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Cup Spy Feb 27: Kiwis return to an unfamiliar Hauraki Gulf

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 27 Feb 03:46 PST 28 February 2024
Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 - Day 67 - February 27, 2024 - Waitemata Harbour/Hauraki Gulf © Sam Thom/America's Cup

Emirates Team New Zealand - LEQ12 - Day 67 - February 27, 2024 - Auckland

Today was Day 67 on the Hauraki Gulf for Emirates Team New Zealand sailing their AC40 hull set up as a LEQ12 test boat. It was the first sail for the team, since their arrival back from the SailGP regatta in Sydney, where they finished in third place. Peter Burling was back on the helm, having missed the SailGP event.

After they rolled out of the shed at 10:50hrs, AC37 Joint Recon team noticed some new attachments to the Port foil arm and new sensors on the Starboard foil.

The LEQ12 was splashed at 1115hrs, after which the shore team ran through their standard dock checks and the AC40 left the dock just after 1200hrs. They towed out of the harbour towards Mechanics Bay pushed by a southwesterly breeze. After hoisting the M2 Main and J2 Jib, the Kiwis sailed down the Rangitoto channel to the Course A area for the 2021 America's Cup.

Gybing their way down the northern shore of Rangitoto, the team looked to be trying different modes to deal with the confused off-axis sea state caused by a Northeasterly swell rolling into the harbour and meeting the wind chop from the South West. The team did a good job controlling ride height throughout downwind manoeuvres and tackled the sea state well.

After a solid downwind run finishing near Haystack Island (off Rakino), the team stopped to check over the port foil. Spending a brief moment here, they showed no signs of concern and continued sailing, heading upwind towards Rangitoto lighthouse.

ETNZ Chase One was getting very close to the LEQ12 going upwind on Starboard. The chase boat looked to be taking video of the new foil arm attachment. Tacking upwind, the team completed multiple solid manoeuvres in the tricky sea state. After a good fast bearaway, the team continued sailing downwind back towards Haystack.

Stopping abruptly out of a tack, the team tipped the boat over to leeward slightly to look at the rudder foil. They spent a few minutes checking over the rudder. They then popped back on the foil and sailed upwind in normal sailing conditions. Eventually, they headed back towards the harbour and called it a day.

Interview with Blair Tuke, Flight Controller regarding the new foil mods and the outcome of today's session.

[AC Recon team: Sam Thom and Andrew Burgess]

Crew: Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke

Session Statistics: Emirates Team New Zealand - LEQ12 - Day 67 - February 27, 2024 - Auckland

  • Weather: 22°C Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 7-12kts
  • Wind Direction: 240°
  • Sea State: 0-1.3mtr
  • Crane In: 1120hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1445hrs Crane out: 1510hrs
  • Sailing time: 160 minutes
  • Sailing distance: 53nm
  • Tacks: 49 - Fully foiling: 42; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 5
  • Total Gybes: 21 - Fully foiling: 19; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 1

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