Please select your home edition
Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

Cup Spy April 15: Kiwis on a mission to work out their AC75 wrinkles before heading for Barcelona

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 15 Apr 07:15 PDT 15 April 2024
Flat underbody and deep skeg - Emirates Team New Zealand- AC75 - Day 3 - April 15, 2024 - Auckland © Sam Thom/America's Cup

Emirates Team New Zealand sailed a three hour plus session today, Monday.

It was their third day of sailing, the first was the same day as the AC75 was launched, and the Kiwis appear to be on a tight schedule.

The word around the waterfront, is that they will be sailing for just two weeks, before packing up and heading for Barcelona where the serious workup will begin.

Currently the as yet unnamed AC75 - that will be remedied on Thursday afternoon - is sailing with legacy foil arms and wingfoils (ex Te Rehutai). That might take the edge off the sailing, for fans, however for the design teams this test/sailing block is useful to benchmark Boat 3 against Te Rehutai. The variables at this point are the new hull design and the new sails, and new systems.

The breeze started light and patchy, but filled in later in the three and a half hour session. Cup Spy watched from Narrow Neck at the start of the session, there was the usual (for Day 3 of a sailing program) man up the top of the mast sorting halyards and locks.

The session started with the J2 jib, and with a bit of assistance from the Catalyst chase boat, the team started doing their standard speed runs, off Takapuna - and sailing across the wind up and downwind.

The striking impression watching the new AC75 is the depth of the skeg, compared to Te Rehutai, and the flatness of the aft underbody. The hull and skeg almost has wineglass appearance. The new Class rules permit a greater foil arm depth, and the loger arms will be fitted in Barcelona.

From the Recon team video (66 video files posted today), the AC75 kicks up a lot of water in the rudder area, until the hull lifts off, and it pops effortlessly.

Burns Fallow, the lead sail designer was interviewed by Sam Thom of the AC37 Joint Recon Team after the session. Burns has been part of every New Zealand America's Cup Challenge (except 2017) starting with KZ-7 and Fremantle in 1986/87. He is one of a handful of current team members who were there at the beginning.

He made some interesting points.

"It's been a good day. It's been our longest day of the three so far. And each day, we're getting a little more adventurous with what we do—and as you saw, we did a few little laps at the end. So it's all good."

The sails being used on Boat 3 - are new, unlike the legacy sails that were mandatory when testing for the present campaign on Te Rehutai.

"We only get to build six main sails in total, so we've got to think about what the right main is for when we actually put the whole package (including foils) together", he explained.

"The learning curve is not quite as steep as the last campaign. That wasn't a curve. That was a mountain. But every boat is new. Every boat is different. We're always learning. And that's kind of cool."

Each team is restricted to six new mainsails. "We're only three days into this sail, and this main will obviously inform what we do with our next ones," Burns explained. "There's a reasonable cycle of design, manufacturing, and finishing each sail. And you've got to think about how you program all of that. For us, it's relatively simple because our target date is in October, later this year. It is tricky for the challengers because they've got to negotiate their way through a Challenger Series first."

The role of the sail designer has changed since that first Cup in Fremantle.

"We now only have one designer," he says. "We've got several other people doing specialist jobs in the aero department. And now, I'm just part of the aero department.

"That's changed over the years. We used to have a sail designer who was king of their own little domain, but now it doesn't work like that. We're involved in all sorts of stuff. So, as a rig designer, you're just involved in all sorts of things. And that's what's made doing these campaigns more and more interesting over the years."

AC37 Joint Recon Team Report:

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - Boat 3 - Day 3 - April 15, 2024 - Auckland

Day 3 for ETNZ AC75 Boat 3 started with a very light southwesterly breeze. The boat rolled out of the shed at 8:40hrs, and the team started the now-standard setup procedure. However, having some problems maneuvering the boat under the crane as there had been some lifting equipment breakdown. Leaving the dock at 11:00hrs, the team towed down the harbour and out towards Rangitoto Lighthouse.

Hoisting M2 and J2 just south of Rangitoto Lighthouse around 11:15hrs, the team spent about 40 minutes rigging up on the water and getting all the systems tuned up and ready to start sailing.

In very light conditions, Chase 1 proceeded to tow AC75 B3 onto the foils, hoping to build some apparent wind and start sailing; however, as B3 sheeted on and dropped the tow, they quickly found themselves back in the water, not being able to sail under their own steam. A quick 5-minute break, and the team felt they had enough wind to pop without the tow. Successfully popping onto the foils and sailing out of the harbour down the northern side of Rangitoto Island.

The team spent 10 minutes sailing mainly on port while it could be seen that some of the sailors were walking around onboard the yacht, checking over systems. After a few maneuvers, the team came out of a tack and proceeded to touchdown and come to a stop. Chase 1 came alongside, and the shore crew boarded the yacht, spending about 20 minutes stopped.

The team then went for a 25-minute sailing session, completing working back towards Takapuna Beach and running down the northern side of Rangitoto Island. Spending time working through maneuvers. Coming out of a tack, they touched down and proceeded to stop. With Chase 1 alongside, a cyclor swap was completed as well as a change to the Jib head lashing. Stopping for 15 minutes.

Starting sailing around 13:00hrs after the crew change, the team went for another few windward-leeward laps. In the still down-range conditions, the team touched down out of a gybe; however, managing to quickly regain speed and pop onto foils. After roughly 24 minutes of sailing, the team stopped sailing again as they fell off the foils during a round-up. They then completed a Jib change, changing down to the J4, and while this seemed a strange call at the time as the team started sailing again, the wind was building from 6-8kts up to around 12 knots.

Sailing again well-powered on the J4, the team went for a longer downwind run then working back upwind towards Rangitoto Lighthouse, spending more time on each board and completing a few less maneuvers. Another 20-minute sailing session, the team stopped for about 15 minutes. Not seen making any changes to the yacht.

After this last break, the team started working on some practice starts using one of the permanently laid race marks as the pin and the rest vital marks. They completed two starts each with a short 2-lap windward-leeward. Sailing back into the harbor after the last upwind. Dropping sails just east of North Head and heading into the dock.

[AC37 Joint Recon team: Sam Thom and Andrew Burgess]

Crew: Sailing: Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke. Cyclors: Hamish Bond, Louis Sinclair, Marius Van Der Pol, Simon Van Veltooven, Marcus Hansen, Dougal Allan

Session Statistics: Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - Boat 3 - Day 1 - April 12, 2024 - Auckland

  • Weather: 17-20° Part cloud cover otherwise sunny.
  • Wind Strength: 5-12kts
  • Wind Direction: 230-240
  • Sea State: 0.1mtrs
  • Crane In: 0930hrs Dock Out: 1100hrs
  • Dock In: 1540hrs Crane out:
  • Total Tacks: 15 - Fully foiling: 11; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 12 - Fully foiling: 12; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

Additional Images:

Related Articles

Cup Spy May 27: Franciwi AC75 design revealed
Three teams sailed on Monday. The British and USA teams sailed AC75s out of Barcelona Three teams sailed on Monday - the British and USA teams sailed AC75s out of Barcelona. Orient Express splashed their AC75, while on the opposite side of the planet, the Kiwis conducted some more two boat testing. Posted today at 5:11 am
Cup Spy May 28: Kiwi kids have a big splash
Two videos of the Cup sailing action from May 28 in Barcelona and the ETNZ nosedive in Auckland Early edition: Four America's Cup teams sailed AC75s off Barcelona on Tuesday. Top sailing photographer Gilles Martin-Raget was shoreside to catch the action. Also catch the full video of the ETNZ Youth Team's spectacular nosedive off Auckland. Posted today at 1:59 am
Cup Spy May 25: Two Tango in Barcelona
Today for the first time in Barcelona two of the AC75 teams lined up against each other Today for the first time in Barcelona two of the AC75 teams lined up against each other in a rules limited way. We didn't learn much. The teams may have learned more, and if so - weren't saying. Posted on 26 May
America's Cup: French reveal their hand
Orient Express Racing Team's AC75 was wheeled out of the shed briefly on Saturday For a rig-stepping test Saturday morning, Orient Express Racing Team's AC75 was wheeled out of the shed briefly during the early hours revealing France's hope for the America's Cup. Posted on 25 May
Cup Spy May 24: Fourth AC75 sailing in Spain
Luna Rossa have made their grand entrance in Spain. French reveal their AC75 raceboat Luna Rossa made their grand entrance onto the 2024 America's Cup stage in Barcelona sailing a three hour session in moderate winds, without incident. The Kiwis were not so fortunate in the AC40s. French reveal their AC75 in Barcelona. Posted on 25 May
Cup Spy May 22-23: UFOs hit AC75s
One and probably two AC75s hit UFOs during race training off Barcelona forcing a return to base Two teams, sailing AC75s are believed to have struck UFOs (unidentified floating objects) over the past two days, forcing them to stop sailing. Posted on 24 May
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ's AC75 departs
'Taihoro' has departed from the Port of Mount Maunganui, destined for the 2024 America's Cup Match Emirates Team New Zealand's America's Cup Defender 'Taihoro' has departed from the Port of Mount Maunganui, destined for the 2024 America's Cup Match in Barcelona, Spain. The voyage follows in the wake of the America's Cup champion 'Te Rehutai' in 2023. Posted on 24 May
Cup Spy May 21: A productive day on the Med
Three teams sailed on Tuesday - Emirates Team NZ in Auckland, and two AC75 teams in Barcelona Three teams sailed on Tuesday - Emirates Team NZ out of Auckland with their two AC40s and bringing the Youth and Womens crews. In Barcelona, Alinghi Red Bull Racing and American Magic sailed in moderate breezes and flat seas. Posted on 22 May
Puig Women's America's Cup trophy is presented
The trophy for the inaugural Puig Women's America's Cup, has been presented by Puig The trophy for the inaugural Puig Women's America's Cup, has been presented by Puig. The Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola was commissioned to design and shape the trophy for winning team of the Puig Women's America's Cup. Posted on 22 May
Cup Spy May 20: USA has impressive hit-out
Two teams sailed on Monday - Emirates Team NZ out of Auckland and American Magic in Barcelona Two teams sailed on Monday - Emirates Team NZ out of Auckland with their two AC40s and bringing the Youth and Womens crews some on the water experience. American Magic had a solid session sailing off Barcelona in winds gusting 20 kts and 1mtr seas. Posted on 22 May
Lloyd Stevenson - SYA3 728x90px BOTTOMRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERZhik 2024 March - FOOTER