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October 22, Cup Spy: Kiwis conduct a flat water tow test, Italians sail from Cagliari

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    by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 23 Oct 18:35 PDT 23 October 2023

    yysw444190 Luna Rossa - LEQ 12 - Day 93 - Cagliari - October 22, 2023 © Ivo Rovira / America's Cup

    Two of the six America's Cup teams Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and Emirates Team New Zealand, ventured out on Sunday. The Italian team rolled out their LEQ12 prototype at 11:40hrs and sailed out of Cagliari in a steady 12-16kt breeze. Emirates Team NZ had a towing session only in the early morning, presumably related to flight control systems.

    What happened in the Cup - October 21, 2023:

    • Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - sailed out of Cagliari in a steady 12-16kt breeze and had a very good session. Maybe they weren't focussed on sailing technique, but their dry/tack gybe percentage was surprisingly low for this windstrength and consistency in direction.
    • Emirates Team New Zealand - took advantage of a light wind call in the early morning to conduct a tow test to gather some performance data, rather than waiting for some breeze later in the day. The team were not specific on the reasons for the test, however with a lot of weight out of the AC75, it would not be to test lift-off speeds. It was most likely to test a new version of the manual flight control system, against an automated version, if that exists. It is not unusual for the Kiwis to fit systems which are illegal for racing, and then develop legal, manual systems that deliver the same outcome.
    • Alinghi Red Bull Racing - no report received
    • INEOS Britannia - No report from the AC37 Joint Recon team. Their test boat T6 is still in the shed after the catastrophic destruction of their rudder and rudder assembly during a towing session.
    • American Magic - No report from the AC37 Joint Recon team
    • Orient Express Racing Team - No report from the AC37 Joint Recon team

    AC37 Joint Recon Team Reports:

    Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (LRPP) - LEQ12 - October 22, 2023 - Cagliari - Michele Melis AC Recon

    The Italian team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli (LRPP) rolled out their LEQ12 prototype at 11:40hrs and quickly stepped mast before craning in by 12:05hrs.

    The appendage configuration seemed to not have changed compared to the previous sailing day D92. During usual dock checks, it appeared that the rudder rake can be controlled by all four sailors and board rise/drops can be also activated by trimmer without using hand but by foot perhaps with a pedal as documented by video, to be confirmed.

    The daily forecast looked promising at 13:00hrs when the team docked out with M1-2 locked in the mast fittings. The latter was fully hoisted by 13:10hrs with an adjustment on port skin clew, similar to what has been added on M1-1. The RU anemometer showed 12-14kn from 155 TWA when the newest J2-2 was hoisted.

    Once released from towline the LEQ12 took off on approx 75°TWA True Wind Angle) with 15-16 kts boat speed, a little less than the usual take off speed. Three short foiling stints followed as the LEQ12 seemed to fall off the foils each time while exiting the tack manuever from port to starboard tack with the port appendage canted out more.

    Once this bug seemed to be solved by the team, a foiling stint of 30 minutes followed which saw the LEQ12 testing some upwing modes and, on several occasions, slowing down the prototype just slightly above minimum foiling speed before building again and finally bearing away hard heading for a longer downwind run interrupted by a splash down exiting the gybe.

    Not major as another easy looking self take off followed leading to another foiling of 20 minutes practicing some manuevers before decelerating the yacht and lowering the J2-2. The pressure has increased to 14-16kn 175°TWA and the J4 was quickly hoisted; after the first tack the yacht was slowed down and the crew gather around the mast foot, perhaps a speculative issue, while both sails were then lowered.

    Shortly after a new sail set was pulled on board, it seemed to be the first mainsail iteration M1-1 and the newest J2-2.

    The wind had decreased to 12-14kn from 180° TWA as the LEQ12 self took off after an initial pull by Chase2.

    On the next two foiling stints the team seemed to focus slightly more on upwind manuevers and occasionally slowing down significantly on high-slow mode before bearing away for long straight line downwind runs and some rather rare gybes. Lots of attention by the sailors on board seemed to be given on the jib track which was occasionally checked closely by one of them.

    As the pressure seemed to drop further to 9-10kts, the LEQ12 stopped to lower the J2-2 and hoist what seemed to be a new version of a J1.5, yet to be confirmed by additional shots and declaration.

    In the last foiling stint, the team seemed to conduct some practice on manuevers in lighter air before trimming up in front of the harbour and call it a day with a recorded total of 128 foiling minutes, 17 tacks and 9 gybes.

    Session Statistics: Luna Rossa - LEQ12 - October 22, 2023 - Barcelona

    • Weather: Sunny 28°C
    • Wind Strength 12-16kts
    • Wind Direction: 175-180°
    • Sea State: Moderate chop 0.4mtr
    • Crane In: 1205hrs Dock Out: 1300hrs
    • Dock In: 1735hrs Crane out: 1900hrs
    • Total Tacks: 17 - Fully foiling: 10; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 4
    • Total Gybes: 9 - Fully foiling: 5; Touch & Go: 1; Touch Down: 3

    Crew: Marco Gradoni, Francesco Bruni, Andrea Tesei, Umberto Molineris, swapping with Vittorio Bissaro (on guest seat).

    Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - October 21, 2023 - Barcelona from Justin Chisholm - ETNZ Recon Unit

    Emirates Team New Zealand squeezed in a no rig towing session early this morning, taking advantage of sub-five-knot winds and a flat sea state.

    The Kiwi AC75 rolled out at 0815 and was launched at 0830 ahead of an on time dock out at 0900.

    On board were helmsmen Peter Burling, and Nathan Outteridge along with flight controllers Andy Maloney and Josh Junior. The boat was towed out of the harbour at 0910 and was quickly onto its foils for a northerly run along the Barcelona coast. Speeds started at 15 knots before increasing to 30 knots and then 40 knots.

    A slow 180 degree turn was made at 0919 for the reciprocal run back towards the harbour entrance which was made at similar speeds to the first run. On both runs the AC75 was offset to the left of the chase boat towing it.

    Throughout the session the boat was flown in low mode and looked rock steady. The session ended at 0927 when a switch was made to a side tow for the transit back to the dock.

    Dock in was at 0950 with the boat quickly craned out of the water and on to its cradle by 1005.

    The Kiwi team has a sailing day scheduled for tomorrow - Monday October 23.

    Session Statistics: Emirates Team New Zealand - AC75 - October 21, 2023 - Barcelona

    • Weather: Cloudy 13°C
    • Wind Strength 10-15kts
    • Wind Direction: 300°
    • Sea State: Confused. Steep 0.5 - 0.75 metre
    • Crane In: 0830hrs Dock Out: 0900hrs
    • Dock In: 0950hrs Crane out: 1005hrs
    • Total Tacks: 0 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0
    • Total Gybes: 0 - Fully foiling: 0; Touch & Go: 0; Touch Down: 0

    Weather Observations - Port Olimpic - 21 October, 2023

    Although not relevant to ETNZ's tow test, we have included the weather data for Barcelona for October 20-21, as this was in period of the 37th Match in 12 months.

    The breeze is recorded at Port Olimpic at a point 12 metres above water level, and adjacent to the America's Cup course,

    The wave height at the America's Cup Buoy showed some swell left from the previous day, but flattened right out.

    Additional Images:


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