of 14kts by mid-afternoon.

After rolling out at 1018hrs and docking out just before 1130hrs the American AC75 was towed out of the harbour on foils at 1050hrs and had sails (MN8 mainsail and J1.5 headsail) hoisted by 1210hrs. After a short period of displacement sailing in 7 kts of south westerly breeze the team opted for a couple of tow ups that produced brief 1-2 minute flights. By 1245hrs the breeze had built to around 10kts enabling a self take off that produced a two minute flight that ended in a gybe and spin out that appeared to be caused by a recurrence of the mainsheet issue the team has been experiencing over recent weeks.

The issue was quickly resolved this time however and the next 10 minute flight saw some fast downwind sailing back towards the harbour for a stop to change the J1.5 to the J3-6 headsail. The breeze at this point was around 14-15kts from 230°.

A series of short and longer foiling sessions followed with the boat at times looking stable and fast and at other times appearing difficult to keep on the foils – resulting in several seemingly unforced upwind and downwind splashdowns – as the crew put the yacht through its paces around a windward / leeward practice course that featured plenty of foiling tacks and gybes, as well as some slick-looking mark roundings (see highlights video).

A 10-minute stop at 1410hrs to rotate the cyclor squad was followed by a 20-minute session of windward / leeward laps before a stop at 1445. Another 10 minute session turned out to be the last of the day after a 25 minute stop to resolve an unidentified issue ended with sails being dropped at 1540hrs ahead of a long tow back to the harbour for a dock in at 1650hrs.

Report from Sebastian Peri Brusa - AC37 Joint Recon Team

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

Session Statistics: American Magic - AC75 - Day 57 - December 7, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Weather: Clear 10-15° C
  • Wind Strength: 7-15kts
  • Wind Direction: 210°-230°
  • Sea State: Light-Med chop
  • Crane In: 1018hrs Dock Out: 1124hrs
  • Dock In: 1620hrs Crane out: 1650hrs
  • Total Tacks: 19 - Fully foiling: 17; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 13 - Fully foiling: 12; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 1

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 60 - December 7, 2023 - Barcelona

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC75 at 10:00hrs. Following the rollout, systems checks were conducted in the water, initially with the crew and techs all standing at the starboard cockpit.

The crew then got in positions and tested sail control systems, with particular attention to the mainsheet system. When most crew were off, further mast rotation testing was carried out, with just one cyclor pedalling in the port forward pod. No new modifications above deck were noted.

The team docked out at 12:00hrs and towed the yacht straight to the Forum area. A GoPro was set up on the leading edge of the mast, about 2mtrs above the deck, indicating a focus on mast rotation.

The M2-2R mainsail and J3-1R jib were hoisted, and a further 30 minutes were spent working on control systems.

Stint 1 (13:00hrs - 13:35hrs, 9-12kn 215° at 13:00) Sailing began with an upwind leg, including a touch-and-go tack, followed by 10 minutes in displacement mode before taking off again. The team completed two short upwind and downwind alternate legs.

The session ended with a jib exchange from J3 to J5-1R, in response to increasing wind.

Stint 2 (13:50hrs - 14:15hrs, 11-14kts 220° at 13:40hrs) This stint involved two laps on the course, with 4 tacks and 4 gybes on the first lap, 3 tacks and 3 gybes on the second lap. The 2NM course was set at 220°.

Stint 3 (14:25 - 14:50, 12-15kn 220° at 14:25hrs leeward gate, 13-16kts 230° at 15:00hrs windward gate) The session started with a pre-start starboard entry, leaving the start line at the pin end. A touch-and-go double tack was performed at the windward gate. A clean bear away and gybe were executed at the following windward gate, before turning back upwind to conclude the day, with sails dropped at 15:00.

Hydraulic fluid change was carried out immediately once the yacht arrived at the base. Further checks were carried out once the yacht was on the hard, with both foil arms lifted.

The team spent three and a half hours on the water, of which 85 minutes were spent sailing. A total of 48 manoeuvres were observed, with a 90% fully foiling rate.

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 104 - December 7, 2023 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 16°. Partly cloudy
  • Wind Strength 9-16kts
  • Wind Direction: 200° - 230°
  • Sea State: Flat 0.5- 0.6mtr
  • Crane In: 1035hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1525hrs Crane out: 1555hrs
  • Total Tacks: 30 - Fully foiling: 24; Touch & Go: 4; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 18 - Fully foiling: 17; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0

Crew:Sailing: Arnaud Psarofaghis, Maxime Bachelin, Yves Detrey, Bryan Mettraux, Lucien Crujean. Power: Florian Trüb, Nils Theuninck, Nico Stahlberg, Barnabé Delarze

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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