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Cup Spy: June 4 - More teams hook up off Barcelona - all very close say Italians

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 6 Jun 03:49 PDT 6 June 2024
American Magic - AC75 - Day 17 - June 4, 2024 - Barcelona © Ugo Fonolla / America's Cup

Five teams sailed, or rather were on the water off Barcelona, in what was perfect sailing conditions for the AC75 foiling monohulls. Alinghi Red Bull Racing had another media session, and trained later, but was not accompanied by a Reconnaissance team for some reason. INEOS Britannia, American Magic and Luna Rossa happened to find themselves on the same patch of water and couldn't help but hook up for the occasional AC75 Waltz - which allows them to sail on the same heading for no more than 20 second. So they tack away, and tack back, and tack away, and tack back ......

What happened in the Cup - June 4, 2024:

  • American Magic had another five hour session sailing in good conditions for foilers - 9-16kts winds and a modest seastate from approximately the same direction as the breeze, and a nice warm sunny day of 24°. After 17 days of sailing the tacks and gybes are slick - with a 100% dry foiling rate. Paul Goodison draws some comparisons with the Version 1 AC75s, and says the new AC75s are generally a big improvement and very maneuverable. Except maybe the previous Patriot was better in heavy weather. The US team had a 4.5nm line up with the Italians - but always on opposite tacks as the rules require. There's an interesting clip in the Highlights package as to how the US jib traveller system works.
  • INEOS Britannia were out for even longer - six hours - however there were a couple of breaks totaling about an hour. The Brits performance was similar to USA - except they did more tacks/gybes (78 in total) but touched the surface on seven of those - which is probably not significant given that this boat has a sharp "V" bustle in contrast to the previous (2021) AC75 which had a bustle the size and shape of a footpath.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing had a media shoot and then went sailing, and was not covered by the Recon team. However some changes were spotted on their starboard foil arm which was captured on a mobile phone - and included in this story.
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli also had a five hour session. The Italians did a long 3.5nm leg against American Magic, taking it in turns to tack and perform the AC75 Waltz necessary to stay within the contested sailing rules. Co-helm Francesco Bruni sad in the interview in this report says they could not draw any conclusions "because we are always on split tacks." "But it's very close there is not 'big evidence' of one going any better than the other."
  • Emirates Team New Zealand did not say their AC40's. The AC75 is now about a day out from the Panama Canal which has a lot of boats parked and waiting to pass through.
  • Orient Express Racing Team did a tow test. We have a few images in this edition of their set up - which are interesting on a couple of counts - obviously because of what the French have configured, but also because their package from mast tip to wing foil underside is an Emirates Team NZ design - with the wingfoils being of particular interest as so far, we have seen the Kiwi boat sailed only with "legacy" wing foils which are shorter, narrower and heavier from the 2021 America's Cup Champion.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

American Magic - AC75 - Day 17 - June 4, 2024 - Barcelona

NYYC American Magic made the most of some scintillating sailing conditions in Barcelona for their second sailing session this week – spending five action packed hours on the water and clocking up more than 60nm of foiling in winds ranging from 9-16kts

The American team rolled out at 0900hrs and had the boat rigged and on the water by 0930hrs ahead of an 1100hrs dockout. Sails (M1-2 mainsail and J2-1 headsail) were hoisted by 1115hrs inside the harbour.

The boat was up and foiling almost immediately after leaving the harbour at 1120hrs with the crew completing two long fast free-sailing laps before switching to some course-based race practice with four windward / leeward sessions completed.

With all five Challenger teams from this cycle of the America’s Cup out on the water for the first time ever (albeit that the French Orient Express Racing Team were tow testing) later in the day there were several opportunities to cross tacks and gybes with both the British INEOS Britannia and Italian Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli crews during the afternoon.

From the recon boat it was difficult to detect any obvious performance differences as the boats criss-crossed upwind and downwind.

Throughout the day the American boat looked to be sailing fast and stable with just a couple of touchdowns (none through manoeuvres) observed.

Time was called at 1615hrs with the boat sailing into the harbour to drop sails before docking in at 1640hrs.

No sailing is scheduled for tomorrow Wednesday June 5.

Justin Busuttil - AC Recon]


Sailing: Tom Slingsby, Paul Goodison, Riley Gibbs, Andrew Campbell

Power: Carlton Hall, Madison Molitor, James Wright, Ashton Lambie, Austin Regier

Session Statistics: American Magic - AC75 - Day 17 - June 4, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 24° Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 9kts - 16kts
  • Wind Direction: 180° - 200°
  • Sea State: Moderate chop
  • Crane In: 0930hrs Dock Out: 1100hrs
  • Dock In: 1640hrs Crane out: 1715hrs
  • Takeoff Angle TWA: 70°-80° Boatspeed: 18kts-20kts
  • Total Tacks: 28; Fully Foiling: 28; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0;
  • Total Gybes: 27; Fully Foiling: 27; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0;

INEOS Britannia - AC75 - Day 21 - June 4, 2024 - Barcelona

INEOS Britannia rolled out their AC75 at 09:00hrs. At 09:36hrs it was launched and the team docked out at 11:00hrs, as planned, after usual routine activities.

The MN2-1 of smaller sail area and narrower top section than the MN1-1 was selected for today´s session, combined with the J3-1 to start. Both sails were hoisted just before heading out of the port at 11:25hrs.

A rigid solid jib halyard that connects the head of the jib with the soft halyard close to up in the mast was observed since June 1st, our first day recognin this team with their new AC75. This is something that we have not seen so far in other teams.

It is important to mention that there is one of these per jib, of the corresponding length, for the J3 and J4 at least.

Stable south-southwesterly winds prevailed during the session, shifting slightly right towards the afternoon and staying in between 15 to 18kts of intensity for most of the day.

The training started with a long downwind, sailing mostly on a straight line. Then there was a stop in which the J4-1 came up to replace the J3-1 in a quickly building breeze.

The training was resumed with an upwind-downwind-upwind looking for maximum VMG in which the British boat seemed well balanced, fast and with a lot of stability on the maneuvers.

At 12:35hrs there was a long break in which the boat remained stopped, heading into the wind for forty minutes. At this point we thought the team could be facing some kind of issues, however, the boat remained with no chase boat alongside and no apparent physical assistance coming onboard. Finally, at 13:10hrs the session was resumed.

An additional upwind-downwind-upwind-downwind was carried out, engaging on some crossings with American Magic on the last downwind, and then continuing with a further up-down.

At 14:05hrs there twenty-five-minute break in which there was a cyclors´ rotation.

At 14:30hrs the training continued.

For the rest of the day, INEOS Britannia did some upwind-downwind laps, executing four tacks and three gybes per leg, on average, respectively; in what appeared to be a virtual racecourse with virtual boundaries and an imaginary top mark. For the leeward gates, the team rounded marks that had been previously laid by another team, which was not making use of them.

This was complemented with some “eights” and what appeared to be some pre-starting boat handling movements. Boat stability and effectiveness was observed on “the moves”.

Two addition short breaks occurred during the rest of the day.

At 16:00hrs INEOS ended the session and proceeded to lower both sails just outside the port. The AC75 entered the harbor on the tow and docked at 16:48. Thirty-five minutes later, it was lifted out of the water indicating the end of the day.

[Sebastian Peri Brusa – Recon on INEOS Britannia]

Crew - Sailing: Ben Ainslie, Dylan Fletcher, Bleddyn Mon, Leigh McMillan

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

Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - AC75 - Day 21 - June 4, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 24° Cloudy
  • Wind Strength: 10-15kts
  • Wind Direction: 190°
  • Sea State: 0.3-0.6mtrs from 215°
  • Crane In: 0935hrs Dock Out: 1100hrs
  • Dock In: 1600hrs Crane out: 1640hrs
  • Takeoff; Self launch; TWA: 080° Speed: 16kts
  • Total Tacks: 35 Fully Foiling: 32; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 33 Fully Foiling: 30; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 3

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 25 - June 4, 2024 - Barcelona

Alinghi Red Bull Racing (ARBR) rolled out their B3 boat at 7:35hrs for a planned promotional shooting day on the water involving helicopters, camera crews on the yard etc.

Modifications on the starboard foil were detected on the arm stock where the bulgy fairing on leading edge was removed. Port appendage and tips setup seemed to be unchanged compared to previous setup and declaration.

Two low resolution pictures were taken with phone in absence of recon camera, better resolution shots to come on tomorrow's Recon Day.

The yacht was craned in at 8:00hrs allowing the team to run the usual dock checks such as FCS, rudder and sail controls.

The mast was rotated several times sequentially from center to port and to starboard while one technician cycled for 10-15secs. Without having loaded sails on the chaseboats, the team docked out at 9:30hrs for approximately 30 minutes of towing. At 10:15hrs the team was back at the base picking up sails, from shore it looked like main M2-1 was hoisted with J2 and the team headed out of the harbour.

The Recon Unit did not cover the team's training day on the water. ARBR docked in at 16:00hrs and boat was craned out, further sailing day is planned for tomorrow

[Michele Melis AC Recon].


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

Power: A. Cevey, N. Stahlberg, T. Schir. A. Maillefer

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 25 - June 4, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 24°. Sunny
  • Crane In: 0800hrs Dock Out: 0930hrs
  • Dock In: 1600hrs; Crane out: 1700hrs

Orient Express - AC75 - Day 4 - June 4, 2024 - Barcelona

Team Orient Express Racing Team (OERT) rolled out the boat at 6:30hrs this morning. As it was the first time that they were stepping up the mast they were really careful on the process and it was not until 9:30hrs that they managed to crane in the boat.

It was observed that the foils installed were the same than the ones seen in the Christening ceremony: the one from port side seem to have a bigger wing surface and fuselage volume than the one from starboard side, with also a wider and different outline arm connection to the one design canting arm. This port foil is a legacy ETNZ AC36 foil.

After checking the different flight systems at the dock, team OERT dock out for a tow in session where, according to the head of design Benjamin Muyl (interviewed by the end of the day) they wanted to verify that the different systems for the flaps and cants were working properly, and they could achieve some smooth first flights before going into a full sailing foiling session on the following days.

They made a towing foiling session of around an effective 45mins with a SW wind that increased from 11-14kts to 19-22kts by the end of the session.

Happy with what they achieved with the towing session they got back to the base at 13:20hrs and after having lunch they docked out again to hoist some sails inside the harbour - one main sail and two jibs (J2 and J3). The main sail is quite similar to what we think is M1 from Emirates Team New Zealand and also it was observed that in the luff part there is an area with an arc shape that has a more flexible material than the rest of the sail.

After the three sails were hoisted and checked OERT docked in for second time in their AC75 at 17:20hrs.

Next possible sailing day for OERT team will be on the Thursday June 6, 2024

Jose Luis Piñana – OERT AC Recon

Session Statistics: Orient Express - AC75 - Day 4 - June 4, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 24°C Sunny
  • Wind Strength 11kts-22kts
  • Wind Direction: 200°-220°
  • Sea State: 0.5mtr - 0.8mtrs from 235°
  • Crane In: 0925hrs Dock Out: 1130 & 1515hrs
  • Dock In: 1320hrs & 1720hrs Crane out: 1800hrs

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC75 - Day 21 - June 4, 2024 - Barcelona

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (LRPP) rolled out their AC75, B3, at 11:05hrs with their original rudder (R03) back in place, while modifications are being planned for the new rudder (R05) which was not working as intended. The yacht was launched and after an hour of setup and standard checks, the team docked out at 12:30hrs, hoisting the Mn1-7 mainsail and J3-7 jib in the port.

Sailing commenced at 12:55hrs, with a warmup downwind to the Forum then back upwind, and with wind increasing, the J3 was exchanged for the J4-3, as gusts were measured up to 20kts. The yacht was sailed for two long stretches on each tack, practicing round-ups and bearaways. A lack of tension in the leeward shrouds was noted, but were not vibrating heavily. Following this session, tech crew were observed on board and below deck, working on the jib system.

The team set off again but stopped after just a couple of minutes sailing to attend to an issue at the mast base, specifically a broken plastic piece in the Cunningham system, which took 40 minutes to resolve. Sailing resumed and the team repeated transitions between high and low modes upwind, then practicing single board bearaways to two board round-ups. A starting/leeward gate was set, as pre-start practice versus the chase boat began, as the yacht continued upwind alone to a virtual windward gate and back down to leeward.

With wind slightly decreasing at 15:45hrs, the J4 was exchanged back to the J3, with a cyclor rotation carried out, and Francesco Bruni also swapping out for Marco Gradoni on the port helm. The team then began upwind tacking drills, before joining up with American Magic for a long downwind gybing battle. LRPP started ahead, but after two tacks, AM took the lead and maintained a gap for the following four crosses down to Badalona. Both yachts rounded up to engage in upwind split tacks, with LRPP starting ahead. The gap was closed after a few tacks and once level, the lead was exchanged back and forth. After 4.5nm upwind, both yachts peeled off and separated.

The team finished off the day with more pre-start practice, starting on both tacks at each end of the line. The last start continued into two laps of the course (virtual upwind gate), concluding with a JK manoeuvre (touch down) around the last leeward gate. Sails were dropped by 17:15hrs to end the day. The Italians were the last team to stop sailing. After five hours on the water, the team docked in at 17:30hrs, with 143 minutes of active sailing and 66 manoeuvres observed (97% fully foiling).

[Justin Busuttil - AC Recon]


Sailing: Jimmy Spithill, Francesco Bruni, Marco Gradoni. Andrea Tesei, Umberto Molineris

Power: Bruno Rosetti, Paolo Simion, Enrico Voltolini, Luca Kirwan, Nicholas Brezzi Villi

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC75 - Day 21 - June 4, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 22 °C Sunny
  • Wind Strength 13kts-20kts
  • Wind Direction: 195°-200°
  • Sea State: 0.5mtr- 0.8mtrs from 210°
  • Crane In: 1135hrs Dock Out: 1230hrs
  • Dock In: 1730hrs Crane out: 1815rs
  • Takeoff Data: Self launch; TWA angle: 60°-80°; Boatspeed 18-20kts - on both tacks;
  • Total Tacks: 58 - Fully foiling: 53; Touch & Go: 4; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 49 - Fully foiling: 46; Touch & Go: 3; 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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