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America's Cup: Te Aihe sailing on the edge of the wind limits

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 10 Jan 04:04 GMT 10 January 2020
Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 - January 10, 2020 © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

Emirates Team New Zealand's AC75 was out for the third day this week, following what looks to have been a major upgrade.

After being towed out to the entrance to the Waitemata, she rigged up and slipped away from the chase boats around 1000hrs, sailing fast in winds that were recorded as 19kts average gusting 25kts at the nearby Bean Rock and slightly less and with a greater range at a lower point, Northern Leading beacon, just to the north of Bean Rock. Bean Rock readings are taken from a greater height than Northern leading and need to be reduced by about 3kts to get sea level readings.

With wind limits and Match Conditions being very much in the America's Cup headlines this week, it was interesting to look at the AC75's performance against the wind observation point on Bean Rock and elsewhere in the Gulf.

The AC75 made a spectacular sight sailing fast with a cloud of fine high speed spray following her.

She headed out into the outer Hauraki Gulf for a four hour training session in 20-25kt offshore (SW) winds and a chop, but with no swell from that direction.

Great to see the first Challenger vessel in Auckland, with INEOS Team UK's branded chase boat observing the Kiwi AC75.

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