In Barcelona it was an eventful day for NYYC American Magic who had a tricky first couple of hours with numerous breakdowns but as yachting journalist and recon analyst Justin Chisholm accurately described it was ‘patience and persistence’ that were the watchwords of the Americans today.
It’s very clear that ‘Patriot,’ the team’s Auckland-designed AC75 struggles in the Barcelona chop with a deep volume hull design that gets easily sucked into displacement aligned with anhedral foils that are certainly showing their design-age. However once flatter water can be found, she’s an absolute weapon and as the afternoon progressed, the performance levels went through the roof.
A nasty nosedive saw Paul Goodison coming off the boat as a precaution with a heavily sprained wrist – thankfully nothing more – and Luca Calabrese stepped in to drive alongside Tom Slingsby. Describing the situation, Tom said afterwards: “Well it’s simple really we washed the rudder out, we got a little too high, too much heel and in these boats they’re very easy to sail if you’ve got zero heel or you’re a couple of degrees to windward, even a couple to leeward, but as soon as you get 5° one way the rudder wants to let go very easily and we just got a gust and a bad wave and the heel got wrong washed the rudder out and then a big nosedive…Goody (Paul Goodison) had to come in, he sort of sprained his wrist in that crash and from what I hear it’s okay, it’s just a bit of a sprain but yeah that meant but he couldn’t do the rest of the session. The rest of us, we got knocked around a bit but we were okay, all fine, but yeah unfortunately Goody took a bit of a knock.”
Tom also gave some colour to the day saying: “Patriot doesn’t like the bump, it’s pretty obvious with the flat bottom on this boat and without the bustle, every time you touch down it’s a lot of drag, a lot of area, so flat water this boat excels and also the foils – a T foil is a lot nicer in waves and these Y foils are pretty good when it’s flat water so yeah at the end we found flatter water close to shore and we stayed in there most of the time.”
The Americans were on the water for just under five-and-a-half hours -m precious winter training time ahead of the AC75 being de-commissioned and the team switching to two-boat AC40 training and development in the coming days.
On-Water Recon Report – NYYC American Magic: Patience and persistence were the two watchwords of NYYC American Magic’s five-hour day on the water which saw the first half of the session marred by a series of technical issues with their second generation AC75 ‘Patriot.’ The team spent these first two and a half hours in stop/start mode, with much more time spent head to wind effecting repairs than up on foils.
The sailing team’s patience and persistence was rewarded however with a much more productive second half to the session where ‘Patriot’ looked to almost be back to full strength.
The team rolled out at 0850 this morning and had the boat rigged and launched by 0910. Dock-out was delayed on the advice of the team’s weather experts who wanted to give the forecast south westerly breeze a chance to properly develop. After docking out at 1200 the team had the MN7 mainsail and J1.5-2 headsail hoisted inside the harbour entrance at 1220 and the boat sailed out of the harbour a few minutes later.
An initial tow up due to the 6-7 knot breeze resulted in a 10-minute flight which ended when the boat turned downwind and sailed out of the new 10 knot band of wind coming in from 260 degrees. The next flight ended abruptly after five minutes when the rudder elevator broke the surface downwind on port, which dropped the stern abruptly and then nosedived the boat into the back of a wave before emerging on the other gybe with the wind instruments dangling from the bowsprit.
Port helmsman Paul Goodison left the boat with a reported sprained wrist and was replaced by Lucas Calabrese for the rest of the day. There were many more short flights and long breaks for repairs – including what looked to be the replacement of one or both of the hydraulic rams used to control the mainsheet traveller.
Then at the end of a 15-minute stop in the flat water by the harbour mouth a flat rectangular unit was handed off the yacht to the chase boat. After this the boat looked transformed and the crew were able to complete long freestyle windward / leeward laps and pull off foiling tacks and gybes seemingly with ease. It wasn’t completely perfect however as there were a number of ‘touch and go’ splash downs during the second half of the day.
Time was called at shortly before 1700 with the boat back on the dock by 1723. Another sailing session is scheduled for tomorrow Tuesday January 23.