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Cup Spy Jan 16-17: USA stays in Bay; Kiwis return; Italians test wingfoil

by Richard Gladwell/ 18 Jan 16:08 NZDT 18 January 2023
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - January 16, 2023 - Cagliari © AC37 Joint Recon

Three of the six teams entered in the 2024 America's Cup took to the water in Pensacola, Cagliari and Auckland.

What happened in the Cup - January 16-17, 2023:

  • INEOS Britannia did not sail.
  • American Magic sailed inshore on Pensacola Bay in light winds. Report below.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand's crew sailing for the New Zealand SailGP team won the SailGP Singapore regatta in the weekend competing against several other AC crew involved in various SailGP teams. They resumed sailing in Auckland on Tuesday. See report below.
  • Luna Rossa sailed on the Gulf of Cagliari, on Sunday and seemed to be focused on tests with the starboard wing foil. See report below.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing did not sail.
  • No further developments from the late entry French K-Challenge. An announcement was expected this week, according to an earlier announcement by the Late Entry team.

    American Magic - AC75 Version 2 - Pensacola - January 17, 2023 - Day 32

    From the AC 37 Joint Recon Team:

    Patriot sailed inshore today, covered approximately 27 nm, comprised of four upwind/downwind legs.

    Initial take off was self-launched, there were four additional self take offs for a total of five, which is encouraging in the conditions, with Patriot being towed up onto its foils on three occasions.

    Five headsails were loaded into the support RIB, only one - a J#1 - was used.

    Sailing began at 12:20, completed 13 maneuvers and ended sailing at 14:55. Patriot had a total flying time of 35 Minutes. Top speeds were approximately 27k upwind and 35k downwind (according to RIB GPS). Patriot had five brief foiling sessions today and one 19 minute stint, taking long breaks in between while the crew waited for wind.

    The crew also spent a good deal of time and attention to the new hardware attached to the bow (deck level under jib appearing to be a hydraulic ram) . The normal cyclists have been absent during the last two sailing days, although the seats are occupied.

    “There wasn't that much breeze unfortunately we didn't get what we were hoping for, and just trying to make the most out of the day, but hopefully we will get better through the week,” said American Magic sailing team member Lucas Calabrese, in a dockside interview after another light airs training session.

    “We didn't get too much accomplished since it was so light - just mostly just waiting for breeze all day.”

    The specialist cyclists have been off the boat for a couple of days with their places being taken by regular sailing crew. However Calabrese says they will be back soon.

    To date the team has only managed four sailing sessions out on the Gulf of Mexico, where they expect to be able to train in conditions that are closer to the heaving seaway of Barcelona, than be restricted to the flat water of Pensacola Bay, which is ideal for speed testing.

    Calabrese says the helmsman and coach, talk to the team weather guru about the conditions expected for the inside and outside. “Then we make that call. We definitely try to be out there as much as we can. But today wasn't very favourable for going outside. So we decided to stay inside,” he explained.

    All teams are using simulators for crew practice and training to some degree, particularly during weather created downtime, and have done so for at least two America’s Cup cycles.

    “We try to use it as much as we can,” Calabrese says. “Obviously, you have to manage the time on the water and all the other stuff. I'm sure we'll get more time on it eventually,” he adds.

    Debriefs are an important part of the training and testing process, where the designers and engineers compare notes with the sailing team, and analysts. Several, if not all teams are in live communication with the boat – able to see the data, view the video – they can also hear the conversation aboard the test yacht, if required. It means the debrief discussion can start as soon as the boat docks, rather then waiting for data disks to be downloaded and test results circulated to designers, engineers and analysts.

    “We try to capture everything that's happening on the water as soon as we get off the yacht, explains Calabrese . “Then we have scale meetings where we analyse more in depth, everything else to do with performance and all that stuff.”

    “Every topic is discussed. Obviously we have the topics that we're testing, and then the ones that are more relevant for that condition to be looked at, with more depth. But everything's on the table.”

    Session Statistics - Pensacola - January 17, 2023 - American Magic - AC75 V1.5

    • Wind Strength 4-9kts SW (PM)
    • Sea State: <1ft (PM)
    • Roll out: 10.00hrs Dock Out: 11.00hrs
    • Dock In: 15.18hrs Crane out: 15.45hrs
    • Total Tacks: 8 - Fully foiling: 5; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 1
    • Total Gybes: 5 - Fully foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 2

    Crew: Paul Goodison, Riley Gibbs, Lucas Calabrese, Dan Morris, Andrew Campbell, Michael Menninger, Dan Morris, Trevor Burd

    Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Cagliari - January 16, 2023 - Day 24

    From the AC37 Joint Recon team: The day at the LR base started with an early dawn roll-out at 7:00. While testing and changes on PS wing seem to have been paused, the LEQ12 rolled out with the STB wing armed with several cameras embedded in previously seen cases.

    It is unclear what exactly is to be monitored, perhaps any occurrence of flow ventilation or cavitation or simply the flow stream lines for any separation on suction and pressure sides along span, around the foil arm stock and towards the wing tips. On STB wing pressure side following has been observed: red painted marking lines along span at different chords on outboard wing and smaller red lines, perhaps only attached, inboard closer to bulb of wing and flap.

    The focus on the streaming flow could be confirmed by the observation of a CFD designer sitting on the "joyride" seat on STB and later switching on PS constantly monitoring the appendage from above when flying. Unfortunately when asked he was not made available by the team for recon interview.

    With six crew on board, the team is testing the behavior of the prototype with additional weight as it seems only four are actually handling and controlling the prototype.

    Tricky forecast due to incoming front for the LR team which made the most out of it docking out at 8:55 heading towards La Sella del Diavolo to hoist main+J2. After turning on and polishing GoPros screens sailing started with a tow-to-fly by RIB. The LEQ12 sailed mostly in front of the known sailing beach "Poetto" perhaps seaking a bit of shelter completing a number of tacks and flying mostly low closing the gap between hull and water for endplate effect.

    Considering the ongoing data gathering on STB wing, foiling on PS tack seemed to prevail with observation of several radical sudden bear aways & headings up, manuevers and sailing on both boards. Two significant bow down splashes have been observed on starboard tack while heading back towards the harbour.

    The LEQ12 covered approximately 34 nm completing 19 maneuvers, six gybes and 13 tacks with a total foiling time of 89 minutes out of 125 minutes total session. The breeze increased to 13-16kn at 11:00 and team called it a day considering the forecasted gusts in the hours ahead.

    Session Statistics - Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - LEQ12 - Cagliari - January 16, 2023 - Day 22

    • Wind Strength 13-15kts
    • Wind Direction: NW (PM)
    • Sea State: Flat water
    • Roll Out: 0720hrs Dock Out: 0900hrs
    • Dock In: 1100hrs Crane Out: 1230hrs
    • Total Tacks: 13; Fully foiling: 9; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 1
    • Total Gybes: 6; Fully foiling: 2; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 0

    Crew: Francesco Bruni, Ruggerio Tita, Andrei Tesei, Umberto Molineris, Vittario Bissaro, and a CFD engineer

    Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40-LEQ Boat 1 - Auckland - Day 8

    Emirates Team New Zealand was back sailing today for the first time since December 21, 2022.

    Three of todays's crew competed in the SailGP Singapore over the weekend. The New Zealand SailGP team won the SailGP Singapore regatta in the weekend competing against several other AC crew involved in various SailGP teams.

    In the Reconnaissance File System, the central repository for all information collected by the the five Recon teams, the America's Cup champions are shown as having three boats, but only have two physical AC40 hulls. In RFS the boats are known as AC40-1, AC40-3, and LEQ12.

    Yes, it's complicated.

    Their first launched (AC40-1) did a spectacular nosedive on November 21, 2022, having been converted from AC-40 One Design to an LEQ12 just under three weeks earlier on November 2, 2022.

    Their second launched AC-40 (known as AC40-3) was commissioned just before Christmas and sailed for two days before the Christmas break on December 20 and 21, 2022.

    As teams are only allowed one test prototype boat (codified as a LEQ12) AC40-1 is dual purpose, and can sail as a One Design as specified in the AC40 Class rule, or it can become a test boat and be fitted with various test foil wings, sails, rudders etc.

    Today, with the weekend's SailGP Singapore regatta now a recent memory for three of the crew, they set off in the dual purpose boat (AC40-1), which was set up as a LEQ12. Its distinctive feature is an beautifully curved anhedral wing foil carried on the port side, with flat AC-40 One Design foil on the other side.

    Today's sail was conducted in a light easterly seabreeze which grew to 10-12 kts. The team had to be towed onto the foils after they tacked in the lee of Rangitoto, after foiling down the harbour. Then it was off for a tour of the islands of the Inner Hauraki Gulf before getting a tow back to base.

    In the dockside interview after the session Elise Beavis, a Performance Engineer at ETNZ. Beavis, who is on her third America's Cup campaign, is the current WASZP Womens World Champion. Her first project at Emirates Team NZ was on the use of cyclors in the 2017 America's Cup, unfortunately, with the switch back to cyclors in the 2024 Cup, she was not questioned on her thoughts and insights on this key development area.

    She began by outlining the program for the America's Cup Defender over the next few weeks.

    "We'll continue the crew trainings and swapping around the crew. We're going to be sailing both boats - the LEQ12 as well as with the '40 in one design mode. As the weeks go on, we'll have a new sail or two come online - so we'll start learning from those as well.

    says that the team is a few weeks away from starting two-boat programme.

    "The goal to get into the two-boat programme, so we can really work on the match racing," she explained.

    "With the Version 2 of the AC75's we're expecting the boats between all the teams to be a lot closer [in speed] in Barcelona than they were in Auckland. So match racing skills are going to be more at play."

    "The team see two boat match racing practice as a crucial part of the next Cup.

    "We are still sailing only one boat at the moment, swapping around crew and ensuring we've got enough people trained up to sail both boats."

    She was less expansive, when questioned on the start date for the build of the team's AC75, saying "the build is about a year process. The start is a few months away, but coming up quick. So there's plenty of focus on the design of the race boat."

    Elsewhere the team are reported to be starting AC75 construction in the second quarter of 2023, and final design sign-off of the hull will be the first task, while testing of other components can continue. Under the Protocol for the 2024 America's Cup, teams are only permitted to sail in Barcelona, in any boat from July 1 to October 31, 2023, but are not allowed to train against each other.

    Time is marching on. Every day is precious.

    Session Statistics - Auckland - January 17, 2022 - Emirates Team New Zealand - AC40-1 LEQ12

    • Wind Strength 10-12kts (PM)
    • Wind Direction: E N(PM)
    • Weather: 30% Cloud cover. Temperature: 24 degreesC
    • Sea State: Slight (PM)
    • Roll Out: 1200hrs; Dock Out: 1330hrs
    • Dock In: 1530hrs; Crane Out: 1600hrs
    • Total Tacks: 10 - Fully foiling: 4; Touch & Go: 5; Touch Down: 1
    • Total Gybes: 8 - Fully foiling: 6; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0
    • Crew: Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge (co-helms), Andy Maloney and Bair Tuke (trimming)

    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, 2017 and 2021 America's Cups.

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