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Cup Spy April 14: Kiwis up close on Sunday sail reveal innovative mainsheet system

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 14 Apr 16:06 BST 15 April 2024
Emirates Team New Zealand- AC75 - Day 2 - April 14, 2024 - Auckland © Sam Thom/America's Cup

Emirates Team New Zealand sailed a three hour plus session today, Sunday, putting in a solid session after their launch and test sail last Friday.

It was the first chance to see the America's Cup Defender sailing in good light, and get a close up of the new mainsheet and traveller system.

The three hour session was conducted in fresh offshore winds and flat water sailing on Course E, or the "Back Paddock" off Eastern Beach.

It was just the second day of sailing, with 16 tacks gybes performed - all without touchdown. The images and videos in this report give a much better view of the as yet unnamed AC75s hull shape - particularly at the after end of the hull.

One of New Zealand's top sportsman, Hamish Bond was in one of the cyclor seats for today's session where five cyclors were listed for the four slots. Bond has won three Olympic Gold medals and eight world titles in Rowing, and a Commonwealth Bronze medals in cycling. All told there where five Olympic medalists on board today - covering Sailing Rowing and Cycling.

We saw more of the layout of the Kiwi AC75 today. The cyclors work in the two aft pit positions, with the two sailing crew forward.

Today, the most notable feature of the new AC75, was the new mainsail sheeting system, with the traveller contained in an open trench running the width of the cockpit. The clew of the main is now pulled flat to the deck, tidying up exiting airflows and is a very neat solution.

The AC37 Joint Recon team reported they were hitting 38kts upwind to pace the AC75 - this is close to the upwind speeds achieved by the boats in the last Cup of 38-40kts.

Emirates Team New Zealand sailed with legacy wing foils today, and design chief Dan Bernasconi said in the dockside interview after the session that they would be used throughout this short New Zealand sailing block, to give the designers more time. New wingfoils will be fitted and tested after the Kiwis arrive in Barcelona.

AC37 Joint Recon Team Report:

Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - Boat 3 - Day 2 - April 14, 2024 - Auckland

Day 2 for Emirates Team New Zealand's new, yet to be officially named, AC75 "Boat 3" on the Hauraki Gulf started with some rain showers.

The team rolled the boat out of the shed at 9:30hrs to start the setup and get ready for the boat's first full sailing day on the schedule. Recon (AC37 Joint Recon team) observed some small hydraulic control issues being addressed around the base of the mast both in the cradle and on the dock.

After a small delay on the dock, the team departed just before 12:00pm heading towards the back paddock to find some clear space on a busy Sunday.

Coming off the tow east of Browns Island, the team started getting ready for a main hoist. Recon observed some of the shore team working in the same area around the mast as they had been doing on the dock, possibly having ongoing issues in this area. Just as the mains started to get the heads plugged in, this process was halted, and Chase 2 was seen heading back to base.

Recon later found out that one of the elements for the main control system had been left at the base. After about 40 minutes, the M2 Mains and the J4 Jib were hoisted, and the team started about 15 minutes after this.

Starting out on starboard tack, the team got the boat up and flying with good control. Sailing upwind, Recon was having to match speeds of around 38 knots to keep up. The team can be seen flying the boat very low to the water. Staying on starboard, the team completed Boat 3's first bear away, which wasn't as smooth as previously witnessed maneuvers.

Sailing now downwind, the team started maneuvering through gybes, showing good control, and systems seemed to be working as they should.

Rounding up as they started to run out of water, the boat came to a stop, and Chase 1 came alongside. Recon observed that the J4 was being dropped and that some adjustments were being made. The team got back into sailing and proceeded to sail upwind, tacking back towards the mainland, then running back towards the islands and rounding up again down near the Passage Rock channel. Coming to a stop again, they called for a grinder change.

After roughly a 20-minute break, the team completed the change and started sailing upwind again, tacking their way back towards Browns Island. They sailed for another 20 minutes, then came to a stop and started the pack-up procedure at roughly 3:00 p.m.

Recon had an interview with Daniel Bernasconi, CTO for ETNZ, to talk about Boat 3 and the design challenges.

[AC37 Joint Recon team: Sam Thom and Andrew Burgess]

Crew: Sailing: Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke. Cyclors: Hamish Bond, Louis Sinclair, Marius Van Der Pol, Simon Van Veltooven, Cam Webster

Session Statistics: Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - Boat 3 - Day 1 - April 12, 2024 - Auckland

  • Weather: 17-20° Rain showers and part cloud cover
  • Wind Strength: 12-17kts
  • Wind Direction: 230-240
  • Sea State: 0.4mtrs
  • Crane In: 1100hrs Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: 1535hrs Crane out: 1615hrs
  • Total Tacks: 9 - Fully foiling: 9; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0
  • Total Gybes: 7 - Fully foiling: 7; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

Additional Images:

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