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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Cup Spy May 27: French launch Kiwi AC75 design in Barcelona

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 28 May 22:11 PDT 29 May 2024
Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40- LEQ12 - Day 81 - May 27, 2024 - Auckland © Sam Thom/America's Cup

Three teams sailed on Monday - the British and USA teams sailed AC75s out of Barcelona. Orient Express launched their AC75, while on the opposite side of the planet, the Kiwis conducted some more two boat testing.

What happened in the Cup - May 27, 2024:

  • Orient Express Racing Team splashed their AC75, the tow test is on Tuesday and the christening is on Wednesday. Their sailing crew fly out to Halifax for the SailGP regatta in the weekend. The first sail is not expected until after they return next week. From what we could see of the AC75 and comments by Bruno Dubois it would seem that the French obtained a complete snapshot of the Kiwi design package including wingfoils and custom hardware.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand conducted a further day of two boat testing, with some technical issues on the AC40OD. Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 is in the process of being shipped to Barcelona. It left NZ on a week ago and will go through the Panama Canal en route to Spain in about a week.
  • American Magic sailed by was not accompanied by an AC37 Joint Recon team - who were diverted to check that Orient Express' new AC75 floated when it was splahed today. AM's skipper Paul Goodison, said the focus was on race training, with attempts at different manoeuvre techniques, as well as looking at the crossover between the J2 and J3 jib
  • INEOS Britannia had a good but interrupted training session. They locked horns for a time with American Magic. The Brits packed in 32 tacks and 24 gybes. A sudden nose dive wiped out their windvane on the bow. A suspected strike with a UFO caused the session to be stopped for 90minutes while checks were conducted before sailing resumed.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing did not sail.
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli did not sail.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

INEOS Britannia - AC75 - Day 15 - May 27, 2024 - Barcelona

INEOS Britannia rolled out their AC75 at 08:00hrs, and we could see the onshore operation team working with plumb lines, measuring tapes, and total stations before stepping the mast. In the interview it was explained that

Crane-in was done at 09:30 hrs. Then, some regular checks and maintenance on the different aero and flight control systems were done.

The same cameras from the last sailing session were installed in both port and starboard foils. Lidars for main and jib sails were also on board.

According to the last component declaration, some modifications have been made to the foils.

We also saw that spray protection had been installed for the trimmers' pods.

Dock out was done at 11:00hrs, and Britannia was towed to the harbour entrance, where sails were hoisted. Mainsail MN2 was paired to a J2 jib.

A wind of about 6-8kts from 90 degrees was blowing when they finished hoisting the sails, and the breeze rapidly increased to 10-14kts. After sailing 1 mile out from the harbour. After 30 minutes of sailing, including four tacks and some straight lines were done, and just after, they bore away and touched something with the rudder. They had to stop and check that the rudder was OK so they could keep the sailing session running. This took around 90 minutes. Meanwhile, they changed the jib to the J3 as the wind increased.

Once they verified that the boat was fine, they continued the training session, which can be summarized in nine upwinds and nine downwinds where 32 tacks and 24 gybes were drilled. Four (up & downwind) were done as 2 x 2 lap races (10 minutes each lap), including a prestart process at each of them. Mark roundings were practised at almost every single upwind and downwind (sometimes with virtual marks, sometimes with physical marks), alternating the side of the roundings to starboard and to portside each time.

One swap of batteries was done at 15:25 h, almost 4 hours after they started to sail (ie nearly 2 hours of physical sailing)

Two cycler swaps were performed: the first after 45 minutes of effective foiling and the second after 80 minutes of effective foiling.

Three jib swaps were done: from J2 to J3 (wind increased from 6-8 to 10-14 kt); from J3 to J2 (wind decreased from 10-14 to 6-8 kt); from J2 to J3 (wind increased from 6-8 to 9-12 kt).

Events of Interest:

  • In one of the upwinds, some crossings were seen with the American Magic team.
  • A hard nose diving was seen in a gybe manoeuvre at the first gybe from the second lap of the first practice race, where they lost the Windex from the bowsprit.
  • After the last cycler swap, Britannia started sailing upwind, and we couldn't clearly see what happened, but suddenly, we saw the bow going relatively high. We were unsure if the rudder was close to going out from the water surface, and we saw the reaction from a safety system to avoid that. Immediately, Britannia stopped, and they changed the jib from J2 to J3. Some technicians jumped from the chase boat to perform some quick checks.

INEOS Britannia dropped the sails at 17:30hrs and docked in at 17:50hrs after approximately 190 minutes of sailing.

Jose Luis Piñana - INEOS Britannia AC Recon

Crew - Sailing: Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott, Luke Parkinson, Leigh McMillan
Crew - Power: (FC) Freddie Carr, Harry Leask (->Matt Grotel, Ben Cornish). Power Group: Neil Hunter, Ryan Todhunter (->Michael Rossiter, James Skulczuk)

[From: AC37 Joint Recon Team: Jose Luis Piñana - AC Recon]

Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - AC75 - Day 10 - May 24, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 23 degrees Sunny, Clear skies
  • Wind Strength: 6-14kts
  • Wind Direction: 70 degrees-90 degrees
  • Sea State: 1.0 - 1.8mtrs from 080 degrees
  • Crane In: 0930hrs Dock Out: 1100hrs
  • Dock In: 1750hrs Crane out: 1830hrs
  • Takeoff Angle TWA: 085 degrees Speed: 16kts
  • Total Tacks: 32 Fully Foiling: Touch & Go: Touch Down:
  • Total Gybes: 24 Fully Foiling: Touch & Go: Touch Down: 3

Emirates Team New Zealand - LEQ12/AC40OD - Day 81 - May 27, 2024 - Auckland

Emirates Team New Zealand headed out onto the Hauraki Gulf Monday afternoon for a two-boat testing day. Towing down the harbour and hoisting M2 and J3 in Mechanics Bay, the team got started sailing, heading downwind and meeting the AC40 OD that had been out for the morning of sailing with the Youth Team.

There was a crew swap on the AC40 OD, with the Youth team getting off, and Josh Junior, Sam Meech, Gemma Jones, and Marcus Hansen getting onboard. Both teams engaged in warm-up sailing in the inner harbor off Kohimarama Beach. LEQ 12 came to a stop after some tight manoeuvres and then spent time inspecting the main skin clew rams. The technical crew onboard worked on the issue, and the team lowered the jib and hooked up the tow, heading back toward the base. They stopped in Mechanics Bay, where they met a rib that had come out with spare parts to fix the problem.

Once the issue was sorted and tidied away, the teams resumed the sailing session, heading downwind and again catching up with the AC40 OD in the "Back Paddock" (Course E from the 2021 America's Cup.

A course was set, and the teams practiced starts. A significant takeaway from the racing today was that the speeds matched between both boats, resulting in very even racing. Shifty conditions also made for a tricky starting process, with both boats taking starts off each other at times.

Leading into the start line was challenging today, as both teams struggled to kill time toward the line, often having to make last-minute manoeuvres and facing a difficult final approach.

After completing eight starts, the crews sailed back up the harbour together, and LEQ 12 dropped sails before heading for the dock.

Recon had an interview with ETNZ Helmsman Nathan Outteridge.

[Report from [Sam Thom, Connor Mashlan]


Sailing: Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke

Emirates Team New Zealand - LEQ12 - Day 81 - May 27, 2024 - Auckland

  • Weather: 12 degrees-16 degreesC Rolling Rain Squalls
  • Wind Strength 10kts-8kts
  • Wind Direction: 225 degrees
  • Sea State: 0.5mtr - 1.0mtr
  • Crane In: 1115hrs Dock Out: 1530hrs
  • Dock In: 1210hrs Crane out: 1615hrs
  • Takeoff Data: NA; Angle not supplied, Windspeed Not stated
  • Total Tacks: NA - Fully foiling: NA; Touch & Go: NA; Touch Down: NA
  • Total Gybes: NA - Fully foiling: NA; Touch & Go: NA; Touch Down: NA

Orient Express - AC75 - Day 1 - May 27, 2024 - Barcelona

Orient Express Racing Team edged a step closer to getting their new AC75 out sailing today after launching the boat for the first time for an afternoon session of testing of the foil cant system and other hydraulic elements.

The initial roll out was scheduled for 1030hrs but got pushed back to 1430hrs before - with a large contingent of team members looking on - the boat was lifted clear of its cradle at 1522hrs and lowered gracefully into the water for the first time at 1535hrs and to warm applause.

When the onlookers dispersed back to their desks and workshops a small group of no more than six technicians jumped aboard the boat with laptops to begin the testing process.

This procedure went on until the boat was craned out and put back on its cradle before being wheeled back inside the French hangar for the night.

A day of tow testing has been scheduled for tomorrow Tuesday May 28, before the team's official christening which is scheduled for Wednesday May 29.

With many key members of the sailing team flying out on the night of the ceremony for the Canada SailGP event the French team's first sailing day will have to wait until they return next week.

[Justin Chisholm AC 37 Joint Recon]

Session Statistics: Orient Express - AC75 - Day 1 - May 27, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 21-22 degrees Mostly sunny

American Magic - AC75 - Day 13 - May 27, 2024 - Barcelona

American Magic rolled out Patriot at 09:55hrs and launched 30 minutes later. Standard systems checks were carried out, with further FCS testing noted, as well as work on the jib track. Stickers were placed along the sheerline, but it was not clear what exactly these stickers were. The team docked out at 12:25hrs and hoisted the MN1-1 mainsail and J3-1 jib under the breakwater.

Due to lack of available recon, we were instructed to move over to the Orient Express Racing Team base to cover the launch of their new AC75, touching the water for the first time. The 13:00hrs rollout time was delayed to 14:35hrs, and crane in was at 15:30hrs. American Magic closed their sailing day at 15:55hrs, which left the recon unit with no time to cover any of their sailing activities. The team docked in at 16:20 after four hours on the water.

According to Paul Goodison in the post sailing interview, the focus was on race training, with attempts at different manoeuvre techniques, as well as looking at the crossover between the J2 and J3 jib.

[Justin Busuttil - AC Recon]


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

Power: Carlton Hall, Madison Molitor, Tim Hornsby, Ashton Lambie, Austin Regier

Session Statistics: American Magic - AC75 - Day 13 - May 27, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 21 degrees Part cloudy
  • Wind Strength: None recorded
  • Wind Direction: NA
  • Sea State: NA
  • Crane In: 1025hrs Dock Out: 1225hrs
  • Dock In: 1620hrs Crane out: 1700hrs
  • Takeoff Angle TWA: NA Boatspeed: NA
  • Total Tacks: 0; Fully Foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0;
  • Total Gybes: 0; Fully Foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0;

Additional Images:

The Official Video of the Day:

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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