Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 2018 Velocitek Prism 728x90

America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand puts down a marker on wind limits

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com 22 Nov 2019 10:32 GMT 22 November 2019
Te Aihe reaching in the 20-25kt SW breeze, passing Motuihe Island - Emirates Team New Zealand - Waitemata Harbour - November 22, 2019 © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

The unanswered questions on an upper end wind limit for the 36th America's Cup got a partial response from the Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand in a training session east of Browns Island, today.

Sailing in SW winds blowing 20-25kts, Sail-World caught the AC75 Te Aihe as she had finished the session and made her way back to her Auckland base, 12nm away.

Her training area, usually well away from prying eyes is known as "The Paddock" and was used extensively in the buildup to the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda, as offered moderately sheltered flat water, reminiscent of Bermuda. The area is designated as one of two heavy air course areas for the 36th America's Cup. The amount of white water in the course was significant - a sea condition known locally as there being "plenty of [white] sheep in the paddock". (A paddock is a NZ farming euphemism for a field.)

The Paddock is quite tide affected in places, and a wind against tide condition can create a lot more white water than just "wind waves".

Initially Te Aihe sailed in non-foiling mode - heeling as would be expected of a rather tender boat, with her windward wing well above the crew. Surprisingly, given that the AC75 doesn't have a daggerboard, the AC75 seemed to sail better than expected, with sails sheeted wider in the fresh breeze. There was no sign of her staggering in the breeze or likely to capsize as some trolls and pundits had predicted would happen with the AC75.

After she got on her course for Auckland, Te Aihe set up in foiling mode and took off at reasonable speed. A few minutes later she did one splashdown, losing minimal momentum before getting back onto her foils.

A team spokesman said afterwards that the session was an "extremely successful day with wind rising to top end - no issues and some good laps".

One could take from that comment that the Defender would be looking to race in that windstrength on that course - however from other observation points around the five America's Cup course areas, there did not appear to be much difference in windstrength, and several courses would have been suitable without the need to resort to one of the two string wind courses.

Previously the team response was that the upper wind limit would only be addressed after the AC75 had been sailed in a variety of conditions.

(Apologies for the quality of some of the images with this story - shot from a distance of 2.5nm - 5nm - and testing various camera modes.)

Related Articles

America's Cup: Prada Cup Preview - Image Gallery
Here's a look at what the breeze could be for Day 5 of the Final of the Prada Cup Final In 12 months time the Prada Cup, a best of 13 race series may well have been decided. Here's a look at what the breeze could be for Day 5 of the Final of the Prada Cup Final, as Te Kahu sails on Course C. Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ staying dry
Emirates Team NZ's test boat was easily performing "dry" tacks and gybes With Peter Burling back on the helm, two days after winning his sixth 49er Worlds, Emirates Team NZ's test boat was easily performing "dry" tacks and gybes. Posted on 19 Feb
America's Cup: Te Aihe heads for Europe
Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 Te Aihe has set off on her two month voyage to Europe Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 Te Aihe has set off on her two month voyage to Europe and two America's Cup World Series at Cagliari (Sardinia) in late April and Portsmouth in early June. Posted on 17 Feb
America's Cup: Issues emerge in Match Conditions
It might be Valentine's Day but that didn't stop two America's Cup protagonists having a blunt chat It might be Valentine's Day but there is not too much love lost between Sailing Illustrated's host, Tom Ehman , and Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell as they cover the issues of the day 12 months out from the America's Cup in Auckland. Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup and Prada Cup issues resolved
The contentious Wind Limits for the 36th America's Cup and Prada Cup have been decided The contentious Wind Limits for the 2021 America's Cup and its preliminary regattas have been decided by Mediation rather than a full Arbitration Panel. As widely tipped they have met halfway between the two windstrengths nominated by the teams Posted on 13 Feb
Emirates Team NZ fans buy gear at Official stores
Emirates Team New Zealand fans show your support - buy the latest range in stores or online As anticipation builds to the 36th America's Cup, get behind and show your support for Emirates Team New Zealand. Buy online from New Zealand or anywhere in the World. Two stores in Auckland - at Auckland Airport and outside the ETNZ Base. Posted on 12 Feb
America's Cup: American Magic nosedive - video
American Magic release video of their test boat doing a spectacular nosedive New York Yacht Club's America's Cup team, American Magic have released a video of their test boat doing a spectacular nosedive while sailing off the team's base in Newport. Posted on 12 Feb
America's Cup: Chasing the Hawk
Images of Emirates Team NZ's test boat training on the Waitemata harbour After a long weekend, Emirates Team New Zealand test boat, Te Kahu, or the hawk, was out sailing for an extended session in the Waitemata Harbour - when the breeze kicked in. Posted on 11 Feb
America's Cup: Shoot-out at the Cagliari Corral
The first shots in the AC75 design battle will take place at the end of the April The first battle for the America's Cup World Series will take place at the end of the April in Cagliari, Sardinia and will be a strong design indicator for the Main Event nine months later. Posted on 5 Feb
America's Cup: Revealing video of ETNZ's AC75
Electric motor supplier Maxon have released an excellent video of Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 One of the many interesting features of the video comes at the end as the boat sails on starboard tack and the tip of the starboard wing can be seen under the clear water, with a white "jetstream" flowing from the wingtip. Posted on 4 Feb