Monday, April 22, 2024
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HomeRegattaAmerica's CupNYYC American Magic's Intensive Training Session Amidst Barcelona's Spring Blues

NYYC American Magic’s Intensive Training Session Amidst Barcelona’s Spring Blues

With Barcelona going through the early Spring blues as inclement weather systems roll in from the Atlantic and up the Mediterranean keeping many of the teams ashore, it was a day for the brave as NYYC American Magic put in a high-intensity, high-quality, pre-determined training session that was deeply impressive.

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

Taking to the waters as the swell built to 1.5 metres and the winds just carried on up the Beaufort scale, this was all about precision training by a complete team that has gelled remarkably well and seem so attuned to each other that there was little they couldn’t do. Launching their AC40 out into those conditions, it was always going to be a tough ask but Lucas Calabrese, Paul Goodison, Andrew Campbell and Michael Menninger put in an Elvström-like performance that puts them firmly in the serious-contenders bracket.

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

Tighter than tight S-bends, sharp round-ups, rapier-fast bear-aways and some incredible low-riding through the swells upwind were the marker of a session, all conducted at an intensity that looked more like an International Moth training camp than sailing one of the toughest-to-master 40 footers in the world. Mast rotation looked to be a key factor in their programme today and its use is clearly deeply effective to de-power and power-up both upwind and downwind. Hard to tell for sure, but the concentration on manoeuvres could well be a reflection of a slightly tweaked rudder radius to mimic the team’s new AC75 that has just been delivered to Barcelona and is clearly now the focus in the off-water simulator ahead of launch in April.

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

Paul Goodison spoke to the recon after and gave some clues on the day saying: “It was a really tricky forecast obviously with not so much breeze this morning and then swinging round quite aggressively and ramping up very quickly with gusts up to 30 knots as we were just coming in there, so we made the best of this situation, and it was mainly focused on manoeuvres and a bit of a check-in with some other stuff onboard today… We’re doing a whole bunch of stuff, S-turns just to practise some of the configurations onboard and how we deal with different things and then some more complex manoeuvres and then some circles as well at the end.”

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

“We’ve obviously been off the water for a couple of days, we had a little break basically just getting a little break before the next push really comes in. We’ve obviously got the new AC75 arrived now in the shed and everyone’s pretty excited and having a good look at it and I guess taking stock while we’re on our final push now in the 40s before we start sailing the AC75.”

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

Talking about the simulator training, Paul confirmed their switch to the AC75 now saying: “That’s a big part of it, obviously the boat’s here we’ve all seen the boat and we’re sailing it quite a lot in the simulator to get I guess the nuances but also trying to transfer some of this stuff we learn in the simulator on to the AC40 to test more of the logic side and the stuff that goes on underneath the hood…With the logic onboard we have all sorts of ways of setting up the boat so some you can have things going to pre-set positions and other times you trim manually and obviously we’re just trying to get a guide for some of the settings we like or don’t like and anything we want to get automated in the future.”

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

Acknowledging the tough conditions, Paul added: “It gets really difficult, like we saw over 1.5 metre swells and some of the swells were even bigger than that so you’re going downwind and you’re reaching speeds of over 40 knots it gets very difficult, the key is basically to try and keep the thing in the water at times and just keep pushing as hard as you can.”

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

NYYC American Magic were on the water for just over three hours, docking in at 1pm and managing to get in before the incoming storm built from fresh to frightening with 30 knot gusts being recorded as they entered the relative safety of the Port Vell. Great session from a top team…again. (Magnus Wheatley)

On-Water Recon Report – NYYC American Magic: AC40-5 ‘America’ was craned into the water and moored at the dock by 8.55am. We noticed that America had what we guess is a new camera or scanner located over the hatch from the bow deck. It also had LiDAR cameras as used last week. After a short briefing for all the team involved in the sailing the team proceed with the dock-out at 9.50am. At 10.10am America had their smaller MC-3 mainsail already hoisted and paired to the J2 C-1 jib. While installing one of the small battens at the bottom of the mainsail, the batten fell into the sea alongside the crew that was rigging! There was a spare one on the Chase Boat so no issues. The wind was around 4 to 6 kn TWD 270º close to the harbour. It looked like more wind was offshore so the Chase Boat start towing ‘America’ and after 1000 m approximately there was wind enough for the boat to sail in her own.

From here the sailing session was conducted as follows:

Stint 1 (10:30am to 10:45am): They started sailing on a small upwind for a short leg, then bore away into a downwind, performed two gybes and then luffed into an upwind and performed three perfect gybes. Wind was about 10 to 14 knots at TWD 240º.

Stint 2 (10:45am to 11:00am): America kept sailing and went for two long legs, one on port and one on starboard. On each leg she performed several round markings from downwind to upwind and opposite. Looks like the Chase Boat was setting virtual marks for them. They did four round markings per leg.

Stint 3 (11:00am to 11:15am): Long upwind with 10 tacks. 80% clean, 20% touch and go.

Stint 4 (11:15am to 12:00am): Again, they went with the virtual marks with two long legs and around 6-7 marks were set for starboard leg and ten marks for port side. Waves were quite big and when going downwind we felt was quite radical for the AC-40. Wind increasing. The leg on portside drove America closer to the harbour where the swell was smaller and the wind lighter. They continued sailing with a series of five 360’s, luffing from portside. They stopped for battery replacement at 11:45am.

Stint 5 (12:00pm to 12:15 pm): The next exercise had been to sail on a downwind and perform two gybes in a row with both arms down and then continue sailing on the same side from which they had started. They did three series on port and two on starboard side. Last one was a touchdown gybe.

Stint 6 (12:15pm to 12:35pm): On this stint it looked like America was again sailing with virtual marks and proceed to sail in different angles and performed 12 gybes, around 2 tacks and some luffing and bear-away manoeuvres. Wind increased to 16-22 knots TWD 230º.

Stint 7 (12:35pm to 12:45pm): Back to port upwind, executing 8 tacks and 1 gybe.

Dock-in was completed at 13:00pm

As a summary America today had an active sailing in a big and tricky swell, and a wind that had been increasing throughout the session. They stopped for just 15-20 minutes and foiled for 115 minutes and performed numerous manoeuvres of all kinds. Today American Magic can really say they took the most of the session. Jose Piñana AC Recon

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