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America's Cup Rialto: November 24 - A long day ahead of the building gale

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ 24 Nov 2020 13:16 GMT 25 November 2020
American Magic - Patriot - Waitemata Harbour - November 24, 2020 - 36th America's Cup © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

Two teams ventured out today in the face of a forecast of a strengthening breeze, expected to develop into a regulation easterly gale, along with rain.

Emirates Team New Zealand's Te Rehutai was pushed out of the hangar at 0630hrs and docked out 90 minutes later. They headed out into the Hauraki Gulf in light winds initially and drizzling rain until noon when the breeze dropped and swung into the east and began a slow build. Conditions were miserable all day.

American Magic docked out a couple of hours later, and headed for Course E, or The Paddock. The murk usually associated with easterly storms was there all day, with Patriot barely visible. They were first to appear in the late afternoon sailing fast on the front of an 18kt easterly.

Emirates Team New Zealand followed about 20 minutes later, sailing in much the same breeze, having sailed out through the Hauraki Gulf, and sailed around the bottom of Waiheke (about 20nm east of North Head) and back to Auckland. While American Magic sailed straight through, Emirates Team New Zealand did a quick loop out through the Rangitoto Channel before heading back to base.

If there is a speed difference between the two boats in these conditions we couldn't see it. The significant aspect - as can be seen in the images - is the completely different sailing stance of the two AC75's.

This was a hard day for the crews, particularly the Kiwis putting in a nine hour day on the water in quite extreme conditions.

Strong winds are expected to continue tomorrow.

The calling card of an easterly gale is usually for the Gulf and beaches to be littered with seaweed, which may be a new test for the foiling AC75's.

Calling all Cup Fans - support your favorite team

This America's Cup will be different for international fans, who thanks to COVID-19 travel restrictions into New Zealand won't be able to attend the regatta, unless they hold, a New Zealand passport and are prepared to live in two weeks of quarantine.

But you can still show your support for the team and feel part of the event - at racing watch parties and similar.

Or order now for a unique Christmas gift for that special America's Cup fan you know.

Get your favorite team clothing from the store.americascup.com/collections official supplier for all teams and the America's Cup event.

For American Magic's range click on store.americascup.com/collections/american-magic

For Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli's range click on store.americascup.com/collections/luna-rossa-prada-pirelli-team

For INEOS Team UK's range click on store.americascup.com/collections/ineos

For Emirates Team New Zealand's range click on store.americascup.com/collections/team-emirates-team-new-zealand

For the America's Cup AC36 Event range of clothing and kit click on store.americascup.com/collections/cup-collection

For the North Sails AC36 range of clothing and kit click on store.americascup.com/collections/ac-by-north-sails

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