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Cup Spy May 21: Swiss and USA teams work through their drills off Barcelona

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 22 May 02:17 PDT 21 May 2024
American Magic - AC75 - Day 9 - May 21, 2024 - Barcelona © Alex Carabi / America's Cup

Three teams sailed on Tuesday - 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. In Barcelona Alinghi Red Bull Racing and American Magic sailed in moderate breezes and flat seas.

What happened in the Cup - May 21, 2024:

  • Emirates Team New Zealand continued with their week-long 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 left NZ on Tuesday afternoon and will go through the Panama Canal en route to Spain.
  • American Magic put in an almost five hour on the water session off Barcelona in lighter wind than Monday. The day seemed to be aimed more at racing practice with multiple starts and setting a team record for the number of tacks/gybes in a day.
  • INEOS Britannia sailed in their AC75 on Saturday and were the only team to sail over the weekend. They did not sail on Monday or today, Tuesday. Their AC40 was seen in some images presumably training Youth of Women's America's Cup crews.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing sailed with the focus being on crew co-ordination in the new AC75, even though the Swiss are up to Day 18 on Boat 2. The Recon team reported a discernable improvement, but the Swiss were claimed to have power problems within the confines of the start box, with frequent landings.
  • 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:

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 18 - May 21, 2024 - Barcelona

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC75 at 11:00hrs. The boat was craned to the water at 11:25hrs and the team docked out at 13:00hrs, as planned, after usual routine activities.

The M2-1 mainsail was selected for the session, combined with the J3-3L. Both sails were hoisted just before heading out of Port Vell at 13:20hrs.

Unstable southerly winds prevailed averaging 10kts, moving up and down in intensity, but remaining pretty stable in direction.

It seemed like the intention of the day was to test the boat's performance specially while maneuvering, under the selected sails configuration of smaller sail area than the M1-1 + J3-1 combination, in bottom-range or even out-of-range J3 conditions.

The training started just out of the harbor at 13:30hrs. However, before the first take-off the day, the AC75 was forced to head into the wind and stop, indicating that something was out of order. Immediately after the technicians got onboard for fifteen minutes. Then the session was resumed.

Some zigzag "Ses" followed on both tacks, before performing a downwind-upwind warm up. During most of this time, it seemed hard for Alinghi Red Bull Racing to stay on the foils when tacking, not having "anything extra" in the lulls with the standing sails configuration.

At 14:18hrs there was a second fifteen-minute break in which the hydraulics' and electronics' engineers got onboard, together with the rigger and boat captain.

The training continued consisting of downwind-upwind-downwind legs, wit a focus on the tacks and gybes.

Almost a 100% foiling effectiveness was achieved on the downwind change of course maneuvers, however the story was different on the tacks. It seemed like the Swiss needed some extra power not to end up landing in many of them, and it was not an easy task to be able to re-take-off after landing.

At 15:00hrs there was a new fifteen-minute break in which a full set of fresh cyclors came onboard to replace the starting four.

At 15:15hrs the training was resumed. After a short upwind-downwind, ARBR headed to the race-course area, where marks had been laid and the pre-start training got under way.

A total of six sequences were accomplished, altering port and starboard tack entries and different movements inside be box. At times going deeper into towards the imaginary virtual boundaries, in some other opportunities staying higher to windward of the windward end of the starting line, and at chances practicing complete 360s to burn time when being close to the line.

Performance improved during the day, noticing a better coordination in between change of course, flight controlling and sail trimming, achieving neater boat movements inside the start box.

Also, the time-distance estimations for the start became more accurate as the day went on.

Out of all the six sequences, only the last one was not abandoned immediately after the start, which continued with a one lap upwind-downwind executing six tacks and four gybes.

After rounding the leeward gates, the Swiss continued to sail upwind towards the port.

Sails got lowered at 17:00hrs just outside the harbor, and the AC75 reached the base on the tow, docking at 17:32hrs, and was craned out 30 minutes later.

[Sebastian Peri Brusa - Recon on ARBR]


Sailing: Arnaud Psarofaghis (stb), Maxime Bachelin (port), Bryan Mettraux (stb), Nicolas Charbonnier (port).

Power: First shift: F. Trub - A. Maillefer - N. Rolaz - N. Stahlberg; Second shift: F. Noti, B. Delarze, N. Theunink, A. Cevey

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 18 - May 21, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 23 degrees. Part cloudy
  • Wind Strength 8kts-12kts
  • Wind Direction: 180 degrees - 190 degrees
  • Sea State: 0.9mtrs swell, but mostly flat.
  • Crane In: 1125hrs Dock Out: 1300hrs
  • Dock In: 1730hrs Crane out: 1800hrs
  • Takeoff Angle: All self - no data.
  • Total Tacks: 30 - Fully foiling: 21; Touch & Go: 4; Touch Down: 5
  • Total Gybes: 14 - Fully foiling: 13; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0

American Magic - AC75 - Day 9 - May 21, 2024 - Barcelona

American Magic rolled out Patriot at 10:20hrs and craned in at 10:55hrs.

The cameras on the port wing were removed since the previous day, with no other changes to appendages noted. Following standard system checks, the team docked out at 12:30hrs and hoisted the MN2-1 mainsail and J3-1 jib under the breakwater before setting sail at 13:00hrs.

The team started with a two lap warmup on the course area without the set marks, ahead of a day of race course practice in 8-12kts southerly thermal wind and relatively flat sea state.

A 2nm course was set at 180 degrees. Six starts were practiced, two port entries and four starboard entries. The first start was a time and distance run (13ecs late assuming start on:00 GPS time), and the subsequent five starts continued into a mix of one and two laps around the course. A battery change and cyclor team rotation occurred at 15:00, after 90 minutes of active sailing.

The J3 was dropped at 16:20hrs, while technicians on board inspected the main and systems below deck to ascertain whether to continue sailing. The decision was made to end the day and the mainsail was dropped at 16:45 at the leeward end of the race course, with Patriot then towed back to base.

The team spent just under 5 hours on the water, of which 138 minutes were spent sailing. 92 manoeuvres were observed (highest number on Patriot so far) at an 82% fully foiling rate.


Sailing: Tom Slingsby, Paul Goodison, Michael Menninger, Andrew Cambell

Power: John Croom, James Wright, Carlton Hall, Madison Molitor, Ashton Lambie, Austin Regier, Chris Shirley

[Justin Busuttil - AC Recon]

Session Statistics: American Magic - AC75 - Day 9 - May 21, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 20 degrees Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 6-12kts
  • Wind Direction: 170 degrees - 190 degrees
  • Sea State: 0.4-0.6mtrs from S
  • Crane In: 1055hrs Dock Out: 1230hrs
  • Dock In: 1710hrs Crane out: 1810hrs
  • Takeoff Angle TWA: 60 degrees-80 degrees Boatspeed: 18-20kts
  • Total Tacks: 50; Fully Foiling: 38; Touch & Go: 9; Touch Down: 3;
  • Total Gybes: 42; Fully Foiling: 37; Touch & Go: 5; Touch Down: 0;

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 OD - Day 7 - May 21, 2024 - Auckland

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

After getting sailing in the inner Waitemata harbor, the team worked on all aspects of sailing the AC40 OD and made their way north 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.

Recon had an interview with Blair Tuke - ETNZ Flight Controller

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

Session Statistics: Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 OD - Day 7 - May 21, 2024 - Auckland

  • Weather: 8-16 degrees Part cloud cover.
  • Wind Strength: 12-15kts
  • Wind Direction: West 270 degrees
  • Sea State: Flat Inner Harbour
  • Crane In: 1000hrs Dock Out: 1100hrs
  • Dock In: 1700hrs Crane out:
  • Takeoff Angle TWA: NA - AC40s
  • Total Tacks: 30; Fully Foiling: NA; Touch & Go: NA; Touch Down: NA;
  • Total Gybes: 28; Fully Foiling: NA; Touch & Go: NA; Touch Down: NA;

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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