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Sail-World NZ: September 21 - AC75's sailing..MOD70 aims at Coastal Classic record

21/09/2019


Sail-World NZ - September 21: AC75's go sailing..MOD70 for Coastal Classic..Hugo Boss foiling

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Emirates Team New Zealand foiling under tow on the Waitemata Harbour in light winds, September 19, 2019 - photo © Richard Gladwell


Dear Recipient Name

Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for September 21, 2019

The week was notable for Emirates Team New Zealand, at last, getting a weather window sufficient to sail their AC75 Te Aihe and begin the slow process of working up what is effectively the prototype boat - doing in full size what three other teams have chosen to do in half size or less.

Although Te Aihe was the first AC75 to launch, New York Yacht Club's American Magic was the first to sail and get foiling, after some basic sea trials and checks on the preceding days. The Kiwis took three days to get sailing and foiling. In the end, who foiled first was determined by who got the earliest suitable weather window.

So far the America's Cup champions have ventured outside the America's Cup Harbour four times in the now two weeks since Te Aihe was launched.

Nervous glances as Emirates Team New Zealand leaves the base to go sailing - Day 1, September 18, 2019 - photo © Emirates Team New Zealand
Nervous glances as Emirates Team New Zealand leaves the base to go sailing - Day 1, September 18, 2019 - photo © Emirates Team New Zealand

On the first day, we saw towing trials with the AC75 riding steady in one video and porpoising in the second. In the latter, it is likely that the porpoising was deliberate and testing whether the flight control systems worked as planned. The diving looked controlled, with the "surfacing" a little less so. But there didn't appear to be any yaw in the movements which would have been expected if they were not testing. Since that test, there has not been a return of the porpoising that we have seen - either in video or by observation.

On the second day, the mast was stepped and not surprisingly there were issues with sail hoisting - something that is not really possible on the dock, and certainly not in the shed. One of the downsides of Auckland's America's Cup Harbour is that it is subject to swirling winds from an SW direction. They caused some exciting takeoffs with the AC45's in the early days and made wingsail hoisting on the AC72's a very fraught exercise requiring about 40 people.

Emirates Team New Zealand - Crew member works on top of mast - Waitemata Harbour - Day 3 - September 19, 2019, - photo © Richard Gladwell
Emirates Team New Zealand - Crew member works on top of mast - Waitemata Harbour - Day 3 - September 19, 2019, - photo © Richard Gladwell

A light breeze came in on the third day, and Team New Zealand surprised many by turning to starboard out of the America's Cup Harbour and heading for their old training ground off TiriTiri Island at the entrance to the outer Hauraki Gulf. But the mainsail hoisting issues still had no been resolved - requiring another couple of hours up the masthead.

From there it was relatively plain sailing/foiling as Te Aihe got onto her foils in quite marginal conditions and then took off sailing at over 20kts in a breeze of less than 10kts.

The team has just released a video which can be viewed by clicking here or see the video courtesy of Television New Zealand of Te Aihe's first sail.

Emirates Team New Zealand under tow - chasing the wind- September 19, 2019. - photo © Richard Gladwell
Emirates Team New Zealand under tow - chasing the wind- September 19, 2019. - photo © Richard Gladwell

Auckland's fickle Spring weather again came into play on the fourth day, Thursday. The breeze decided to have a multi-directional day. Despite trying several of the America's Cup courses, there was a little bit of wind everywhere, but not enough to be foilable.

A few things came out of the fourth day.

First, all three courses for the America's Cup (A, B, C) are easily viewed from an adjacent shore vantage point. The AC75 was easily seen either with the naked eye or assisted by a lens/binoculars. You will be able to watch the 36th America's Cup from seats on the edge of the stadium.

One big bonus of watching from the cliffs is that you can see the wind shifts coming from quite a way off, which puts a new dimension on what can be seen on the water. On the third day, when Te Aihe was out on the old America's Cup course, they were almost over the horizon, and the spectacle from shore was non-existent.

NYYC American Magic wings, just before launch show a sharper more refined shape than earlier images - photo © NYYC American Magic
NYYC American Magic wings, just before launch show a sharper more refined shape than earlier images - photo © NYYC American Magic

The challenge with the inshore courses will be finding race officers who can cope with laying a course close inshore despite greater than usual fluctuations in wind strength and direction, and will not use the usual cop-out of taking the racing further out to sea.

To remove any unfairness, the teams need to be allowed into the course before racing with YotBot type setups to work out the variations, relay these back to the crews, and then leave them to sort out their tactics and strategies.

Second, seeing a fully rigged AC75 with main and jib up and setting while being towed, fully foiling, at 20kts is quite a sight. The stability of the AC75 in this mode is quite amazing, and contrary to the trash-talk before the first AC75 was launched saying how unstable the boats would be.

Emirates Team New Zealand sailing in the Course B area and easily visible from the cliff tops overlooking the course - Waitemata Harbour - September 19, 2019. - photo © Richard Gladwell
Emirates Team New Zealand sailing in the Course B area and easily visible from the cliff tops overlooking the course. The horizon merges with the sea indicated by the boat in the upper left hand corner - Waitemata Harbour - September 19, 2019. - photo © Richard Gladwell

Third, the AC75 doesn't seem to be as unstable in a zero wind condition as many expected. For sure ETNZ always seemed to have a tender alongside when the crew weren't attempting to sail, but when released in just 2-4kts of very breeze, there didn't seem to be any stability issues.

Fourth, the AC75 is very slow in sub-foiling conditions - as can be seen in the second video clip link above. This could be a blessing in disguise, as if the wind drops below foiling speed during a race, the AC75's will butcher any time limits that are in play, and the racing will have to be restarted. Hopefully, the Sailing Instructions will specify a time limit for each leg to avoid waiting for the time limit to wind out.

From here, it is expected that the Kiwi team will work into their trialling and testing as weather conditions permit. On Friday there was even less wind than Thursday, and the team stayed home. Yet to make an appearance are the sea breezes which turn up to kick-start summer, and which are a harbinger of what can be expected in March - the month of the Match.

Part of the audience which packed out the ballroom at RNZYS for the launch of `Des Townson - A Sailing Legacy` a biography written by Brian Peet over 10 years.  - photo © Richard Gladwell
Part of the audience which packed out the ballroom at RNZYS for the launch of `Des Townson - A Sailing Legacy` a biography written by Brian Peet over 10 years. - photo © Richard Gladwell

Later in the same afternoon that Te Aihe got on her foils for the first time, the book launch for "Des Townson - a Sailing Legacy" was held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

The 334-page book represents ten years of work by Auckland sailor Brian Peet, whose family had a long-standing and close association with Townson.

Peet couldn't get the backing of a publisher for the book, and self-published, carrying the financial risk personally. Had a would-be publisher been present at RNZYS on Wednesday event, and seen the RNZYS ballroom packed to the gunnels and overflowing outside, they may have re-thought their reticence.

Des Townson - a Sailing Legacy joins the select group of semi-biographical books detailing part of the sport from the late 50's to 1990's - as seen through the eyes of a designer who was probably also a builder.

Those who had the good fortune to know Des Townson will be well aware of his very dry self-deprecating sense of humour. At his Celebration of Life there were many one-liners quoted from Townson.

"Some will say I only ever designed one boat" - a comment hinged around the fact that Townson's boats were all clearly from the same designer, whose progeny all had similar visual characteristics. Like any true artist, he had his style and never deviated from it. You only have to look around a crowded anchorage - the Townson designs are stand-outs.

Peet's book is full of images - photo and drawings which attest to Townson's quite remarkable comment.

The lines and sections of Serene, Des Townson's first keel boat - photo © SW
The lines and sections of Serene, Des Townson's first keel boat. The features of this, his first keelboat design, became his design signature. - photo © SW

"I only ever worked for a couple of years of my life." A reference to the years he spent as an apprentice coach-builder and later as a carpenter.

Essentially Des did what he loved doing and was able to earn a passable income from it. If he didn't actually build one of his designs, he had a mid-wife like interest in the gestation/construction phase, particularly on the home-builds, or completions. Home visits to check on his progeny, were all part of his service, although one got the distinct impression that they were more for Townson's own peace of mind, as much as to help a client. He insisted on marking out the coaming cut-outs himself - they were part of his design signature.

Des Townson’s own Talent with an Electron fleet on her stern at Kawau Island, Easter 2008 - photo © John Bertenshaw
Des Townson’s own Talent with an Electron fleet on her stern at Kawau Island, Easter 2008 - photo © John Bertenshaw

Remember, those were the days when if you were a sailor you had to be able to build yourself a boat, or certainly be able to finish one from a supplied hull, or hull and decks/coamings.

In the near future, we'll feature a review and extract from 'Des Townson - A Sailing Legacy' on Sail-World.

In the meantime, you can order your copy of this outstanding, very high-quality book by going to www.destownson.co.nz - it is a bargain at $80.00NZD. If the interest at RNZYS on Wednesday is an indication of the interest in this book, some publishers have got it seriously wrong.

The book is like one of Townson's boats. Des would have been very pleased indeed.

United States SailGP Team skippered by Rome Kirby in action in the first race. Race Day 1. The final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseille, France. - photo © Ian Roman for SailGP
United States SailGP Team skippered by Rome Kirby in action in the first race. Race Day 1. The final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseille, France. - photo © Ian Roman for SailGP

There's plenty more in this edition aside from the latest America's Cup news, which is drawing a huge readership.

SailGP is sailing its Final Series this weekend in Marseille, for a purse of USD$1million hanging on the outcome of the Final between the top two crews - expected to be Tom Slingsby (AUS) and Nathan Outteridge (also AUS) but helming the Japanese entry. All racing is broadcast live on Sky - set your recorders.

Hugo Boss - photo © Alex Thomson Racing
5. Hugo Boss - photo © Alex Thomson Racing

The radical IMOCA60 Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson) was christened in London on Thursday, we have the story on that event, but more interesting is the first video of the monohull foiling. The IMOCA60's don't have rudder foils/ailerons and so can't get into full foiling mode, but get very close with some spectacular surfing.

Surprisingly Caleb Paine (USA) 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist didn't make the top eight countries to qualify for  Tokyo2020 - Finn - Hempel Sailing World Championships 2018, Aarhus, August 2018 - photo © Sailing Energy
Surprisingly Caleb Paine (USA) 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist didn't make the top eight countries to qualify for Tokyo2020 - Finn - Hempel Sailing World Championships 2018, Aarhus, August 2018 - photo © Sailing Energy

The US Olympic team has suffered a body blow with the departure of two key staff - Chief of Olympic Sailing - double Olympic Gold medalist, Malcolm Page and Chief Operating Officer Greg Fisher - all within the same week. Of course, the media statements from US Sailing downplay the situation. However sailing correspondent for Associated Press, Bernie Wilson, with whom we've sat across the table at a couple of America's Cups and Olympic regattas started digging, as only Bernie can. His strength is that he understands sport very well, and while a particular situation may seem unique to sailing, Bernie has seen it all before, knows exactly the direction to take, and gets cut-through to the bone of the issue.

There's no anesthetic used when Bernie gets his scalpel out. Catch his story in this edition.

NYYC American Magic's deck layout, with rig removed, is very clean and simple - aimed at aero drag reduction - photo © NYYC American Magic
NYYC American Magic's deck layout, with rig removed, is very clean and simple - aimed at aero drag reduction - photo © NYYC American Magic

For all the latest news from NZ and around the world see below.

Please send your event or any other reports or stories to sailworldnzl@gmail.com with a copy to nzeditor@sail-world.com.

Between newsletters, you can follow all the racing and developments in major and local events on www.sail-world.com/nz or by scrolling to the top of the site, select New Zealand, and get all the latest news and updates from the sailing world.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

NYYC American Magic presents an interesting profile foiling fast in light winds - photo © NYYC American Magic
NYYC American Magic presents an interesting profile foiling fast in light winds - photo © NYYC American Magic

 
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The final SailGP event of Season 1 in Marseille, France - Day 1 - photo © Sam Kurtul / www.worldofthelens.co.uk
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NYYC American Magic reveals her cockpit layout which has the crew in shallower trenches than Emirates Team NZ's Te Aihe - photo © NYYC American Magic
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