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Cup Spy Feb 3 : Kiwis hit UFO and capsize. Exceed 46kts later in session.

by Richard Gladwell/ 4 Feb 12:19 NZDT 3 February 2023
Emirates Team New Zealand - Two boat testing - AC40 - Hauraki Gulf - February 3, 2023 © Adam Mustill / America's Cup

What happened in the Cup - Feb 3, 2023:

  • Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their two AC40's late in the day, the AC40-OD hit a UFO - believed to be run-off debris from the torrential rain that has caused extensive flooding in the City.
  • INEOS Britannia sailed out of Mallorca hitting over 40kts at times.
  • American Magic did not sail.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing did not sail.
  • Luna Rossa did not sail.
  • No further news from the Orient Express Team (formerly K-Challenge).

Emirates Team NZ - LEQ12 - Auckland - February 3, 2022 - Day 14

Emirates Team NZ delayed their start due to strong winds emanating from yet another weather system that has hit the city, creating all-time record rainfalls for January. The City and Coromandel regions are both under a State of Emergency as authorities cope with the clean-up. One issue is the amount of logs and debris that has been washed into the Waitemata harbour, floating barely visible on the surface. The Harbourmaster has a crane and barge working to remove trees and debris from the harbour when it is spotted.

The AC40-OD struck a UFO (Unidentified Floating Object) early in the session and capsized. The AC40 was quickly recovered, with a now-well practiced rescue routine, and continued with the session, hitting over 46kts on the trip home.

From the AC37 Joint Recon Team:

A big delay from the planned dock out time of 12.00 due to strong NE breezes. The Rain started to ease about 13.50, with the breeze still above 30 at the entrance to the harbour the AC40 was first out of the shed at 14.25 and rolled out onto the dock edge under ominous concrete coloured sky's. She was floating in the pen at 14.40. The LEQ12 came out the door at 14.45 and was floating in the pen at 15.15.

You could feel the tension on the dock with coaches and crew poring over weather information on tablets and phones every where. At 15.55 Ray Davies got everybody in the team together around the back of a chase boat and gave the plan? By 16.05 both boats were towed out of the basin with sails stowed on their respective chase boats.

Yachts where then towed down the harbour and out to the southern shore of Waiheke Island in the Tamaki Straight (back paddock) Main #3 jibs were set. The LEQ12 got up onto her Starboard foil, sailed for 20 seconds then rolled into a gybe, kept her old foil down and luffed up to stop.

Crew were seen inspecting the mainsheet/outhaul system. The chase boat came alongside and the boat captain and two tech/engineer people got onboard and inspected the same area. No hydraulic fluid was observed leaking or on deck.

While the recon boat was with the LEQ12 the AC40, about a mile to leeward, sailing down wind struck a U.F.O and capsized. It was righted and sailed the rest of the session.

A fix/patch was found for the outhaul on the LEQ12. It looked to be locked off close to max setting for the rest of the session.

The boats did two upwinds and two downwind runs staying close, this made getting the recon boat in close a lot more difficult. On port tack the two boats looked even, but on starboard the anhedral foil is visibly faster, lower down wind and higher upwind. Potentially more twitchy in bad chop/confused sea state.

After the four or so windward leeward legs the yachts moved to Motukorea Channel between Rangitoto and St Heliers, here they did a broad reach down to Bean rock hitting well over 40knots at times.

At Bean Rock they both hardened up and tacked onto port for a long upwind lay through to Islington bay where they tacked and headed for home on a broad reach again. The LEQ12 had such a jump on the AC40 by Rangitoto wharf it put its windward foil down/in to slow down to bring the boats back together again.

Once past the lee of Rangitoto about Northern Leading the breeze solidified and they were off. Recon boat tapped out doing 46 knots and could not keep up. Back on the dock at 18.40

Session Statistics - Emirates Team NZ - LEQ12 - Auckland - February 3,2022 - Day 14

  • Wind Strength 25-35kts easing to 8-16kts in the late afternoon.
  • Wind Direction: NNE (PM)
  • Sea State: Slight-Moderate
  • Roll out:1445hrs Dock Out: 1600hrshrs
  • Dock In: 1845hrs Crane out: 1935hrs
  • Total Tacks: 12 - Fully foiling: 9; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 9 - Fully foiling: 9; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0

Crew: Nathan Outteridge, Peter Burling, Andy Maloney, Liv Mackay (LEQ12)

INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Mallorca - February 3, 2023 - Day 21

Top sailing journalist, Justin Chisholm was on the water and made various observations on the new additions on the British boat:

INEOS Britannia's fourth consecutive sailing day this week turned out to be a short and sharp afternoon affair sailed in 7 - 10 knots of breeze and on a flat sea.

After docking out shortly after 1230 in zero breeze, once the mainsail was hoisted in front of Palma Cathedral the silver T6 LEQ12 was towed at 20 knots at a bearing of 120 degrees to the shallow waters off Ca'n Pastilla - a popular spot for the local kite and wing foiling community - where a 7 - 10 knot breeze from 040 degrees was blowing steadily.

Presumably because they were expecting more wind soon, the British crew opted for the J3 headsail and were quickly and easily foiling at an estimated take off bearing of 090 degrees and speed of 13 knots. After a couple of minutes of sailing in the mid to high 20 knot range the boat bore away in a gust to a bearing of around 190 degrees and accelerated in what seemed like an instant to high thirties/early forties.

With the flat water and solid breeze making for excellent data gathering/testing conditions the crew appeared to be concentrating again on straight line sailing - though they weren't afraid to throw in some foiling gybes and tacks when required.

We witnessed three stops for breakdowns/technical issues: one for a broken mainsail traveller line (which caused a windward heel splashdown), one to work on the headsail traveller, and one unidentified one at around 1530, which appeared not to get resolved putting an end to sailing shortly before 1600.

After a 30 knot foiling tow into the harbour the team docked in at 1615.

Session Statistics - Mallorca - February 3, 2022 - INEOS Britannia - LEQ12 - Day 21

  • Wind Strength 7-10kts (PM)
  • Wind Direction: 000 degrees swinging to 289 degrees
  • Roll out: 1056hrs Dock Out: 1235hrs
  • Dock In: 1615hrs Crane out: 1645hrs
  • Total Tacks: 7 - Fully foiling: 4; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 7 - Fully foiling: 4; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 0

Crew: Giles Scott, Leigh McMillan, Luke Parkinson, Iain Jensen

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