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Cup Spy June 14: Increasing swell triggers cautionary move from Italians

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 15 Jun 18:31 PDT 15 June 2024
Luna Rossa - AC75 - Day 27 - June 14, 2024 - Barcelona © Alex Carabi / America's Cup

After Thursday's dismasting by the Swiss team, only two of the five teams based in Barcelona sailed Friday in a fresh southerly breeze and a seastate claimed by the Recon teams to be up to 1.5metres but on the Barcelona wave buoy the wave height was a lot less at 0.8mtr.

Luna Rossa called an early end to their session due to the rising seastate.

Artemis Racing (SWE) also made an appearance in their AC40. See images at the bottom of this story.

Also in the Additional Images at the bottom of this story) are a sequence of three images showing Luna Rossa flying high in Friday's swell, and showing a lot of daylight under the boat - with apparently not much rudder left. The Italians appear to be close to lifting the rudder elevator clear of the water- which will trigger a nosedive. But a comparison of the immersed part of the rudder with the full length blade, and sponsor lettering, reveals that a substantial part of the blade is still immersed - another change made in Version 2 of the AC75 Class rule - making safer boats that can be pushed hard.

What happened in the Cup - June 14, 2024:

  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailed a two and a half hour session in a southerly breeze that increased to 17kts and a seastate of up to 1.5metres.
  • Orient Express Racing Team put in an almost four hour session - mainly of straight line sailing in a moderate to fresh southerly breeze and a seaway of up to 1.5mtrs that was on-axis with the breeze angle. There were no issues reported.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing did not sail. No update from the team after they broke their mast into two pieces traversing the "Death Zone" after a high speed bear-away on Thursday.
  • American Magic did not sail.
  • INEOS Britannia did not sail.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 is in the process of being shipped to Barcelona. It is now mid-Atlantic and is expected in the Spanish port of Tarragona on June 20, and to be sailing a week or so after that.
  • All teams stayed ashore on Saturday.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

Orient Express Racing Team - AC75 - Day 10 - June 14, 2024 - Barcelona

Orient Express Racing Team (OERT) launched their AC75 at 08:40hrs on Friday. Several checks were undertaken by the onshore team on the aero and flight systems and controls before the dock out, at 11:00hrs.

A new antenna was seen installed over the housing of the rudder stock.

OERT paired their M2-1 main sail with a J4 jib at 11.25 h inside the harbour and started sailing then after. A wind of about 11 to 14kts from 210° was blowing at that moment and we could see some nice swell from the SW of about 1 m that increased to almost 2 m as soon as the AC75 started sailing offshore.

Is the first time we have seen sailing the AC75 with such waves and with some period in between the peaks?

With East winds the wave frequency is smaller, and the boat navigates the waves relatively easy as its length is longer than the distance in between the wave peaks But with today’s period (distance between wave peaks measured in seconds) the boat was really getting in between the waves and skippers and trimmers had to work hard to keep the boat foiling safe and clean.

Today was a very interesting day for the AC75 commissioning improvement as OERT were doing long line ups far out from the shore with this big swell and by the end of the session they got close to the shore where the sea state was much flatter (but windier 13-17kts from 210° so they could test the boat in really different ranges of wave height and properly test the aero and flight controls with which they have been struggling on the past days.

It was very interesting to watch them today particularly when they were more offshore as we could see them testing the boat with confidence in different heights and searching a little bit were the limits are. Boat was looking quite lock in both roll and pitch angles (specially in starboard side).

Almost no manoeuvres (tacks/gybes) were done today and all the focus was on the line ups.

They did some regular time-outs - four of which were quite long. The first one was about 45 minutes, 25 minutes the second one, 15 minutes the third and 75 minutes the fourth one in which batteries were swapped and the two front cyclors were also replaced.

Kevin Peponnet (portside helm) was interviewed after the sailing session and when asking about this stops he told us that from one side they were having some issues in the controls from portside pods - and they think that the issue is related to water that came in of the HMIs, and from the other side, as they still in commissioning period.

They are trying to stop approximately every 30 minutes for checks.

Sails were dropped at 15:10hrs and dock in was done at 15:45hrs.

[Jose Luis Piñana – OERT AC Recon]

Crew:

Sailing: Quentin Delapierre, Kevin Peponnet, Mathieu Vandame, Jason Saunders,

Power: Olivier Herledant, Germain Chardin, Timothé Lapauw, Thibaut Verhoeven, Antoine Nougarede; Maxime Guyon.

Session Statistics: Orient Express Racing Team - AC75 - Day 10 - June 14, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 26° Part cloudy
  • Wind Strength: 11 - 17kts
  • Wind Direction: 210°
  • Sea State: 0.9 - 1.4mtr 210°
  • Crane In: 0840hrs Dock Out: 1100hrs
  • Dock In: 1545hrs Crane out: 1630hrs
  • Takeoff Angle TWA: 85° Boatspeed: 19kts
  • Total Tacks: 0; Fully Foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0;
  • Total Gybes: 0; Fully Foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0;

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC75 - Day 27 - Jun 14, 2024 - Barcelona

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli rolled out their AC75, B3, at 09:20hrs, and craned the yacht in 25 minutes later. Works were carried out at the mast base, before Foil Control System (FCS) testing began, followed by aero system hydraulics tests with cyclors pedaling. The team docked out at 10:35hrs, with work observed on the mainsheet track, before the Mn0-2 and J4-3 were hoisted.

Additional hardware was noted in the main track after dock in.

Sailing commenced just after 11:00hrs in a building breeze, initially 10-15kn, and growing swell of average 1m, 4s period. The team began free sailing upwind/downwind, while a short 1.5nm course was set. Once the course was set, free laps of the course were sailed, with a focus on mark roundings. Leeward roundings were inconsistent, with a touch down and touch and go roundings noted.

A pre-start was practiced, with the yacht entering on starboard, leading into three laps of the course. Work on the jib track was carried out, before the team continued free laps of the course, practicing tack-and-bearaways round the windward mark, and gybing around the leeward. A few more of the leeward mark roundings continued to be a bit of a struggle. Different windward foil cant angles were noted in the bear aways, with the foil partially submerged for added grip.

The team sailed a final five minute upwind leg, before coming to a stop to drop the sails and end the day. The reason for the early ending is unknown, however in the post-sailing interview, Marco Gradoni alluded to the increasing wave height as to the reason for stopping.

The team docked in at 13:15hrs after just under two hours on the water and 73 minutes of active sailing. 45 maneuvers were observed, of which two gybes were touch and go.

[Justin Busuttil - AC Recon]

Crew:

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

Power: Bruno Rosetti, Enrico Voltolini, Luca Kirwan, Emanuele Liuzzi

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC75 - Day 27 - Jun 14, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 24°C Cloudy
  • Wind Strength 8kts-17kts
  • Wind Direction: 200°-210°
  • Sea State: 0.9mtr- 1.5mtrs from 200°
  • Crane In: 0945hrs Dock Out: 1035hrs
  • Dock In: 1315hrs Crane out: 1400hrs
  • Takeoff Data: 70-85° Boatspeed 18-20kts
  • Total Tacks: 25 - Fully foiling: 25; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 20 - Fully foiling: 18; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0

Additional Images:

Luna Rossa rudder immersion

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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