Please select your home edition
Edition
Ocean Safety 2021 - LEADERBOARD

America's Cup Rialto: First cross - AC75's duke it out on Auckland harbour

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 21 Sep 2020 16:25 BST 22 September 2020
Emirates Team NZ crosses American Magic - Waitemata Harbour - September 21,2020 - 36th America's Cup © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

The two AC75's currently in Auckland met up on the Waitemata Harbour this afternoon for the first shoot-out of the 36th America's Cup.

Sailing on Course C between North Head and Rangitoto Island the Emirates Team New Zealand and American Magic circulated through the area, making enough racing action for what appeared to be a camera crew in a helicopter hovering above, without giving the ubiquitous reconnaissance teams cause to make a complaint of training in a coordinated manner - which is banned under the Protocol governing the event. However the presence of the helicopter and camera indicates that maybe this was a session that should not be taken too seriously - even so it was a great opportunity to see these remarkable boats up close, and get a taste of the visual banquet that is to come in three months.

The two AC75's crossed tacks frequently and paralleled each other less often.

There was one good hookup with both boats sailing closehauled in the beautiful 10-12 sea breeze. Despite a couple of images in this story, boat handling was generally good - considering the wind direction, strength and the fact that they were sailing in the lee of a 260 m (850 ft) 600-year-old volcanic cone - Rangitoto.

The outcome was a predictable draw - with neither team showing a significant advantage over the other in the brief period they were hooked up, usually one started substantially ahead or behind.

A second run with both boats reaching on port tack, was equally inconclusive - although the teams may have a different view of that assessment.

Most of the session which lasted an hour or so, consisted of the two teams trying to race practice using their laid marks on the Course which is likely to be the most used in the America's Cup, with another run out into the Rangitoto Channel

It was American Magic which stole the show - not because of a blistering boatspeed advantage, but more because they had made it, they were there, in the America's Cup venue and taking on the defending Champion, literally in the Kiwi's own backyard. And that was after being out of action for five month due to the cancelled America's Cup World Series regattas.

The other two Challengers from Italy and UK are either yet to leave or in quarantine.

Leaving their dock about 30minutes after the Kiwis, American Magic towed out on foils as is their want. Te Aihe sailed down the harbour in light winds with variable pressure, but using her Code Zero and foiling with apparent ease. However it all turned to custard at the entrance to the Waitemata, with Te Aihe either running out of wind pressure, getting hit by a header, running out of apparent wind, or a combination of all three. Either way the Code Zero was furled, the towline attached and Te Aihe towed off in the direction of Browns Island or Motukorea and presumably a session running alongside Motuihe Island with a stint in The Paddock off Eastern Beach.

Defiant headed out into the Rangitoto Channel out off the East Coast Bays before returning back down the Channel where Te Aihe happened to be lurking.

Their respective workouts complete on Course C, Defiant headed back out for another two hours of training and another seven-hour session.

For 90 minutes or so we had a glimpse of the sailing spectacle that will be the America's Cup World Series/Christmas Cup, the Prada Cup and the America's Cup itself.

It will be magic.

Related Articles

America's Cup: Patriot has a close call
American Magic's AC75 Patriot had a close call on the Waitemata Harbour, on Wednesday evening American Magic's AC75 Patriot had a close call on the Waitemata Harbour, on Wednesday evening after she appeared to hit a boat wake, and her rudder briefly ventilated. Posted today at 12:49 pm
America's Cup Rialto: Jan 25 - Kiwis reveal foils
Emirates Team New Zealand are testing two foils, one new, that are both smaller and quite different Emirates Team New Zealand are testing two foils, one new, that are both smaller and quite different from the challengers. Posted today at 12:28 pm
8 Bells: Bob Fisher - Mr America's Cup
The larger-than-life yachtsman, journalist and author passes away at 85 Bob Fisher, the larger-than-life yachtsman, journalist and author crossed the bar peacefully on January 25 surrounded by family. He was 85. Posted on 26 Jan
The View from North Head - Final of Round Robins
Video shot from North Head for those who want to watch the final race of the Round Robin For those who want to watch a commentary free, unedited and uncut version of the final race of the Round Robins - that is not geo-blocked, and shot from a single vantage point close to the action - this is it. Posted on 24 Jan
America's Cup Rialto: Jan 23 - Brits make history
INEOS Team UK made America's Cup history on the Waitemata harbour Saturday evening INEOS Team UK made America's Cup history on the Waitemata harbour Saturday evening when they qualified for the Finals of the Challenger Selection Series for the 36th America's Cup. Posted on 23 Jan
Prada Cup: Day 4: Course C - Sudden death
For Day 4 of the Prada Cup, racing will revert to the expanded Course C area. For Day 4 of the Prada Cup, racing will revert to the expanded Course C area. Today one race in Round Robin 3 will be sailed. Posted on 22 Jan
Prada Cup: Capsize triggers changes to Cup
Regatta Director Iain Murray has made several changes to the conduct of the Prada and America's Cups Regatta Director Iain Murray has made several changes to the conduct of the Prada and America's Cups, following a review with all involved parties including the competitors. Posted on 21 Jan
America's Cup Rialto: Jan 17 - Saving of Patriot
Here's our perspective from on the water with exclusive images of the near sinking No two days are ever the same in the America's Cup. The final race of Round Robin 2 was no exception. Here's on the water impression, with exclusive images of a day that brought out the best in the America's Cup teams to save a fellow competitor's boat. Posted on 20 Jan
Prada Cup: Hutchinson confirms raceboat rebuild
American Magic confirmed that the team will remain in the Prada Cup American Magic Executive Director Terry Hutchinson has confirmed that the team will remain in the Prada Cup, after nearly sinking their raceboat Patriot yesterday evening in Auckland. Posted on 18 Jan
Prada Cup: Day 3: Course A - off Barker's place
For Day 3 of the Prada Cup, racing will shift to a new course area off Milford Beach For Day 3 of the Prada Cup, racing will shift to a new course area, in an unusual response to the predicted wind. For the first time in the Prada Cup, Course A off Auckland's East Coast Bays, and North Shore suburbs, will be used. Posted on 16 Jan