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Cup Spy Feb 26: Swiss get roughed up by the Barcelona seastate

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 26 Feb 15:52 PST 27 February 2024
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 120 - Barcelona - February 26, 2024 © Alex Carabi / America's Cup

The Swiss challenger Alinghi Red Bull Racing was the only one of the six teams to be accompanied, on Monday, by the AC37 Joint Recon program

What happened in the Cup - February 26, 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. Several of the team competed in SailGP Australia. The Emirates GBR team finished 7th in a ten-boat fleet.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing - 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 ahead of restarting their AC75 program on Monday. Today, they sailed in moderate southerly winds and an on-axis direction with the wind.
  • 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 LEQ12 test boat. The Kiwi sailing team finished third at the SailGP Sydney regatta over the weekend, finishing third. They have sailed today, Tuesday in their AC40/LEQ12.
  • American Magic - Did not sail on Monday. 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 - Did not sail on Monday.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 120 - February 26, 2024 - Barcelona

Alinghi Red Bull Racing's Boat Zero (AC75) was rolled out at 09:30hrs for its first day of sailing in Barcelona after the team returned from the block training with the 2 x AC40s at Jeddah.

The AC75 was prepared and launched by 10:15 hrs.

Dockside sailors and engineers checked all boats' systems, including foil arms, main sheet systems, mast rotation, and jib sheet systems, ensuring everything was in top condition before the sailing session.

The boat docked out at 1200hrs for a sailing session of a bit more than 2.5 hours consisting of several phases:

The AC75 was towed from the harbour due to a very light wind of 2-4 kts from the NW (340º) and a significant swell from the SSW with heights between 1.3 to 2 meters. At 12:45hrs, the wind shifted to 160º, with its intensity picking up to about 5 to 11 kts.

Phase 1: Focused on warming up and boat trimming, performing lines up and downwind with some manoeuvres to get the team and the boat synchronized. By the end of this stint, three technicians had to attend to the boat for some relatively quick maintenance.

Phase 2: A 45-minute pause in the rigorous training allowed for a photo session for the media, capturing the team and boat in action with some takeoff, tacks, gybes and lines up and down the wind. At 13:40hrs, the jib was changed from J3-1R to J2-2L, and some batteries may have been replaced.

Phase 3: : The final 45-minute duration phase resumed with sailing lines up and down the wind combined with in-a-row tacks and gybes, incorporating bear away and luffing manoeuvres. The wind shifted to 190º by the end of this stint and increased to 12-13 knts

Conclusions: Today was an interesting day with sailing conditions in which the sea state had waves from SSW (225°) up to 2 m height and the wind shifting from SSE to SSW. It was interesting not only for the sailors to prove their skills in a substantial seastate with the AC75, but also for the engineer's team collecting data for the simulation software.
[Report from: Jose L. Piñana AC Recon/Edited by S-W NZ]

Crew: Sailing: Maxime Bachelin, Nico Charbonnier, Bryan Mettraux, Yves Detray. Power: Augustin Maillefer, Arthur Cevey, Florian Trüb, Nico Stahlberg

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 76 - February 26, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 17° degrees. Sunny.
  • Wind Strength: 5-13kts
  • Wind Direction: 160°-190°
  • Sea State: 0.3-0.6mtr
  • Crane In: 0930 Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1500hrs Crane out: 1530hrs
  • Total Tacks: 13 Fully foiling: 5; Touch & Go: 5; Touch Down: 3
  • Total Gybes: 12 Fully foiling: 5; Touch & Go: 5; Touch Down: 2

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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