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Cup Spy May 20: USA has strong session in breeze, big seas and with a new rudder

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 21 May 18:05 PDT 21 May 2024
American Magic - AC75 - Day 8 - May 20, 2024 - Barcelona © Alex Carabi / America's Cup

Two teams sailed on Monday - Emirates Team New Zealand out of Auckland with their two AC40s and bringing the Youth and Womens crews some on the water experience to complement the hours spent on the AC40 simulator.

American Magic had a solid session sailing off Barcelona in winds gusting 20 kts and 1mtr seas. To make life more difficult, the seas were off axis by 20-40 degrees - however of 33 maneuvers (tacks and gybes) dry foiling during all except one gybe, which was called as a touch and go.

What happened in the Cup - May 20, 2024:

  • Emirates Team New Zealand started a training block for Youth and Womens America's Cup squads. ETNZ's AC75 has been decommissioned and is in the process of being shipped to Barcelona. It leaves NZ on Tuesday.
  • American Magic sailed out of Barcelona in fresh conditions. The US team were sailing with a new rudder of which there are several images provided by the AC37 Joint Recon team and published below. The team had a 2hr 20min session which came to an end when the US team blew the head out of their #4 jib.
  • INEOS Britannia sailed in their AC75 on Saturday and were the only team to sail over the weekend. They did not sail on Monday.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing did not sail.
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli did not sail. The Italians have decommissioned their AC75 in preparation for relocation to the team's America's Cup base in Barcelona.
  • Orient Express Racing Team: No Recon Team Report indicating that if they are sailing then it is in one design mode. Their AC75 is in Barcelona however a launch date has yet to be publicly advised.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 x 2 - Day 78 - May 20, 2024 - Auckland

A cold and cloudy winter's day in Auckland today as the ETNZ Women's team headed out on the water for the first day of their week-long training camp.

Getting sailing in the inner harbor, the team worked on all aspects of sailing the AC40 OD and made their way towards Takapuna Beach, where they spent the morning sailing. With some team members being very new to sailing the AC40.

They focused mostly on straight-lining and basic boat handling, improving throughout the session. Onboard the Women's team today were Gemma Jones, Liv Mackay, Jo Aleh, and Molly Meech.

Joined just before midday by LEQ 12, the team of Josh Junior, Sam Meech, Marcus Hansen, and Gemma Jones got onboard the AC40 OD, and both boats started warm-up laps while a course was set.

Getting straight into pre-start practice, both teams pushed with fast and aggressive starting tactics, made possible by the upper-range sailing conditions. Recon observed the teams taking more risks than in lighter conditions as it was easier for the teams to regain flight after falling off the foils. While LEQ 12 has an even greater speed advantage in these windier conditions, AC40 OD could use aggressive tactics and often got a favorable start.

The teams completed 12 practice races before sailing back up the harbor and calling it a day.

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

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 x 2 - Day 78 - May 20, 2024 - Auckland

  • Weather: 8-14 degrees Overcast
  • Wind Strength: 12-18kts Building over the session.
  • Wind Direction: 090 degrees
  • Sea State: 0.5mtr - 0.8mtr
  • Crane In: NA Dock Out: 1130hrs
  • Dock In: 1500hrs Crane out: NA
  • 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;

American Magic rolled out Patriot at 11:20hrs, with a new rudder in place. The new rudder (AM-R5), which seems like a development of their legacy rudder (AM-R3), has a longer blade with a flatter elevator. Meanwhile, it was noted that the camera bulbs on the top and bottom surfaces of the starboard foil were moved to the port foil. The yacht was craned in at 11:50hrs and standard checks were carried out, with further work observed in the port cockpit.

The team docked out at 13:30hrs, hoisting the MN2-1 mainsail (tell tales added at the head, tack and clew) and the J3-1 jib. The team started sailing at 14:15hrs, with a long downwind to Badalona, mostly sailing on starboard tack keeping their port foil with cameras in the water. The J3 was replaced with the J4-1 (new version updated in component declaration), before sailing a long upwind on starboard. Techs then jumped in the helm and trimmer pods as a battery change was carried out.

The team engaged in long stretches on each tack, downwind to Masnou and back upwind to the starting point. With wind speeds reaching 20kts and an aggressive wind chop, it was very difficult to keep up with the yacht as they tested at high speed.

Following this loop, cyclors were rotated at 16:15hrs, two hours after setting sail.

Race course practice began with a port entry and continued into two laps around the 2nm course set at 200 degrees. Both leeward roundings were made with two foil arms down.

A second start saw another port entry, but while sailing upwind to the windward gate, the jib broke off from the head of the sail, bringing the yacht to a stop.

Sails were dropped on the course at 17:30hrs as the team decided to end the day and tow Patriot back to base.

The team spent four hours (240 minutes) on the water, of which 88 minutes were spent sailing. 33 manoeuvres were observed at 97% fully foiling.

American Magic - AC75 - Day 8 - May 20, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 19 degrees Mostly fine
  • Wind Strength: 12-20kts
  • Wind Direction: 200 degrees
  • Sea State: 0.6-1.0mtrs SSE 157 degrees
  • Crane In: 1150hrs Dock Out: 1330hrs
  • Dock In: 1750hrs Crane out: 1840hrs
  • Takeoff Angle TWA: 60-80 degrees Boatspeed: 18-20kts
  • Total Tacks: 19; Fully Foiling: 19; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0;
  • Total Gybes: 14; Fully Foiling: 13; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0;

Additional Images:

American Magic - AC75 - Day 8 - May 20, 2024 - Barcelona

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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