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Cup Spy: June 6 - USA takes a dive - sustains damage, takes water onboard

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 6 Jun 19:14 PDT 6 June 2024
American Magic - AC75 - Day 18 - June 6, 2024 - Barcelona © Ugo Fonolla / America's Cup

Six teams trained - five with AC75s out of Barcelona, in another excellent sailing breeze, and with the Kiwis still sailing AC40s in Auckland.

The US team, American Magic took an unexpected nosedive at speed sustaining damage and requiring pumps to be put aboard. Subject to shore team checks, the team expects to be sailing on Friday.

Team boss, Terry Hutchinson explained the water inflow as being due to the jib track, which runs athwartships under the foredeck not yet being fully sealed. When the fairings that cover the track opening were torn away, water was able to pour through the jib track opening.

While the team was hoping to sail on Friday, that was subject to electronic and mechatronic checks.

There was no visible damage when the AC75 was hauled from the water, but it is usual practice to give the hull and rig a full check.

As is normal, the clew was blown out of the jib during the incident, which was not captured by Recon team video.

There were no injuries to the crew, however it is believed that co-helmsman, Tom Slingsby was struck on the helmet by a piece of fairing during the nosedive. "But he's good. He's talking and smiling and making jokes," commented Hutchinson. The water level inside the yacht was not able to get to the lithium batteries, which have caught fire on other competitors who have suffered water ingress.

Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 has reached the Panama Canal and is now anchored in the midst of a fleet of other cargo vessels, and is waiting a time to pass through the canal, before heading for Barcelona.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

American Magic - AC75 - Day 18 - June 6, 2024 - Barcelona

A third solid day of training for NYYC American Magic today was marred by a high-speed nosedive during the last bear away of the day as the team headed for the harbour entrance at the end of a productive five-hour session that was conducted on a light chop in winds ranging from 10 to 18 knots.

The crew managed to save the American AC75 from a capsize but the boat sustained damage to the J3-1 headsail and the fairings infront of the jib traveller cavity – as well as shipping a significant amount of water which had to be removed using buckets and a pump.

An hour and a quarter earlier a broken clew on the J4-1 headsail required the crew to switch back to the J3-1 in a breeze that ranged from 13-16 knots.

The American AC75 was rolled out at 0850 and was rigged and launched by 0915 ahead of a dock out time of 1057. A camera was fitted to the inner section of the starboard foil wing. Sails (M2-1 mainsail and J2-1 headsail) were hoisted by 1110 with the boat exiting the harbour at 1121.

With the wind at 10-13 knots the boat sailed a short upwind before bearing away on to a fast 10-minute downwind on starboard, before a stop to change to the J3-1. A change to the J4-1 headsail (wind 13-16 knots) was made before a 40-minute session of free-sailing windward / leeward laps, which was immediately followed by four practice pre-starts with the boat entering on port and remaining in the start box for the following approximate times: Start 1: 1 min 47 sec; Start 2: 1 min 54 sec; Start 3: 2 min 01 sec; Start 4: 1 min 59 sec

A fifth pre-start (2min 03 sec) and two-lap practice race followed, sailed in breeze peaking at 18 knots, and ending in a two board round up at the starboard leeward mark at 1350. A significant amount of twist was noted in the mainsail upwind. A 15 minute break was taken to rotate the cyclors.

A 30-minute free-sailing windward / leeward session followed, with the American boat crossing tacks and gybes with the British INEOS Britannia AC75.

Upwind there seemed little difference in performance with the boat on the right always gaining. Downwind the British boat made a big gain although the two boats were much more separated so this could be attributed to a windshift or more pressure.

The next 30 minute free-sailing windward / leeward session was delayed by a breakage to the clew area of the J4-1 which necessitated a change back to the J3-1 (wind 13-16 knots).

A final pre-start practice (2 minutes) and two lap windward / leeward race saw the team extend the second beat back towards the harbour. Then as the team bore away to reach to the harbour entrance they appeared to lose the rudder and immediately nosedive before heeling steeply to leeward before getting the boat back under control. Recovering from this incident (pumping out, dropping sails, towing in) took a little over an hour.

No underwater damage was observed at crane out but several large pieces of broken fairings were observed being removed from the team’s chase boats.

Another day of sailing is scheduled for tomorrow Friday June 7.

Justin Busuttil - AC Recon]

Crew:

Sailing: Tom Slingsby, Paul Goodison, Michael Menninger

Power: Austin Regier James Wright Colton Hall Ashton Lambie Madison Molitor Ethan S

Session Statistics: American Magic - AC75 - Day 18 - June 6, 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;

Full report to follow.

Official Video:

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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