American Magic sailed out of Barcelona on Saturday, their final sail for the week. They appeared to have put their earlier issues behind them and were foiling without too many control system issues. The screens and cockpit layout reflect their recent upgrades.
American Magic rounded off the week with a solid day of sailing aboard their previous-generation AC75 Patriot clocking up four hours on the water in winds ranging from 6 to 15 knots. The session appeared to be free of technical issues with the boat up and foiling for the vast majority of the time – although there were plenty of splashdowns, both during tacks and gybes as well as roundups.
Patriot emerged from the American Magic hangar at 0845 and by 0932 was rigged and in the water ready for dockout at 1058hrs. After leaving the harbour at 1108hrs the boat was bow-towed to the north east for 20 minutes at speeds up to 30 knots before stopping for sails – MN7 mainsail and J1.5-2 headsail – to be hoisted by 1145hrs. The breeze was less than 8 knots (from 200) at this point with a flat sea.
Patriot sailed on port in displacement mode for several minutes with a crew member moving around the boat taking sail and mast pictures and checking in between the mainsails skins at the clew area. It was notable that the crew had to manually back the headsail with a sailor on the bow to get the boat to bear away from a standing start and after a displacement tack. As the breeze started to ramp up towards 10 knots Patriot easily took flight on starboard tack and sailed for a minute or so with more sail and mast pictures being taken before bearing away into a fast downwind run to begin a series of windward leeward laps. The boat did not appear comfortable during gybes with the majority being full touch down.
A stop at 1220hrs saw a change to the J2-5 with the boat back in the air by 1230hrs for a downwind run that began an extended period of windward / leeward course sailing around two pairs of buoys. With the breeze increasing steadily over the afternoon the crew stopped again at 1535 to change down to a J3 headsail. Unfortunately we could not identify if it was the J3-4 or J3-6 – which had both been loaded aboard the chase boat in the morning. During the multiple laps sailed around the course Patriot looked stable and fast in a straight line both upwind and downwind, but the crew still appeared to be having issues through some tacks and gybes and on mark roundings – which often had very wide exits.
Additionally, a couple of times there appeared to be a loss of control during turn ups from downwind to upwind ending with a steep bow up surge and a splashdown. After a long final upwind time was called at 1530 with sails down by 1540hrs and the boat back on the dock by 1553hrs.
Crew: Paul Goodison, Tom Slingsby, Riley Gibbs, Michael Menninger, Andrew Campbell; John Croom, Madison Molitar, Colten Hall, Tim Hornsby, James Wright
Session Statistics: American Magic – AC75 – Day 52 – November 18, 2023 – Barcelona
- Weather: Sunny 20° C
- Wind Strength: 6-15kts
- Wind Direction: 200° – 220°
- Sea State: Light to Moderate chop
- Crane In: 0932hrs Dock Out: 1058hrs
- Dock In: 1553hrs Crane out: 1635hrs
- Total Tacks: 29 – Fully foiling: 24; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 2
- Total Gybes: 23 – Fully foiling: 11; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 9