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Cup Spy Feb 15: Anywhere but Barcelona - three teams sail in Cagliari, Jeddah and Auckland

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 16 Feb 05:19 GMT 16 February 2024
Luna Rossa - AC40 - Day 122 - February 15, 2024 - Cagliari © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

What happened in the Cup - February 15-16, 2024:

  • INEOS Britannia - No sailing reported by the AC37 Joint Recon program. Several of the sailing team will head for Sydney mid-next week for the SailGP regatta.
  • Alinghi Red Bull Racing - continued their sail testing program off Jeddah, sailing their two AC40's. Former ETNZ and American Magic AC helmsman Dean Barker once again joined the session as a co-helmsman.
  • Orient Express Racing Team - No sailing reported by the AC37 Joint Recon program The sailing team will head for Sydney mid-next week for the SailGP regatta.
  • Emirates Team New Zealand - Tested development foils. The sailing team will head for Sydney mid-next week for the SailGP regatta.
  • American Magic - No sailing reported by the AC37 Joint Recon program
  • Orient Express Racing Team - No sailing reported by the AC37 Joint Recon program
  • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - No sailing reported by the AC37 Joint Recon program

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (LRPP) - LEQ12 - Day 122 - February 15, 2024 - Cagliari

The LRPP rolled out their LEQ12 prototype at 11:30, stepped mast and launched the yacht in by 11:50hrs.

The usual checks were executed at the dock before locking in M2-1 ready for dockout scheduled at 13:00hrs. The prototype was boarded by four sailors hosting two guests and only the flight trimmers rotated during the whole session.

The main was hoisted and paired to the J2-2 while pressure was measured 10-12kn from 135° with a light building chop. The first foiling stint began with a light initial tow to accellerate the yacht which then selfly took off on port tack, several self take-off only were observed during the day. Once up and foiling, the team conducted the usual warm up tacks before bearing away on starboard tack and executing some gybes, repeating this routine twice before decellerating after 20 minutes.

In the meanwhile, top and bottom marks were set at 135°. As the second foiling stint began, first few of numerous prestarts of the day were practiced. Afterwards, the LEQ12 sailed an upwind and a downwind leg before stopping on the next upwind leg after 25 minutes. On the race track, one chaseboat engaged with the prototype simulating matching racing behaviour. During this short break, trimmers swapped and guests seats were occupied by women and youth team members. For the third foiling stint, lasting approx. another 20 minutes, the LEQ12 self took off up on port and bore away, gybed towards the bottom gate to practice some additional prestart drills.

In these, the chaseboat occasionally pressured the LEQ12 inside the box before racing against each other for some legs. On the bottom gate, the LEQ12 came hullborne after touching down on a JK manoeuvre and the team took opportunity to swap sailors once again. Back foilborne at 14:55, the team practiced additional starting drills and race afterwards.

The breeze was building with the seastate, now reaching 12-14kn from 125° with approx .4m chop. After the second upwind leg, the yacht was decellerated ending the fourth stint with 45 minutes. Marks were collected during the last 10 minutes long foiling stint which saw the LEQ12 sail on the virtual track before straight line sailing towards the harbour. Tow line was then passed the day was called at 16:10 with 115 minutes foiling time, 13 prestarts, approximately 40 tacks and 30 gybes [Michele Melis AC Recon].

Crew: Ruggero Tita, Francesco Bruni, Jimmy Spithill, Umberto Mollineris, Vittorio Bissaro, Andrea Tesel, Marco Gradoni, Jimmy Spithill, Frederico Colannino

Session Statistics: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (LRPP) - LEQ12 - Day 122 - February 15, 2024 - Cagliari

  • Weather: Sunny 17°C
  • Wind Strength 10-15kts
  • Wind Direction: 125°-135°
  • Sea State: 0.3mtr
  • Crane In: 1145hrs Dock Out: 1300hrs
  • Dock In: 1640hrs Crane out:
  • Total Tacks: 40 - Fully foiling: 35; Touch & Go: 5; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 30 - Fully foiling: 27; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 0

Emirates Team New Zealand - LEQ12 - Day 65 - February 16, 2024 - Auckland

Day 65 with ETNZ in the LEQ12 out on the Hauraki Gulf. With a wind delay this morning the team docked out at 12pm after the rain showers had passed and the breeze started to build again. Light NEs allowing for a start off Mechanics Bay with the M2 Main and J2 Jib.

Taking off in around 5.5 knots, the team sailed upwind out the harbour in search of more wind. Tacking their way out the Rangitoto channel and continuing up the shore line short tacking to stay in the wind. Recon team observed differences in heel angle modes from tack to tack, sailing the boat much flatter on starboard. Beating up the Rangitoto shore line the team spent time putting in many tacks.

Stopping for lunch and a battery change about 1pm they continued beating up the Rangitoto Island and Motutapu Island shore testing different flying modes as the swell increased. In a dying wind the Recon observed the team requiring more steering input to keep the LEQ12 flying. After a touch down exiting a tack the team required a tow to get back on the foils as the wind was very light. Completing a solid bear away in light wind the team ran down the shoreline towards Auckland. Being bottom end of the wind range conditions the team needed very high exit angles out of the gybes.

After sailing downwind back to just east of Rangitoto Lighthouse the team stopped to inspect the Starboard foil. Having a look for about 5 minutes they continued sailing showing no signs of concern. Beating back up the shoreline they failed to foil through a tack and spent a long while building to get back on the foil. Popping after some time the team bore away spending a long gybe on starboard. Then completing a round up and stopping to check over the Port foil. Showing no signs of concern they continued sailing down the harbour completing a few more manoeuvres and a short up and down wind lap in the inner harbour, before completing the day in Mechanics Bay.

Caught up with Peter Burling after sailing to talk about the light wind condition and excitement around launch of the new AC75.

[AC Recon team: Sam Thom and Andrew Burgess]

Crew: Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke

Session Statistics: Emirates Team New Zealand - LEQ12 - Day 65 - February 16, 2024 - Auckland

  • Weather: 23°C Sunny
  • Wind Strength: 3-8kts
  • Wind Direction: 016°
  • Sea State: 0.4mtr
  • Crane In: 1020hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1525hrs Crane out: 1545hrs
  • Sailing time:
  • Sailing distance:
  • Total Tacks: 55 - Fully foiling: 43; Touch & Go: 5; Touch Down: 7
  • Total Gybes: 18 - Fully foiling: 16; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 0

Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 OD & LEQ12 - Day 78 - February 15, 2024 - Jeddah

Alinghi Red Bull Racing's AC40-7 (Black) and AC40-4 (Red) were rolled out at 09:15 and 09:40 respectively for their fifth consecutive day of sailing, with the boats prepared and craned into the water by 10:00. Standard checks were carried out in the morning. Full LE sailplans were prepared ahead of 12:20 dockout, with the same crew combination as the previous day.

The first 40 minutes were not recorded as the team tested for a marketing stunt. The yachts were towed back to the Obhur Creekm to hoist sails, as the M1-3 LE and J2-4 LE were raised on the Red boat, and the M1-4 LE and J3-1 LE on the Black boat.

Stint 1 (13:17 – 13:54, 11-15kn 300° @ 13:20) The session commenced with both vessels engaging in upwind split tacks comparing the J3 vs the J2. This led into competitive tacks up to a stationary chase boat waiting to windward, leading to a gybing battle downwind. Again, the Black boat with the J2 opened a gap downwind.

Stint 2 (14:05 – 14:30, 9-13kn 295° @ 14:05) Four starts were practiced, with the Black boat entering on port on all starts. The 1NM course was set to 295 deg. The third start continued into a race, but was abandoned as the Black fell off the foils when luffed up by Red, as they lost flow over the rudder to make a manoeuvre according to Bryan Mettraux in the post sailing interview. The fourth start saw Red start on time as Black did not make it on time, struggling with boat speed, as wind started to decrease towards the end of this stint. The Black boat then exchanged the J3 for the J2-3 LE jib.

Stint 3 (14:42 – 15:02, 7-10.5kn 295° @ 14:45) Red practiced a short upwind/downwind as Black finalised sail settings, ahead of Start 5 / Race 2 (1 lap), which again saw Black enter on port. Red pushed from behind on approach to the start line, with Black early and returning back to the startline to clear OCS. Red led at windward mark, then luffing up Black to control position, with Black deciding to drop the windward board to slow down and gybe behind. Red finished first as black trailed behind.

Stint 4 (15:05 – 15:42, 8-12kn 300° @ 15:10) The helms switched seats with the trimmers for the final stint, as both boats engaged in free sailing to warm up. The Black boat suffered a slow nose dive downwind transitioning through a gybe, though recovered quickly and sailed down to the start for the final race. Start 6 / Race 3 (1 lap), saw Black enter on port, and following a clear start, Red tacked around the windward mark first, but touched down in doing so. Black followed shortly after, with a touch and go tack to sail over Red and build a big lead to finish at the leeward gate. Black sailed half the leg upwind before sailing back to base, while Red continued downwind but nosedived before reaching the finish line, deciding to drop the sails and tow back to base.

The team spent three and a half hours on the water and 120 minutes of sailing. 78 manoeuvres were observed of the Black boat, with a 90% fully foiling rate.

Crew:Co-Helms: Arnaud Psarofaghis, Maxime Bachelin, Nico Charbonnier, Dean Barker. Sail Trimmers/Flight controllers: Bryan Mettraux, Yves Detrey, Nico Rolaz, Jason Waterhouse.

Crew Roster: AC40-4 (Red) Starboard: Dean B + Jason W Port: Max B + Yves D AC40-7 (Black) Starboard: Arnaud P + Bryan M Port: Nico C + Nico R

Session Statistics: Alinghi Red Bull Racing - AC40 OD & LEQ12 - Day 78 - February 15, 2024 - Jeddah

  • Weather: 29°. Cloudy
  • Wind Strength: 7-15kts
  • Wind Direction: 210 degrees-245 degrees
  • Sea State: 0.3-0.6mtr
  • Crane In: 1000|0935 Dock Out: 1220hrs
  • Dock In: 1600rs Crane out: 1620|1640hrs
  • Total Tacks: 44 Fully foiling: 39; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 2
  • Total Gybes: 34 Fully foiling: 31; Touch & Go: 2; Touch Down: 1

Additional Images:

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, 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.

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