Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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HomeRegattaAmerica's CupEmirates Team New Zealand gear up for the next phase of their...

Emirates Team New Zealand gear up for the next phase of their program

Possibly the last day of training before the Emirates Team New Zealand programme shifts up a gear to two-boat racing with the team’s second AC40 getting prepped shoreside, today was the 71st day on the water for the team’s LEQ12. With foil testing largely done, it’s now about characteristic familiarisation over short course racing to feed data back to the engineers and begin the long and arguably never-ending search for systems efficiency and improvement.

Sam Thom / America’s Cup

The established test-team and core of Emirates Team New Zealand – Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Blair Tuke and Andy Maloney – docked out into a fresh and dynamic breeze of 12-17 knots with southerly pulses filtering up the waterway that marks the northern channel into the harbour. Here, the support team threw in marks and it was hammer-down stuff with the sailors engaging the Chase Boat to practise holding their lanes upwind off the start line – interesting test. 

Sam Thom / America’s Cup

One of the more consistent features of the team’s training is the rinse and repeat repetition of the single board bear-away and harden-up, a manoeuvre they used to brilliant effect in the Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah where they had the guts to do single board round-ups at the leeward mark in 20 knots +. Today was another day of intense practice on the single-board and all through the session they looked solid with Flight Control out of the very top drawer and smooth as silk steering.  

Sam Thom / America’s Cup

Speaking afterwards, Peter Burling summed up the day saying: “Awesome day out there, it was a southerly so a little bit colder and then we’re used to, but the sun was out, really puffy dynamic day, probably quite similar to the offshore stuff in Barcelona we get late in summer so it’s really good fun for us to put around a course and just try and get a few things dialled in.”

Sam Thom / America’s Cup

Once again, it was short, sharp session, very much favoured in recent weeks by the Kiwis with just a total time from dock-out to dock-in of two-and-a-half hours. That will change no doubt when the second AC40 is released potentially later this week with Pete commenting: “You’ve got to keep a balance between trying to get good data for the engineers and also putting it around a racecourse and seeing what other things come up at this stage.  We’ve actually got our other AC40 back in the shed so we’re trying to set up for a bit of two-boating coming up soon so yeah it’s really nice to be able to put some marks in and check off a few systems.”

Sam Thom / America’s Cup

Talking about the Chase Boat ‘interference’ on the racecourse, Pete added: “Obviously they’re a little different to a yacht but now it’s really useful just about put another boat in the way at times and just work on work on some systems yeah obviously always trying to improve in every the area the whole thing is not just about the testing, it’s also about trying to make sure the crew onboard is improving all the time as well.”

Sam Thom / America’s Cup

Be in no doubt this is a top crew performing at a very high level so it will be interesting to see how they fare when the second AC40 gets launched and the intensity goes up a notch. Coming soon, stay tuned. (Magnus Wheatley)

On-Water Recon Report – Emirates Team New Zealand: Day 71 for ETNZ sailing LEQ12 on the Auckland harbour. With the Southerly breeze building over the day the team opted for an early session today. Splashing the boat at 0930 they ran through a quick pre sailing check and rigging protocol and headed out on the water at 1000.

Hoisting the sails in Mechanics Bay the team went for the M2 and J3 combination which was the expected choice for the conditions. Popping onto the foils, the team sailed out the Northern harbour channel towards Rangitoto Lighthouse.

Chase 1 laid a pin marker and used an existing marker as the boat end to set up a start line in the now built Southerly. In some very shifty and gusty conditions the team started working on some racecourse drills. Completing practice starts working on both port and starboard entries. They would complete a windward leeward course after each start.

Stopping for a drinks break just after 1100 the team then set into some more course practice however this time ETNZ Chase 1 was acting at the other sailing yacht over the course. Recon observed the team working on timings on Lee bow and covering tacks and gybes.

Chase 1 also worked on playing the leeward boat for a pre-start. Acting at a tight leeward boat sailing off the start line, while LEQ 12 worked on holding its lane. Completing another 2 laps ,the marks were pulled up and the team called it a day.

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