Thursday, February 22, 2024
HomeRegattaAmerica's CupLuna Rossa Prada Pirelli's Intense Training Session in Cagliari: LEQ12 vs. AC40

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s Intense Training Session in Cagliari: LEQ12 vs. AC40

Not to be outdone by the marvellous scenes in Barcelona this afternoon, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli put in a huge shift out in Cagliari on the Bay of Angels pitting the supersonic LEQ12 against her lively AC40 sister on a lighter wind day with the breeze hovering around 7-11 knots.

© Ivo Rovira / America’s Cup

In those conditions, the manoeuvrability and ease of flight for the lighter AC40 really plays into their advantage so the team’s coaches opted for a series of dynamic pre-starts, twelve in total, where the intensity just ramped and ramped as the long afternoon session progressed. Detailed reporting below on each race and pre-start from the recon team.

© Ivo Rovira / America’s Cup

Speaking afterwards Ruggero Tita, Nacra 17 gold medallist from Tokyo 2020, and helmsman today onboard the LEQ12 prototype commented: “We are super happy with today, it was light mistral and yeah we were able to do many, many, starts and some laps so yeah really happy with today. The boats were quite even and we were really fighting…for sure in the acceleration and in some particular situations there is an advantage (to the AC40) but yeah we’re kind of learning how to use our LEQ which is something that is very important…for sure being able to manoeuvre our LEQ it’s something that we are learning and discovering day-by-day and even making very small changes that allow you to exit tacks with one more knot of boat speed which then makes everything easier or at least keeps the boat alive, keeps the boat foiling or from sinking in the water.” Impressive session again over four hours.

© Ivo Rovira / America’s Cup

The grind goes on around the world at the moment. More to come from everyone on Friday – the weekend feels a long way off. (Magnus Wheatley) 

On-Water Recon Report – Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli: The Italian team rolled out their AC40 (white) at 8:40 and their LEQ12 (red) at 9:05, stepped masts and craned in respectively at the 9:00 and 9:30. Dock-out was scheduled at 10:30, sailors swapped between boats compared to previous days.

Out on the Bay, the pressure looked lighter than forecasted, 7-9kn from 315° with flat water. M1-2 was paired to the J1-1 on red and the M1 OD was paired to J1 OD on white. Red boat was towed up on port tack further windward compared to white. Both boats engaged quite distanced matching manoeuvres of opponent sailing upwind and downwind while only bottom marks were being set up. Then the yachts seemed to run drills similar to pre-starts before practicing these officially.

The pressure seemed to be shifting slightly with the same intensity to the right, from 325° now. The 1st prestart was observed at 11:20 with Red on port and White on starboard entries. After both yachts sailed towards the upper right box portion, Red seemed to have slightly better time-on-distance and more speed on the line closer to committee boat. Both yachts sailed half of the upwind leg and bore away to resume pre-start practice.

During the 2nd pre-start, Red seemed to be in control and have the upper hand at the line.

The 3rd pre-start began with White on port and Red on starboard entries. White sailed higher in the box and began to chase Red. Red looked early and slowed down with two boards, White crossed the line with higher boat speed and sailed away. The pressure shifted further to the right, measured at 9-11kn from 335°.

The 4th pre-start looked more aggressive coming on the line, with White pushing Red, killing time and sailing in Red’s wake, which led this start faster on the line. The yachts engaged in a tacking duel on the upwind leg with Red forcing White to tack to stay clear. However, on the second cross the lead changed and Red was behind.

For the 5th drill, the yachts switched entries and White had port entry. The yachts separated inside the box and White managed to push Red down the pin and force it to tack on high mode once started. T

he 6th and 7th pre-starts were dominated by Red as White came off the foils losing speed after manoeuvring. Then, the LEQ12 was decelerated after approx. 70 minutes foiling and a longer break followed for lunch.

The breeze seemed to be decreasing and the 8th prestart was interrupted due to both yachts falling off their foils. 

During the 9th pre-start, the LEQ12 seemed to have an issue exiting a manoeuvre requiring shore crew to dive in hatches with a toolbox.

Shortly after Red was being towed up again and the 10th prestart was live with White on port and Red on starboard entry. As both yachts approached the line evenly, Red yacht tacked to port tack and an upwind leg followed inducing a short tacking battle.

For the 11th start, White had again port entry. As both yachts sailed toward the upper right box area, Red managed a better time-on-distance and more boat speed on the line leading on the upwind race. Then both yachts were brought into displacement for a short break.

At 14:05, the 12th and last pre-start drill took place with Red on port entry. After a quite aggressive battle approaching the starting line killing time, Red started off faster. As racing was live, several lead changes took place with White in front on the first cross, red on the second, before the yachts split and converged again to stop.

Generally speaking, the boats looked quite even in terms of boat speed in this light air day. However, the daily focus was once again on pre-starts fighting where the much easier and quicker manoeuvrability of White works as advantage. 

The day was called for the LEQ12 with approx. 144 minutes foiling time and approx. 48 tacks and 39 gybes [Michele Melis AC Recon].

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