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Cup Spy: June 7 - Summer arrives early in Barcelona - four AC75s fight for water space

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 8 Jun 22:49 PDT 9 June 2024
Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 28 - June 7, 2024 - Barcelona © Ivo Rovira / America'sCup

Five teams sailed on Friday - four out of Barcelona in AC75s. Orient Express (France) had a solid session in their new AC75, sailing out of Barcelona. Emirates Team New Zealand continued to work up in AC40s out of Auckland. Their AC75 has passed through the Panama Canal and looks to be on track to start sailing in late June or early July.

What happened in the Cup - June 7, 2024:

  • American Magic was turned around overnight by their shore crew, replacing the fairing pieces ripped off during the nosedive on Thursday's session off Barcelona.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing had a good session sailing in a 15kt breeze from the south. The Swiss brought out their AC40 to provide contested race practice against the AC75, with Dean Barker and Phil Robertson driving the AC40 against the AC75 race crew.
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli also had a good session in the southerly breeze, sailing out of Barcelona.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand sailed two AC40s off Auckland in a light easterly breeze with the AC75 crew, Youth and Womens crews all participating. ETNZ's AC75 raceboat Taihoro has passed through the Panama Canal and is headed for Tarragona, Spain, where is expected to be offloaded and trucked to Barcelona.
  • Orient Express Racing Team had their first real sailing day off Barcelona, which went well enough, with the usual issues, but nothing too serious.
  • INEOS Britannia did not sail

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

Orient Express Racing Team - AC75 - Day 6 - June 7, 2024 - Barcelona

Orient Express Racing Team craned in their AC75 at 9:00hrs. After several checks from the onshore team from the aero and flight systems and controls the boat docked out at 12:1hrs and paired their M2-1 main sail with a J2 jib. The wind was quite light from a NE direction when they sailed out from the harbour and started raising quickly to a solid 14 kts at around 13:30hrs. Sea state started to build up pretty quickly as well. OERT swapped the J2 for the J3 and just when they were going to start sailing, they decided to swap J3 for the J4.

Finally, at around 13:45hrs they started sailing and they went for long straight lines upwind, reaching and downwind. They flew the boat as close as possible to the water, managing to lock her upwind from the beginning of the session, with speeds around 31kts. They seem to be quite confident with their boat control and stability in the straight lines as they pushed the boat in the reach course scoring speeds on the higher 40’s before bearing away into the downwind where they seemed to be with the boat quite locked by the end of the session, sailing at speeds in between 36kts to 40 kts.

They did a full swap of cyclors after about 60 affective minutes of sailing, moment at which they decided also to change the jib from J4 to J3. To highlight that the two times that the boat stopped, some technicians jumped onboard to check the aero systems and always put special attention in the main sheet system.

They did around five tacks, most of them fully foiling and around 7seven gybes, which were in between touching down and touch and go in the beginning and carefully fully foiling by the end of the session.

OERT dropped the sails at 16:25hrs and docked in at 17:30hrs after resolving some issues experienced when dropping the main sail.

Crew - Sailing: Quentin Delapierre (stb); Kevin Peponnet (port), Mathieu Vandame (stb); Jason Saunders (port)

Session Statistics: Orient Express Racing Team - AC75 - Day 6 - June 7, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 27° Clear
  • Wind Strength: 9-14kts
  • Wind Direction: 200°-220°
  • Sea State: 0.6-0.8mtrs from 77°
  • Crane In: 0900hrs Dock Out: 1215hrs
  • Dock In: 1730hrs Crane out: 1820hrs
  • Takeoff; Self launch; Speed: 19kts
  • Total Tacks: 5 Fully Foiling: 4; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 7 Fully Foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 2

American Magic - AC75 - Day 19 - June 7, 2024 - Barcelona

NYYC American Magic bounced back from the previous day’s damaging nosedive that swamped the boat and caused a near capsize with damage to foredeck fairings.

American Magic shore team achieved a quick turn around to get the American team back on the water today for a three hour afternoon session.

After rolling out shortly before 1130hrs the team had the US AC75 rigged and in the water by midday ahead of a 1400hrs dock out. Sails (M2-1 mainsail and J2-1 headsail) were hoisted inside the harbour by 1415hrs, with the team out of the harbour and immediately up on foils by 1427hrs in 12-13 knots of breeze and on a nasty choppy sea state.

It quickly became clear that testing / data gathering was the main priority for the day with the crew sailing upwind on a long, long starboard tack (some of which appeared to be sailed a little off the wind at speeds up to 35 knots), before tacking and doing the same on port.

The boat came to a stop at 1452hrs at a point just over seven nautical miles offshore.

Technicians with laptops were observed going aboard the yacht.

The stop lasted 15 minutes before the boat set off again upwind on port for around five minutes before bearing off onto a fast angle (not VMG) for a long downwind blast. A gybe at the end of this leg saw the crew complete a huge diamond pattern.

Some free windward / leeward sailing followed with a few round up and bearaways thrown in too before the boat came to a stop at 1540hrs for a 10 minute break.

A practice start and three legs of a two lap windward / leeward practice race was followed by 15-minute a stop at 1610hrs for a cyclor change.

The final session of the day was a 20minute upwind / downwind session with minimal manoeuvres that ended at 1647hrs with a splashdown a few seconds after a gybe in 12-15 knots of breeze.

Sails were dropped by 1700hrs and the boat was towed home on foils to arrive at the dock by 1720hrs.

No sailing is scheduled over the weekend Saturday / Sunday June 8 / 9.

Crew - Sailing:

Lucas Calabrese, Pal Goodison, Michael Menninger, Riley Gibbs

Session Statistics: American Magic - AC75 - Day 19 - June 7, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 24° High cloud
  • Wind Strength: 10-15kts
  • Wind Direction: 070°-080°
  • Sea State: 0.5-0.8mtrs Nasty confused chop
  • Crane In: 1200hrs Dock Out: 1400hrs
  • Dock In: 1720hrs Crane out: 1800hrs
  • Takeoff; Self launch; TWA: 080° Speed: 16kts
  • Total Tacks: 13 Fully Foiling: 13; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 12 Fully Foiling: 12; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 3

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 28 - June 7, 2024 - Barcelona

Alinghi Red Bull Racing (ARBR) rolled out their B2 boat at 10:00hrs, mast was stepped and the yacht was launched at 10:20hrs and the usual dock checks commenced.

Dock out was scheduled for 13:00hrs for the sparring AC40 and for B2. Expecting lighter airs compared to previous days, M1-1 was hoisted and the yacht was towed out of the harbour.

A light seabreeze filled in at 12:30hrs, blowing at 6-8kts from 70°. The seaway was recorded as a 0.5-0.8m swell from 90° (almost aligned with the wind direction).

The newest J1-1 was hoisted revealing an interesting cloth on leading edge, side on shots were taken. After a self take off, this time with windward board entirely lifted, B2 was foilborne and began its first foiling stint drilling series of tacks, bearing away and practiced gybe sequences.

The breeze increased to 9.5-11.5kn from 55° and hence the J1-1 was lowered to hoist what seemed to be the J2-1. Another sessions was then sailed with this sail plan executing manouvers in series, mostly foil to foil with some rare touch and goes (ie the bottom edge of the skeg kissing the surface with no speed loss).

The team stopped again as the seabreeze increased further, J2-1 was lowered and J3-1 was hoisted, with a breeze of 11.5-13.5kts from 45-50°.

The third session unfolded in a similar way to the first two including maneuvers execution before B2 headed to the two laid gate marks and the focus was switched to prestart drills.

The AC40 was stopped for crew switches between youth and women and sparring crew member.

The AC75 was observed practicing full circles entering on port. A quick break followed the first prestart drill.

Similar tactical routines were observed between each of the six drills practiced by the team. B2 had port entry on the first three, entering on a minute and 15 seconds and starting on a +2 minutes and + 10 seconds. When the last drill unfolded, both boats sailed a while upwind before B2 bore away and extended on the last downwind leg before stopping at the harbour entrance. Sails were lowered at 16:10hrs and the day was called with 132 minutes of foilborne sailing, 46 tacks, 37 gybes

[Michele Melis AC Recon].

Crew:

Sailing: Arnaud Psarofaghis (stb), Maxime Bachelin (port), Lucien Cujean (stb), Nicolas Rolaz (port)

AC40 Sparring crew: Dean Barker(Helm), Phil Robertson (Helm), Yves Detrey (trim), Jason Waterhouse (trim)

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 28 - June 7, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 28° Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 6-15kts
  • Wind Direction: 55°-75°
  • Sea State: 0.5-0.5m 3s 90°
  • Crane In: 1020hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1630hrs Crane out:

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 - Day 84 - June 7, 2024 - Auckland

Out on the water today with ETNZ for a lovely Friday of practice racing. With lighter easterlies on the harbor, the team set off sailing with the J2 and M2 mains. Joining the team on the AC40 OD were Josh Junior, Sam Meech, Gemma Jones, and Oscar Gunn.

Setting up the race course West of Browns Island, the team opted for a slight pin bias to change the starting conditions and force different scenarios. The critical takeaway from watching the starts during today’s sailing session is the need to be super clinical in manouevres. A slightly slow tack during a start, and the other team gains a huge advantage, never failing to capitalize.

Today, the teams worked through a range of starting scenarios. They began with conventional entries and starts, with the starting line having some pin bias—making it crucial to win the pin and lead off the line.

Next, the team flipped the entries and worked on a “Port Approach Drill.” The starboard entry boat received a 10-second advantage and crossed the port entry boat, heading to the port side of the starting box. Then, they practiced a push-and-lead-back scenario from the port side of the line. In previous racing, ending up on this side of the start line would have been game over. However, the team in the controlling position would choose to gybe or tack away, letting the other team off the hook rather than utilizing the rules to force them away from the start line.

After rolling through nine starts and a few practice races, the teams packed up for the day.

Recon had an interview with ETNZ Youth Sailor, Veerle ten Have.

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

From: AC37 Joint Recon Team - Sam Thom and Connor Mashlan

Session Statistics: Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40 - Day 84 - June 7, 2024 - Auckland

  • Weather: 15-17° Patch cloud cover
  • Wind Strength: 9kts-14kts dropping over the session
  • Wind Direction: Easterly
  • Sea State: Flat
  • Crane In: 1125hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1550hrs Crane out: 1615hrs
  • Total Tacks: NA
  • Total Gybes: NA

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC75 - Day 23 - June 7, 2024 - Barcelona

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli rolled out their AC75, B3, at 10:55hr, an hour earlier than planned due to the change in forecast, with wind from the NE filling in just after midday, amidst a residual swell from the Mistral offshore. It was noted that the weights on the port shrouds were lowered [?]. A new mainsail was prepared on deck, which appeared to be a bigger and more powerful cut for lighter winds. The team docked out at 12:15 and the new main along with the J1-7 jib.

Six to nine knots of wind were recorded just before the team set sail at 12:45hrs. Foiling was initially a struggle in the wind light breeze, with the yacht not able to complete their first tack on foil. But after sailing upwind towards Badalona, the team found the breeze and completed six fully foiling manoeuvres, including two crossings downwind with Alinghi Red Bull Racing. The J1 was replaced with the J2-7 after the first stint as the wind continued to build.

The course was set and a lap was sailed, before moving into round up and bearaway practice. Two separate, one-lap runs of the course were sailed with the AC75 versus the chase boat, to a virtual windward mark far to the right of the original set gate - due to the fairly high variation in wind strength and direction throughout the sailing day. Cyclors were rotated at 15:00hrs, as well as a helm swap. Marco Gradoni stepped back into the port helm in place of Francesco Bruni.

The final session began with an upwind/downwind, dropping and raising windward boards, followed by sailing with two boards down, and finally one lap of the course versus the chase boat. The team came to a stop at 15:50hrs with a apparent issue on board, and dropped sails by 16:10hrs to end the day. The yacht was back at the dock by 16:30hrs, after just over four hours on the water and 125 minutes of active sailing. A total of 63 foiling tacks/gybes were observed, of which just one tack was touch and go.

Crew - Sailing:

Jimmy Spithill (17), Francesco Bruni (19), Marco Gradoni (10), Andrea Tesei (06), Umberto Molineris (23)

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC75 - Day 23 - June 7, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 28° Overcast
  • Wind Strength: 3-16kts
  • Wind Direction: 50°-65°
  • Sea State: 0.3-0.6mtrs from 215°
  • Crane In: 1125hrs Dock Out: 1215hrs
  • Dock In: 1630hrs Crane out: 1710hrs
  • Takeoff; Self launch; TWA: 070°-080° Speed: 18-20kts
  • Total Tacks: 34 Fully Foiling: 33; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 29 Fully Foiling: 29; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

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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