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Cup Spy June 17: Swiss resume their sailing program

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 17 Jun 20:57 PDT 18 June 2024
Orient Express, Luna Rossa and Alinghi RBR - AC75 - June 17, 2024 - Barcelona © Job Vermeulen / America's Cup

Four teams sailed on Monday out of Barcelona in light winds that increased for a time to 14kts.

The Swiss team returned with a legacy mast after their spectacular dismasting on Thursday. No more has been said as to the reasons. Oddly, the British split a jib in a decreasing breeze. The French had some control issues, culminating in a shallow nosedive.

Emirates Team NZ is now in the Mediterranean.

What happened in the Cup - June 17, 2024:

  • INEOS Britannia had a five hour session, they were sporting a different rudder and new on deck cameras as well as the usual Lidar units. Their main chase boat was fitted with a gyroscopic camera - a smaller version of those used for live TV broadcast. The Brits split a J3 jib in a dying breeze towards the end of the session.

  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing were back sailing on a "Recommissioning Day" with their older legacy mast, after breaking one of their new racing spars, last Thursday. Their day consisted of trialing the "new" mast and settling a shaken boat and crew. Boat Captain, Jack Taylor was questioned as to the circumstances of the mast failure on Thursday, but revealed little saying that more would be shared in a few days. It all seems rather past tense now.

  • Orient Express Racing Team had a six hour low-key session, with only nine tacks attempted and just four gybes. The crew appeared to be feeling their way to some extent trying different heel angles - and sailing styles like the others. They appeared to have some hydraulic/control issues for most of the session which caused a couple of stoppages of over an hour and a third shorter one. Towards the end of the session the AC75 did a soft nosedive - apparently as a result of a hydraulic/control issue with the starboard wing flap.

  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailed a four hour session, in lighter winds where the crew tried sailing with varying heel angles. While these look quite impressive, the downside is that if a light pressure spot is hit then the boat crashes in to windward. The Italians apparently suffered no such fate, despite being a little more wobbly than previously in these conditions. The Recon team felt that there was an issue aboard the Italian AC75 at the end of the session, but Director/Skipper Max Sirena denied there had been an issue. Tellingly the Italians seem to be giving one of their young rockstars Max Gradoni plenty of helm time - maybe a pointer for the Main Event, and they look set to rotate helms - with quite different levels of experience and approach. Ruggerio Tita is presumably on Olympic duties where he is a favorite to pick up a second Gold medal in the Nacra 17 event.

  • Emirates Team New Zealand are en route to Tarragona - a port along the coast from Barcelona. They passed through the Strait of Gibraltar, and are now in the Mediterranean and expected to berth on June 20.

  • American Magic did not sail and last sailed five days ago (inc. two days of the weekend). Presumably there are some upgrades underway.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - AC75 - Day 26 - June 17, 2024 - Barcelona

INEOS Britannia rolled out their AC75 at 10:30hrs, with the R01 rudder, one camera on top of each foil wing and multiple LiDARs and Go-Pros on different parts of the deck. In addition, a big cam-recorder with a stabilizer was added on the bow of one of the team´s chase boats.

Britannia was craned to the water at 11:10hrs right after spraying a coating product on top of the arm stocks, foil wings and foil flaps. Then the team docked-out at 12:30hrs as planned, subsequent to usual routine activities.

The MN1-1 was selected for today´s session, combined with the J1-1 to start. Both sails were hoisted just before heading out of the harbour at 12:45hrs.

Light southerly winds dominated the day, oscillating in direction, increasing in intensity during the early afternoon but dropping from 14:30hrs onwards.

The training started at 12:55hrs with a long downwind-upwind-downwind warm up, sailing mostly on a straight line.

At 13:35hrs there was a break in which a new J2-2 of shorter luff (HLU) than J2-1 seen the past days was hoisted, using the solid halyard originally allocated to the J2-1 but with a halyard-extension to be able to properly lock, due to its different dimensions.

While a part of the crew worked on the jib halyard, two technicians removed a fearing from the aft deck to work on the rudder from the inside.

At 14:00hrs INEOS was ready to resume the session with an upwind-downwind with the J2-2 of shorter luff. Then, at 14:25hrs the wind had increased and the J3-1 came up to replace the J2-2. Immediately after, there was a four-cyclors rotation.

The training continued at 14:40hrs with a short upwind-downwind, before shifting the focus of the training into pre-starting sequences and racing laps.

The first sailing of this session got underway at 15:00hrs. A total of five drills were carried out, following up with a two-lap upwind-downwind. Britannia varied the side entries, their movements inside the box, the starting position at the starting line, the direction of the top mark rounding, and performed two tacks and two gybes on average per leg. In addition, the gates mark roundings were altered to port and starboard.

Session 2 was interrupted after the first lap, and there was a twenty-minute break in which both helms and trimmers got together at the main chase boat to de-brief and exchange opinions.

Once the third race was finished, the second four-cyclors rotation happened at 16:10hrs.

On the fourth session, on the last quarter of the first upwind while sailing on port tack, Britannia broke the J3-1 completely from luff to leech in a dying breeze. This forced a headsail change, with the J2-2 coming up again in replacement of the ripped headsail.

A last a fifth session got underway at 16:55hrs following up with a two-lap upwind-downwind, with the British team heading back home when they were half-way on the second downwind leg.

The team entered the harbour on the foils at 17:15hrs. Sails were lowered inside the port, and the team docked at 17:42hrs.The boat was craned out of the water thirty minutes later.

[Sebastian Peri Brusa – Recon on INEOS Britannia]

Crew - Sailing: Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott, Luke Parkinson, Leigh McMillan
Crew - Power: N.Hunter, F.Carr, M.Rossiter, H.Leask ; B.Cornish, R.Todhunter, M.Gotrel

Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - AC75 - Day 26 - June 17, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 26 ° Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 6-14kts
  • Wind Direction: 180° - 190°
  • Sea State: 0.5mtrs
  • Crane In: 1110hrs Dock Out: 1230hrs
  • Dock In: 1740hrs Crane out: 1810hrs
  • Takeoff; No data
  • Total Tacks: 34 Fully Foiling: 32; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 31 Fully Foiling: 26; Touch & Go: 5; Touch Down: 0

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 31 - June 17, 2024 - Barcelona

Alinghi Red Bull Racing rolled out their AC75 B2 raceboat at 10:00hrs and the MT1 mast was stepped replacing MT2, broken last Thursday.

The wings were updated according to declaration and the yacht was launched at 10:25hrs. At the dock, some repair signs similar to patches, were visible on the port side hull.

The team proceeded with the usual routine checks before docking out at 12:00hrs. The forecast breeze looked light, later measured with 5.5 - 7.5kts from 150°. The seastate consisted of a 0.5mtr swell which was slightly off-axis from 165°.

M1-1 was paired to the J2-1 just inside the harbour. The team commenced their sailing with a self take off on starboard tack and quickly bore away downwind.

The first gybes were inconsistent and the yacht trimmed back up to slow and stop. The J2-1 was then lowered for some "tuning" and rehoisted. Once back foilborne, the yacht bore away again and proceeded with additional manouver practice, looking more consistent as the breeze was increased to 7.5 - 9.5kts.

As the yacht decelerated for the second time, the jib was again lowered for some further modification on its square head and rehoisted. A 13:40hrs, the breeze had increased to 10-11kts and the yacht sailed some diamonds with two maneuvers per upwind and downwind leg, executing bear-aways to gybes from starboard to port tack windward and one-board roundups tacks from starboard to port tack leeward.

When sailing upwind a larger amount of shrouds vibration was observed during this day. At 14:30hrs, the J2-1 was lowered to hoist the J3-1 as the breeze was increasing further 11.5kts - 13.5kts from 195°.

Cyclors and batteries were also swapped after approximately 65 minutes of foilborne sailing.

During the next session, the team kept sailing diamonds twice on the opposite tack with larger amount of upwind and downwind maneuvers. During the last stint, the team switched focus on the actual race course, practicing two prestart drills with starboard entry and sailing on the laid course.

The last upwind extended all the way towards the harbour where the team entered foiling before slowing and stopping shortly after. Sails were lowered at 16:10hrs and the day was called with 128 minutes of foilborne sailing, 32 tacks, 23 gybes

[Michele Melis AC Recon].


Sailing: Arnaud Psarofaghis (stb); Maxime Bachelin (port); Bryan Mettraux (stb); Nicolas Rolaz (port)

Power: First shift: F. Noti - N. Stahlberg - T. Schir - A. Maillefer ; Second shift: F. Trub - B.Delarze - N. Theunink - A. Cevey

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC75 - Day 31 - June 17, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 29 degrees. Sunny
  • Wind Strength 5.5kts - 13.5kts
  • Wind Direction: 150° - 195°
  • Sea State: 0.4mtrs - 0.6mtrs swell from 165°
  • Crane In: 1025hrs Dock Out: 1410 hrs
  • Dock In: hrs; Crane out: 1700hrs
  • Takeoff Angle: No data.
  • Total Tacks: 32 - Fully foiling: 26; Touch & Go: 5; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 23 - Fully foiling: 19; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 1

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC75 - Day 28 - June 17, 2024 - Barcelona

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli rolled out their AC75 raceboat, B3, at 10:00hrs, and launched at 10:30hrs. A spray rail has been added to the rudder, from leading to trailing edge, between the white reference lines. Following standard system checks, the smaller mainsail, Mn1-7, was prepared on deck and the team docked out at 11:10hrs. The J1.5-4 [biggest jib]completed the initial sailplan, with a breeze of 8-11kts recorded just prior sailing, and a relatively flat sea state, with residual waves slightly offset to the left of the south wind.

Sailing commenced at 11:39hrs, with a short downwind/upwind warmup, before moving into manoeuvre drills, with tacks and gybes performed in quick succession.

Maneuvers in the light breeze weren’t as consistent as previous days, with a couple of touch and go gybes, and a touch down tack noted. The team also continued to play with windward cant angles, sometimes sailing with the windward foil partially submerged. Adjustments to sail settings were made as the wind dropped slightly, before practicing three starts, the third continuing into three laps of a short 1nm course. The gates were notably tight.

By 13:30hrs, the breeze started to increase again, prompting the team to exchange the J1.5 for the [smaller] J2-7 jib, before another pre-start and one lap of the course. Marco Gradoni replaced Francesco Bruni on port helm at 14:00hrs, with cyclors Bruno Rosetti and Luca Kirwan replacing Emanuele Liuzzi and Paolo Simion. The rudder stock fairing was opened for work to be carried out on the steering system, ahead of two stints of two-lap runs of the course.

Sails were dropped at 15:25hrs just downwind of the course, with an issue seemingly on board - although this was denied by Max Sirena in the post sailing interview.

The yacht was towed back to base and docked in at 15:40hrs, after four and half hours on the course and 123 minutes of active sailing.

79 maneuvers were observed at 96% fully foiling rate.

[Justin Busuttil - AC Recon]


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

Power: Bruno Rosetti, Enrico Voltolini, Luca Kirwan, Emanuele Liuzzi , Cesare Gabbia, Paolo Simion

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - AC75 - Day 18 - May 30, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 24 °C Sunny
  • Wind Strength 8kts-14kts
  • Wind Direction: 175° - 190°
  • Sea State: 0.5mtr - 0.8mtrs from 180°
  • Crane In: 1020hrs Dock Out: 1110hrs
  • Dock In: 1540hrs Crane out: 1620hrs
  • Takeoff Data: Self Boatspeed 18-20kts Wind TWA: 70-80°
  • Total Tacks: 38 - Fully foiling: 37; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 41 - Fully foiling: 39; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0

Orient Express Racing Team - AC75 - Day 11 - June 17, 2024 - Barcelona

Orient Express Racing Team craned in their AC75 at 08:50hrs this morning. Several checks from the onshore team on the aero and flight systems and controls were done before the dock out, which was done at 11:00hrs.

OERT paired their M2-1 main sail with a J2 jib at 11:30 h inside the harbour and started sailing then after. A wind of about 5kts - 7kts from 175° was blowing at that moment and the swell was coming from a south direction and was at a height of 0.5-0.8mtrs.

According to the information given by Jason Saunders when interviewed after the sailing session the intention for today was to make some line ups to work over different sailing modes and canting arm setups and then after get into some maneuvers exercises.

Different sailing course modes and also different cant angles were seen tested in different heights while sailing in up wind and downwind, where several line ups were done in both port and starboard tacks and gybes. Boat always have seen sailing very stable in the pitch and heel angles.

The following swaps were done:

  • Cyclors (port fwd and stb aft), just two of them were replaced at 13:50hrs (after 50 min of effective sailing).
  • Batteries were replaced at 14:50hrs (after 80 min of effective sailing)
  • Jib 2 was replaced for Jib 3 at 13:40hrs as wind increased to 10-13kts from 195° at 13:25hrs

Three long stops were done today of 60 minutes on the two first ones, where hydraulic problems seemed to be the main issue (we guess) according to the tools we have been able to see they were transferring from the chaseboat to the AC75. To highlight that the second long stop was also used to replace batteries.

The third stop was done just after a nose diving when going downwind in starboard side. According to Jason Saunders the nosedive was consequence of a failure on one of the controls from starboard side (he was not sure which). After the technicians had been checking the issue for around 40 minutes they decided to call the day over. Sails were dropped at 16:30 h and dock in was done at 17:00hrs.

To highlight that when the boat was craned out we could see some crew members from the team checking the flap from the starboard side wing, but we could not appreciate any external damage. [Jose Luis Piñana – OERT AC Recon]


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

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

Session Statistics: Orient Express Racing Team - AC75 - Day 11 - June 17, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 26° Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 5 - 13kts
  • Wind Direction: 175° - 195°
  • Sea State: 0.4 - 0.8mtr 180°
  • Crane In: 0850hrs Dock Out: 1100hrs
  • Dock In: 1700hrs Crane out: 1745hrs
  • Takeoff Boatspeed: 19kts
  • Total Tacks: 9; Fully Foiling: 8; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 1;
  • Total Gybes: 4; Fully Foiling: 3; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 1;

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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