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Cup Spy April 26: Tow and sail in Barcelona and Cagliari

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 26 Apr 16:14 PDT 27 April 2024
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC75 - Day 6 - April 26, 2024 - Cagliari © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

Four teams were active - two in Barcelona and the other in Cagliari. As reported earlier Emirates Team NZ sailed in fresh winds in Auckland, and American Magic had a brief reveal in Barcelona. Updated edition to be posted later today.

What happened in the Cup - April 26, 2024 - Updated:

  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - sailed today out of Cagliari. Report below.
  • INEOS Britannia - tow tested in Barcelona. Report below.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing - sailed out of Barcelona. See Report below.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand - sailed beyond the Course A area for the 2021 America's Cup, and in winds recorded in the area at 20-25kts. The easterly swell running against the SW wind chop. See earlier report. Cup Spy watched today's session - which was impressive. They are expected to keep sailing until early May, resuming in Barcelona in early July.
  • American Magic - revealed their AC75 unexpectedly today. At first glance the US boat shows a strong influence from Te Rehutai and its later progeny, the AC40. This is practicably evident in the bow treatment and the interface of the bow with the foredeck
  • Orient Express Racing Team - Their AC75 is the other yet to be revealed. It is to an Emirates Team NZ design.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

INEOS Britannia - AC75 - Day 0 - April 26, 2024 - Barcelona

INEOS Britannia rolled out their AC75, RB3, at 08:25. Shrouding was removed from the foils, revealing the details of their high aspect wings mounted aft of the sculpted bulbs, with markers and flow tails on the upper surface along the wingspans, and upswept blended wingtips. Pitot tubes added to both bulbs were also noted. Camera bulbs were also added, outboard of the bulb on the starboard wing, and inboard of the bulb on the port wing. The foil arm, slightly recessed from the one-design foil arm component, continues down to the front of the bulb, with the trailing edge narrowing in profile half way down to a shorter chord length. At this point, the thickness of the foil also narrows. Little spray fences were noted on the leading edge of the port foil arm, but not on the starboard side.

The rudder was in place and revealed for the first time, mounted further back compared to other AC75s. The rudder profile has small steps at the leading edge, and bigger steps at the trailing edge. Mounted aft at the very tip of the trailing edge of the rudder, is a slightly inverted gullwing elevator

The mast was stepped at 09:40, with small aero fairings mounted to all the vertical and diagonal shrouds. The yacht was then slowly craned in at 10:15, noticeably floating just on the bustle, with the hull sides sitting a few inches above the waterline. A rigger was then hoisted up the mast to fit antennas and communication equipment, before work began on the mainsheet system. The black outer tube with sheave and yoke connected at the end, was removed from the system, as multiple ropes observed being threaded into the tube, before being reassembled with the main actuator. Cyclors were in position for system testing, which seemed to be inhibited by some teething issues, requiring further maintenance.

The team moved on to FCS testing, lifting both foils multiple times. HMIs were spotted in the aft cyclor pod, including a display and an LED lightbar. A sticker with the number "6" was spotted in the forward cyclor pod, suggesting the location of another display to be fitted. The mainsheet system was strapped down to the deck ahead of tow testing, as four jibs were carried onto chase boats in the meantime. The M1-1 mainsail was craned onto the deck, and the team prepared to dock out. The team was delayed further as last minute checks and maintenance was carried out at the mast base.

The team docked out at 15:25, with tow testing beginning at 15:50 from the port entrance. The yacht was towed 3NM north-east along the coast, before towing 3.5NM south, at speeds between 18-24 knots. Once on foil, the rudder was noticeably raked forward, pitching the boat down to align the skeg in parallel with the sea level. Tow testing ended at 16:15, with deck hatches opened and crew below deck, as the yacht was slowly towed in displacement back to port.

On entering the port, the yacht was turned head to wind with Chase 3 alongside to commence sail fitting under the breakwater. The M1-1 mainsail was prepared to hoist at 17:00, and slowly raised over a 50 minute period. As techs got to work on the mainsheet and Cunningham systems, the J2-1 was hoisted for 15 minutes, followed by the J3-1 and J1-1. Fairing covers were added over the tack and clew of the mainsail, covering the control systems.

Sails were dropped by 19:40, with the team heading back to base to dock in at 20:00, concluding four and a half hours on the water. After sails were carried off the yacht, tech crew got to work on the yacht, but it was not clear exactly what they were working on. The yacht was subsequently craned out in the dark at 21:30 to conclude a long day of work for the team.

[Justin Busuttil - AC Recon]

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 7 - April 26, 2024 - Barcelona

Alinghi Red Bull Racing chalked up a productive day of commissioning and testing in Barcelona with flat seas and a southerly sea breeze that ranged from 7-11 knots throughout the day. The team rolled out at 0930 and had the Swiss AC75 rigged and launched by 1002 ahead of a bang-on-time 1130 dock-out. After hoisting the M1-1 mainsail and J2-1 headsail in the harbour basin, the boat was bow-towed out to sea at 1202 where the crew wasted no time in setting off for their first flight of the day – a 15-minute upwind in 9 knots of breeze with 8 foiling tacks.

Subsequent flights were as follows:

1240 – 1246: Windward leeward in 9-10 knots with one foiling tack and two touch and go gybes.

1300 – 1323: Downwind in 11 knots with seven foiling gybes and speeds estimated at around 40 knots. At the end of that run, they switched to the J3-1.

1340 – 1356: Windward leeward around a two-buoy course in 10-11 knots with two foiling tacks, one touchdown tack, and three foiling gybes. The final gybe into the leeward gate was too early resulting in an awkward, slow, two-board displacement rounding.

1412 – 1442: Windward leeward in 10-11 knots with one foiling tack, one touchdown tack, five foiling gybes, and one touch and go gybe.

1507 – 1521: Short upwind on starboard in 7-8 knots then bear away and fast downwind (40 knots plus estimated) sometimes at higher than VMG angles. One foiling gybe.

1527 – 1539: Upwind on port in eight knots ending in a touchdown tack and stop.

1540 – 1600: Long upwind from leeward of course in nine knots with two foiling tacks, two touch and go tacks, and a starboard hand rounding of windward mark before heading for the harbour.

The boat entered the harbour at 1605 and was back on the dock by 1615. No sailing is scheduled before Tuesday April 30.

Crew:Sailing: Arnaud Psarofaghis, Maxime Bachelin, Nicolas Charbonnier Nico Rolaz Bryan Mettraux Power: Théry Schir, Florian Trub, Neils Theuninck

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75- B2 - Day 7 - April 23, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 15°-18°. Sunny
  • Wind Strength 8-11kts
  • Wind Direction: 180 degrees - 190 degrees
  • Sea State: Moderate steep chop
  • Crane In: 1000hrs Dock Out: 1230hrs
  • Dock In: 1615hrs Crane out: 1700hrs
  • Total Tacks: 19 - Fully foiling: 14; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 3
  • Total Gybes: 20 - Fully foiling: 16; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 1

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC75 - Day 6 - April 26, 2024 - Barcelona

The Italian team rolled out their B3 AC75 at 9:50, stepped mast and craned the yacht in to run the usual dock checks. As the team docked out at 11:50, the sea-breeze was weakly filling in with 6-8kn from 185° with an offset swell from 140° of approx. 0.7m short period. The main M1-7 was hoisted at 11:55 and paired to the new J1.5-4 shortly after.

The first two foiling stints began with a tow-to-fly on each tack, resulting in 7 total foiling minutes in which B3 sailed at slow speed, over-sheeting the main and pressing cant to stay alive on foils while occasionally skimming the hull on the swell downwind. This technique help B3 self-take-off for the third stint and sailed for approx. 18 minutes longer straight-line runs with one light air gybe in between. As the boat came to a stop the team seemed to be willing to change jib but ended up staying on their J1.5 for a further while as the pressure had shifted to 130° with 8-10kn.

Once back foilborne for the fourth stint on starboard tack, the yacht completed 2 tacks before bearing away and heading downwind. As confirmed during the day, the yacht suffered sailing downwind on the anhedral appendages resulting in lift losses altering its stability. After a gybe, the yacht turned upwind to execute some tacks before bearing away and practicing this routine again, finally coming to a stop after additional 48 minutes. On this break, two helms, one trimmer and a pair of cyclors swapped. Another self-take-off was then executed beginning the fifth foiling stint which lasted 32 minutes including a similar routine to the previous one with higher number of upwind and downwind manoeuvres.

As the sea-breeze was increasing, the J1.5 was lowered at 14:45 to hoist the J2-7. At 15:00, B3 was again foilborne by self-take-off and, after executing some tacks it bore away for some gybes downwind and finally trimmed back up to repeat. Then it sailed a last straight-line run towards the harbour where the day was called after 29 minutes ride. During this sailing day, the Italian AC75 looked quick and in control, beside the bumpy rides downwind. Sails were lowered at 15:45 and the team docked in at 15:55 with 134 minutes foiling time, approx. 29 tacks and 25 gybes

[Michele Melis AC Recon].

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC75 - Day 6 - April 26, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather:
  • Wind Strength 6-13kts
  • Wind Direction: 130° - 135°
  • Sea State: 0.7mtr from 140°
  • Crane In: 1020hrs Dock Out: 1150hrs
  • Dock In: 1555hrs Crane out:
  • Total Tacks: 29 - Fully foiling: 19; Touch & Go: 9; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 25 - Fully foiling: 11; Touch & Go: 11; Touch Down: 3

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