NYYC American Magic were just getting ready for an afternoon session anticipating the new southerly sea-breeze coming in and bang on cue, after a short wait, it surely did and the team’s planned sail testing programme began in earnest.
Plenty of straight-line stuff as the American team really get into the detail and tweaks of the AC40 – even at launch they were weighing the boats with a load cell and clearly keen to get the two boats as even as possible to form a baseline for comparison. Impressive stuff and the crews rotated around, eliminating any human bias to get solid data from a near-perfect afternoon of flat-water and an upper limit of 12 knots of breeze.
Speaking afterwards, the highly experienced trimmer Andrew Campbell, who was on both boats today, was delighted with the team’s work this week saying: “Really big week for us. To get on the water all five days is a win, we ticked a lot of boxes in those first couple of days getting these two boats back on the water, we had that great stint with ‘Patriot’ and getting these boats on the water as quickly and turned around like that as we did was a testament to the Shore Crew here…We’re scrambling for every minute we can get everyday so you know we feel really lucky to get summer like conditions these last three days here and we’re making the most of them as best we can but every minute we can get on the water is absolute gold here so we forced a couple of days early on just to see if we could get anything and then to get really good sailing these last three days is a win.”
Talking about the impressive sail wardrobe that American Magic are trialling, Andrew added: “The sails all have their own little subtle differences, and they all have their own targets you’re trying to hit and you’re trying to explore different areas for different sails. Obviously some sails are meant to do different things and some sails are meant to do the same things with different settings so we’re trying to piece that all together as trimmers, you’re going out and trying to give good feedback to the designers so what information they give us we take away and put on the water and say yeah this worked, this didn’t, this is what we think we have to change and then it’s back to the data side – it will be real data heavy these next couple days trying to sift through a lot of good information.”
A fine end to a stellar week for all the teams here in Barcelona – the place is really buzzing with sailing action. Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli are scheduled to sail on Saturday whilst the rest will be back and firing on all cylinders on Monday with Orient Express Racing, fresh from their new sponsor announcement of the Renault Alpine team today, coming back in full LEQ12 mode. Stay tuned. (Magnus Wheatley)
On-Water Recon Report – NYYC American Magic: NYYC American Magic rounded out the week with a third consecutive day of straight-line two-boat sail testing. Having chosen to wait for the afternoon sea breeze rather than the early morning northern drainage flow off the land, the team launched the two AC40s before midday and were off the dock at 1300.
While launching a load cell was observed on the hoisting gear. A super flat sea and just four knots of wind greeted the two boats when they left the harbour at 1320. Magic was put on a bow-tow and towed a couple of miles to the east, while America waited close to the harbour entrance for the southerly sea breeze to materialise.
The new breeze arrived at around 1345 and soon after the two boats had an offshore rendezvous before setting off on the first flight of the day – an almost 35 minute session which saw the boats sail upwind on starboard before bearing away on to a long downwind run with just one gybe.
As on previous days this week the boats were sailing in close formation with regular swaps between windward and leeward. When they stopped at 1500 the breeze had risen from 8 knots to 11-12 knots and the crews swapped from the J1 headsails to J2s. (We were unable to identify the J2 version that went on each boat).
Having stopped for just 10 minutes the two boats set off again on a long upwind / downwind run that lasted 40 minutes. The final downwind section of that session saw the boats gybe 10 times.
After a 10-minute stop that saw the two crews swap boats they set off on the final flight of the day – a long upwind short tacking match race into the sun to reach the harbour entrance. There were a couple of restarts of this match up along the way and any performance differences were more likely to be pressure/shift related than attributed to the performance of the boats.
The boats sailed into the harbour at 1700 and were back on the dock by 1725. No sailing is planned for the weekend with the next possible sailing day being Monday, February 5.