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Cup Spy May 18: Brits test new cyclor

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 20 May 15:32 NZST 18 May 2024

The Brits were the only team to sail AC75s or paired AC40s over the weekend. INEOS Britannia sailed their newly christened AC75, with team principal Jim Ratcliffe, a keen cyclist, aboard and functioning as one of the four cyclors providing the hydraulic pressure needed to operate the sail controls on the AC75.

What happened in the Cup - May 18, 2024:

  • INEOS Britannia sailed in their AC75 on Saturday and were the only team to sail over the weekend.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand ETNZ's AC 75 has been decommissioned and is in the process of being shipped to Barcelona. It leaves NZ on Tuesday.
  • American Magic did not sail.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing did not sail.
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli did not sail. The Italians have decommissioned their AC75 in preparation for relocation to the team's America's Cup base in Barcelona.
  • Orient Express Racing Team: No Recon Team Report indicating that if they are sailing then it is in one design mode. Their AC75 is in Barcelona however a launch date has yet to be publicly advised.

INEOS Britannia - AC75 - Day 13 - May 18, 2024 - Barcelona

Team INEOS Britannia rolled out RB3, since renamed 'Britannia' at 08:00hrs on Saturday today and the AC75 was launched at 09:05hrs.

The naming ceremony from RB3 was planned today at 11:30hrs so many preparations were done for the celebration at INEOS Britannia base.

From 0800hrs - 1100hrs there were intermittent shower rains happening and luckily, just for the ceremony, they had almost clear skies and sun. After a speech from different team members, including Sir Ben Ainslie and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, RB3 was named ‘Britannia’ in between applauses and champagne sprays.

Speaking about components we could see today that the new rudder was installed back. After the interview done with Giles Scott this afternoon, he confirmed us that the fairing plate that is close to the hull was missing.

Today, as well, just the camera from starboard side foil was seen installed. Lidars for main and jib sails were also on board.

Dock out was done at 14:00hrs Britannia was towed to the entrance of the harbour where sails were hoisted.

Main sail MN1 was hoisted and paired to a J3 jib. A wind of about 10-12 kts from 85º was blowing at that moment but rapidly increased to 10-14kts as soon as we get a bit far away from the harbour. The sea state was about 1-1.5 m but with higher frequency than yesterday, what made the sailing trickier.

Team Principal Jim Ratcliffe sailed on board Britannia in portside forward cyclor pod for the first tacks from the day. After he was swapped, the team continued sailing performing long straight lines in upwind and downwind. Some reaching courses were also seen. Due to the tricky sea state, it was an awesome day to be focused on boat handling and it looked exactly on what team INEOS Britannia did. Today leeward shrouds were seen quite loose in tension, specially in the upwinds.

Cyclors were swapped at 16:25hrs, that is after 75 minutes of effective foil sailing.

Batteries were replaced at 17:30hrs and in the same time the jib sail J3 was replaced by a sail J2 as at that time the wind dropped to 7-9kts from 75º. INEOS Britannia dropped sails at 18:20hrs and dock in was done at 18:40hrs. As a summary they foiled today for 135 effective minutes and did 13 tacks and 12 gybes done in 3 upwind legs and 3 downwind legs where the boat handling was the big focus of the sailing session through straight lines. A total of 64 miles were sailed.

[Report from Jose Luis Piñana – INEOS Britannia AC Recon]


Sailing: Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott, Bleddyn Mon, Luke Parkinson.

Power: Jim Ratcliffe, Matt Rossiter, Freddie Carr (->Harry Leask, Matt Gotrel), James Skulczuk, Neil Hunter (->Ryan Todhunter, Ben Cornish)

Session Statistics: INEOS Britannia - AC75 - Day 13 - May 18, 2024 - Barcelona

  • Weather: 20°C Clear skies, Sunny
  • Wind Strength 7-14kts
  • Wind Direction: 75°-85°
  • Sea State: 1.0-1.5mtrs from 90° (S)
  • Crane In: 0905hrs Dock Out: 1400hrs
  • Dock In: 1840hrs Crane out: 1905hrs
  • Takeoff Data: Boatspeed 16kts, Angle 85 degrees, Windspeed Not stated
  • Total Tacks: 13 - Fully foiling: 13; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 12 - Fully foiling: 12; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

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.

Additional Images:

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