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Cup Spy Feb 22-23: One LEQ12 sailed and one AC75 splashed. Others SailGP'd

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 25 Feb 15:02 PST 26 February 2024
Luna Rossa - AC40 - Day 124 - February 22, 2024 - Cagliari © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

Luna Rossa was the only team to sail at the week, and appeared to have a good day, with a good breeze and a surprisingly lumpy sea off Cagliari and Barcelona. Alinghi Red Bull Racing splashed their AC75 for some system testing.

What happened in the Cup - February 22-23, 2024:

  • INEOS Britannia - did not sail, are on a three-week break, and must also resolve the issues arising from a lithium battery fire on their newest AC40 Sienna. Many of the team competed in SailGP Australia and the Emirates GBR team finished 7th in what was effectively a nine boat fleet.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing - they have wound up their sail testing program off Jeddah and have returned to Barcelona. They splashed their AC75 on Friday for a series of commissioning checks.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand - no sailing. Their AC75 has been left in Barcelona. One AC40-OD is en route to New Zealand. The other AC40 is being used as a test boat. The sailing team finished third at the SailGP Sydney regatta over the weekend.
  • American Magic - reverted to sailing a single AC40 with custom-designed sails. In what was a three-day test block. One of the team's co-helmsman - Tom Slingsby won the SailGP Sydney regatta beating Denmark and New Zealand in the Final.
  • Orient Express Racing Team - the French America's Cup team competed in SailGP Sydney, they didn't make the three boat final - and finished 4th overall.
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - sailed only their LEQ12 test boat from Cagliari in a good breeze .

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (LRPP) - LEQ12 - Day 124 - February 22, 2024 - Cagliari

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli rolled out their LEQ12 prototype at 10:50hrs, stepped the mast and launched the yacht by 11:05hrs. The usual systems check followed.

Shortly before dockout was scheduled for 12:00hrs, the breeze strengthened, and the mainsail M2-1 was passed onto the deck and later paired to the J2-2.

The breeze was measured 10-12kn from 140° with flat waters at first, with a building chop over the afternoon.

Four sailors boarded the LEQ12, which was released from tow, and the first of three self-take-offs of the day was recorded.

Once foil-borne on port tack, the yacht sailed for a short time before tacking on starboard tack.

On this tack, a very long straight-line run was observed, occasionally dropping the windward board, turning the boat up slightly, raising the windward board and building speed again.

Two more tacks followed before the yacht bore away on starboard and sailed two straight line downwind runs on each tack. As the yacht trimmed up, the first foiling stint ended. The breeze increased to 14-16kn 190°, and the J2-2 was lowered to hoist J4-1.

At 12:45hrs, the prototype was back foilborne on port tack, and a series of 14 tacks followed.

All the tacks were mainly foil-to-foil and, compared to previous days, had lower heading angles and a larger leeward heel angle at the manoeuvre entry.

Then the LEQ12 bore away on port tack, and two long straight line runs in choppier waters were sailed with occasional board drops, almost faking a gybe and building speed again.

Then, the LEQ12 was trimmed up, and another 20 tacks were counted while the prototype sailed towards Pula, where the breeze was stable with less chop.

Sailing upwind, the focus was on the windward heel technique and endplating the hull [between the rig and water surface] when possible.

At 13:25hrs, the prototype was decelerated, and sailors had a debrief for 10 minutes.

The last self-take-off of the day happened at 13:35hrs; five additional tracks were practised before the yacht bore away on starboard tack and commenced a series of 15 gybes towards the harbour. Closer to the city, the breeze had increased to 17-19kts from 165° with approximately .6m chop.

After the last gybe, the yacht trimmed up on two boards and stopped to lower sails at 14:10hrs with 94 minutes foiling time, 44 tacks and 18 gybes [Michele Melis AC Recon].

Crew: Marco Gradoni, Checco Bruni, Umberto Molineris, Vittorio Bissaro, Andrea Tesei

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (LRPP) - LEQ12 - Day 124 - February 22, 2024 - Cagliari

  • Weather: Sunny 19°C
  • Wind Strength 12-19kts
  • Wind Direction: 140°-190°
  • Sea State: Mostly flat
  • Crane In: 1105hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1430hrs Crane out:
  • Total Tacks: 44 - Fully foiling: 42; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 18 - Fully foiling: 14; Touch & Go: 4; Touch Down: 0

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 119 - February 23, 2024 - Barcelona

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC75 "Boat Zero" at 09:30hrs and stepped the rig, launching at 10:05hrs.

No sailing was planned for the day, as the team focused on systems testing - while in the water for just under two hours.

Sailing systems were tested with cylors on board.

The starboard foil was lifted just once. Mast rotation, mainsheet actuator and traveller movement was noted, with mast rotation linked to mainsail clew skin actuators observed.

The yacht was lifted out at 11:45hrs and rolled back into the shed.

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 119 - February 23, 2024 - Jeddah

  • Weather: 15°C. Partly cloudy.
  • Wind Strength: Not relevant [AC75 launch only].
  • Wind Direction: Not relevant [AC75 launch only]
  • Sea State: flat.
  • Crane In: 1005hrs;
  • Crane out: 1145hrs
  • Total Tacks: Not relevant [AC75 launch only]
  • Total Gybes: Not relevant [AC75 launch only]

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, and 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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