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Cup Spy May 14: A dull day at the races - in Auckland and Barcelona

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 15 May 06:05 PDT 14 May 2024
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 16 - May 14, 2024 - Barcelona © Paul Todd/America's Cup

Two teams sailed on Tuesday. In Barcelona Alinghi Red Bull Racing squeezed in an hour of foiling, before the grey skies turned to rain, and killed the wind. In Auckland Emirates Team New Zealand also sailed under grey skies and a fading breeze - which also turned to rain overnight.

What happened in the Cup - May 14, 2024:

  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing sailed today out of Barcelona. While Tuesday was an improvement wind-wise on the previous day, it did not last. The Swiss got in an hour of sailing, before the first technical stop at 1300hrs - after which the wind disappeared and the rain arrived. The Recon team picked up a few more points of interest today which are at the bottom of this story.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand got a better breeze in Auckland, and were able to do what they did not on Monday - run two AC40s in contested racing practice. From North Head the breeze looked to be around 8-10kts, with flat water and both crews went through a combination of race and speed training drills in which there appeared to be a significant disparity in the experience of the teams and to a lesser extent speed. Getting into better pressure was a bigger determinant of "race" outcome.
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli have decommissioned their AC75 in preparation for relocation to the team's America's Cup base in Barcelona.
  • American Magic did not sail today.
  • INEOS Britannia did not sail today.
  • Orient Express Racing Team: No AC37 Recon Team report. A launch date has yet to be publicly advised for their AC75 raceboat.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 16 - May 14, 2024 - Barcelona

Alinghi Red Bull Racing RBR rolled out their AC75 at 10:00.

The boat was craned to the water at 10:25 and the team docked out at 12:00, as planned, after usual routine activities under the rain.

The M1-1 was selected for the session, combined with the J2-1. Both sails were hoisted just before heading out of the port at 12:25.

The training started with a long upwind leg, sailing under an eight-knot easterly breeze, combined with a 0.8m swell. Nine tacks were performed. Two of them counted as fully-foiling, four as touch and go and the remaining as fully landed.

At 12:50hrs there was ten-minute break in which the technicians got onboard to perform their routine checks.

Unfortunately, at 13:00hrs once the team was ready to resume sailing, the wind had shut down and that was pretty much the end of the day.

The rest of the time was spent either on the tow going from one place to another looking for wind, or sailing on displacement mode but without being even close to take-off.

ARBR entered the port at 14:20hrs, sails got lowered and the team docked at 14:38, indicating the end of a wet day.

[Sebastian Peri Brusa - Recon on ARBR]

Crew:Sailing: Arnaud Psarofaghis, Maxime Bachelin, Nicolas Charbonnier, Bryan Mettraux. Power: F. Noti, N. Theunink. B. Delarze, A. Cevey

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 16 - May 14, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 20 degrees. Cloudy
  • Wind Strength 1.5-7.2kts
  • Wind Direction: 95° - 310°
  • Sea State: 0.82mtrs swell.
  • Crane In: 1025hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1438hrs Crane out: 1510hrs
  • Takeoff Angle TWA: Self takeoff until 1300hrs - no data on windspeed and angle
  • Total Tacks: 11 - Fully foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 4; Touch Down: 5
  • Total Gybes: 0 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 x 2 - Day 76 - May 14, 2024 - Auckland

ETNZ set out for a two boat sailing day for day 76 of sailing LEQ 12. With the Youth and Women's team's itching to get time in the AC40 ahead of their event later in the year, they rigged up early and left the dock at 11am heading down the harbour and got into a sailing session between North Head and Browns Island. In the Youth and Women's sailing rotation today they had Liv Mackay, Molly Meech, Oscar Gunn, Leonard Takahashi, Josh Armit, Jo Aleh, Gemma Jones, Veerle tee Have.

With puffy conditions and some more wind than yesterday's session the Youth and Women's team at times struggled with some manoeuvres however continued to show improvement throughout the sailing session. The team rolled through a few different combinations of positions onboard within the 2 hour sailing block they completed.

LEQ 12 and the rest of the sailing team joined the Youth and Women's team on the water just before 2pm. While LEQ 12 with the normal team onboard completed some warmup laps, the team for AC40 swapped over to be, Josh Junior, Sam Meech, Marcus Hansen and Gemma Jones. Some quick warm up laps from both teams and a course laid by Chase 1 the team rolled straight into practice starts.

With some fast paced match racing the teams worked hard to keep themselves ahead off the start. During the starts LEQ 12 seemed to have an advantage over the AC40, winning the start more often than not. At times they seemed to be able to utilize the speed advantage to regain control where they would otherwise struggled. Even with said speed advantage it would go back and forth as to who would win the start, further showing the requirements for good sailing and starting tactics.

With 12 starts and 3 practice races completed LEQ 12 sailed down the harbour and stopped right outside the base to derig while the Youth and Women's teams jumped back into the OD boat to make further use of the dying light.

Recon had an interview with Sam Meech to discuss his role during this sailing block and the racing today.

[AC37 Joint Recon Team - Sam Thom and Connor Mashlan]

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 x 2 - Day 76 - May 14, 2024 - Auckland

  • Weather: 9-16 degrees Partly cloudy
  • Wind Strength: 12-15kts fading over the afternoon
  • Wind Direction: East fading
  • Sea State: Flat Inner Harbour
  • Crane In: Dock Out: 1300hrs
  • Dock In: 1630hrs Crane out: 1715hrs
  • Takeoff Angle TWA: NA - AC40s
  • Total Tacks: NA; Fully Foiling: NA; Touch & Go: NA; Touch Down: NA;
  • Total Gybes: NA; Fully Foiling: NA; Touch & Go: NA; Touch Down: NA;

Photos of Interest:

These images were mentioned specifically by the AC37 Joint Recon Teams in their reports, sent to all teams. These draw the teams' attention to new aspects or features of the AC75s which have not been seen previously, or are requested specifically by the teams as part of the Recon process.

Alinghi Red Bull Racing:

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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