After a day ashore yesterday (Wednesday) waiting for an early summer buster to pass through Auckland, today was a much better picture for Emirates Team New Zealand now deep into their A/B testing between Wing 02 and the new Wing 03 that they revealed on Monday.
If reduced footprint, or should we say ‘foilprint’ is the desired effect for the new generation of foil design, then the Kiwi LEQ12 certainly looks to be on the money. With the addition of fences on the foil arms right at the intersection of the water’s surface, what appears to be achieved, most pointedly in the lighter airs at the beginning of the session, was reduced spray and a very smooth ride. Pete Burling and Nathan Outteridge were full into their preferred windward heel style upwind for leeway when they wanted height although the boat does look to release and gather pace as soon as it comes to the vertical for additional speed – interesting trade-off.
Blair Tuke and Andy Maloney, who on the LEQ12 control both flight and trim, appeared dedicated to quite wide cant angles to dial the boat low and expose the outer wing-tips upwind, which looks precarious but fast. Downwind it seemed that the team were focussed on deep VMG angles out of some super-smooth gybes and all-round the sailors looked like they had their AC40 mojo well and truly back after a long stint of AC75 sailing up in Barcelona.
Again, today the new port wing (03) with its aggressively pinched bulb underbody linking to the single flap was heavily under the camera spotlight as the performance analysts get into the data and, over what ended up being a three-and-a-half-hour session out on the beautiful Gulf with building winds in the afternoon that topped out at 16 knots, it was a pitch-perfect day for that crucial data gathering. Up top it was full one-design sails with the M2 mainsail set against the J2 early on and switched down a code to the J3 as the breeze built.
Speaking afterwards Bobby Kleinschmit, a member of Emirates Team New Zealand’s foil design team made a very interesting comment with regards foil design in relation to the rest of the team’s in the 37th America’s Cup, saying: “The differences between the different designs are kind of getting smaller as time goes on and I’d say most of the teams have sort of already launched their full complement of LEQ foils but it’s kind of hard to know what sort of direction will take for the race foil.”
And that’s very true. What we are seeing with the likes of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and NYYC American Magic are quite similar foil shapes with a slender profile and wide span. Only INEOS Britannia and Alinghi Red Bull Racing have produced foils that would appear to test the current design convention with both the W-Foil and the Tubercle delta foil respectively. With the Kiwis testing a slightly shorter span on their new Wing 03, it will be interesting to see what they reveal on their final foil (Wing 04) in the coming months and could well indicate the direction of their foil design for the new-build AC75, scheduled for launch late summer in Auckland.
Bobby seemed pleased with early analysis of the new foil saying: “It all seems to be more or less working as anticipated which is good, and there’s sort of a whole bunch of different differences between the foils. Every time we build a new foil there’s different things that we want to learn, it’s not necessarily just trying to do what we would do as the next race foil but kind of intentionally doing a few things differently that we can learn from so yeah, I’d say seems to be working as intended so far, but still plenty to learn.”
Certainly the Emirates Team New Zealand Chase Boat was keen to take a good look at both foils with the performance analysts onboard getting quite close to the boat’s sides whilst in flight to get better visuals.
Interesting times for the Kiwis whose development programme will only intensify from here ahead of the team heading up to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the second Preliminary Regatta starting on the 29th November 2023. Stay tuned.
On-Water Recon Unit Report – Emirates Team New Zealand: Day 39 for the Emirates Team New Zealand LEQ12 proved to be another champagne day out on the Hauraki Gulf. The LEQ12 was lifted into the water at 1225 before docking out at 1300 hours. The sails were hoisted, and the yachting began at 1340 from Mechanics Bay.
Initially the team did a couple of laps between Bean Rock and Mechanics Bay while waiting for breeze to build throughout the Gulf. After these laps, they sailed a long downwind executing all full-foiling gybes in low range breeze before setting up for most of the practice session between Motutapu and Waiheke. Wind speed at the start of the day was as low as 7 knots, but steadily built throughout the day finishing with averages around 16 – 17 knots. A lot of manoeuvres were carried out earlier in the session. All but 3 were full foiling, with two touch and go tacks and one full touch down.
Later in the session the team was seen carrying out longer runs on port and starboard tack upwind and down, most likely to gain as much comparative data on each foil seeing as it was the second day out on the new port foil. It could be seen that the team were trying different modes and really pushing the piercing modes and ride heights especially on starboard tack.
At 1500 hours, the team decided to swap the J2 out and hoist the J3. Breeze had built to a steady 13-15 knots at this stage. The team continued to sail between Motutapu and Waiheke for another 10 minutes, including a quick impromptu pre-start drill before sailing back towards Orakei and Devonport back up the harbour. A long sail back upwind which included a few tacks and a long port tack where the boys could be seen sailing different high and low modes. Once arriving back up towards Orakei, a few more short laps and manoeuvres were carried out, all full foiling and looking very smooth.
Sails were dropped at 1608 and the boat was back at the dock 1630. Another great sailing day out on the gulf for the team, all looking pretty happy with the day and the conditions.