Monday, May 13, 2024
HomeRegattaAmerica's CupTurning Virtual Gold into Sailing Reality: NYYC American Magic's Technique Day

Turning Virtual Gold into Sailing Reality: NYYC American Magic’s Technique Day

One of those days for NYYC American Magic, where it promised so much but just failed to materialise breeze wise, however it was a valuable technique day where the sailors were given ‘carte blanche’ to translate SIM technique garnered in the virtual environment into the real world – and this is where, more often than not, the nuggets of sailing gold are found.

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

One of the big recon take-aways, from what actually transpired into quite an interesting and eventful session, was around Tom Slingsby and Paul Goodison pushing ‘America’ as if it were a rental car. Desperately high flight downwind produced a dramatic nosedive, whilst upwind, the two outstanding International Moth sailors of their generation were playing with late board drops through the tacks and a turning speed that would be impressive in a dinghy. The duo were really throwing it around and asking a lot from their trim team of Andrew Campbell and Mike Menninger to realise a much faster exit speed and crucially, maintain flight. We’ve seen it before, but perhaps not quite so aggressive.

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

Speed tests were predicated by foil time with the marginal 5-8 knots at the lower end and an off-axis sea state that really didn’t help proceedings. Lined up against each other, America appeared to have a speed edge on both tacks upwind with what looked like pin-point trim from two of the greatest trimmers in this cycle. On Magic, it was arguably a learning day with the now established port pod duo of Harry Melges and Sara Stone once again clicking well alongside Lucas Calabrese and Riley Gibbs. Of note in the speed tests was the fact that the boats had swapped mainsails from the Monday session so Magic was running the smaller-headed MC-5, built for the windier days so the speed advantage on America was perhaps explained in those conditions. Both boats had the inflatable clew covers on the mainsails again today.

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

The session came to an end after America lost control on a bear-away with the initial assessment being that they had hit a UFO (Unidentified Floating Object) in the water, Inspection afterwards suggested that no damage was caused but the technicians were poring over the boat that is scheduled to sail tomorrow.

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

Speaking afterwards, Riley Gibbs who was trimming on Magic today spoke to the recon about the nosedive on America saying: “For the first nosedive…maybe just pushing the limits, flying a little bit too high in the sea-state and bit of off-axis sea obviously against the breeze direction so yeah I’m not I’m not quite sure about the first one. The second one I think they hit some trash or a log in the water.”

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

Talking about the value of changing mainsails across the boats for the session, Riley added: “Just getting all the trimmers kind of familiar with our equipment and what we’re running, whether we’re testing battens and sail finishing and so on so really just trying to get as many people and as many eyes exposed to the sails and what designs the guys are pushing out.”

For the evaluation of those sails, Riley commented: “It depends on what we’re trying to achieve, whether both boats are in manual or auto pilot, we’re trying to aim for similar targets and kind of isolate each variable as we can when we can and in the most controlled setting but as it’s pretty active out there on the water you can’t really control everything.”

© Job Vermeulen/ America’s Cup

Commenting on the aggressive tacking technique, Riley shed light on the thinking, saying: “Yeah just different tacking techniques you know what we might be seeing on the SIM you know will give a shot at on the water and just checking in with any relative technique that we could honestly get away with so just validating what we’re learning, and you know our intuition and ideas.”

Almost four hours on the water and plenty of take-aways. The team will be back on Wednesday to keep clocking those hours up before the launch of their new AC75 in the next couple of weeks, when the intensity will go up again. Impressive from the Americans once again. (Magnus Wheatley)

On-Water Recon Report – NYYC American Magic: AC40-8 ‘Magic’ was craned in at 09:55 and ‘America’ craned in 40 minutes after with dock out at 12:00. Women’s Team Member, Sara Stone was port side trimmer on Magic once again today.

At 12:10 both boats hoisted their mainsails: MC-4 for America and MC-5 for Magic paired with a J1 custom jib on America and J1 one-design on Magic.

Some light breeze of about 5-8 knots TWD 130º was blowing and the sailing session proceed as per the following stints:

Stint 1 (12:30 to 13:30): Magic started sailing first and did a 5 minute upwind with 7 tacks to warm-up and then sailed downwind, executing three gybes to meet America. When close, both started an upwind speed test on starboard tack. America seemed to be quite fast compared to Magic. After a few minutes they tacked, and America managed to keep sailing, but Magic fell off the foils in the marginal wind. America continued sailing and perform two tacks more in marginal conditions. It caught my attention the technique they were using today in the tack in that light winds: they were first winning height before tacking, second, they were dropping the windward board fast and finally turning aggressively. It was quite a challenge to keep foiling in such marginal conditions and America looked quite successful using that tack technique.

Magic managed to foil again, and they continued the speed test on a port tack upwind course. They did four long upwind legs; America was quite fast especially on starboard tack. After the fourth tack, they bore away and kept sailing downwind until America heavily nosedived. The bow Windex broke but the chase boat had a spare one. They needed almost 30 minutes to have America ready to sail again.

Stint 2 (13:30 to 15:00): With the wind at 5-7 knots TWD 130º, they started sailing again but after a couple of tacks they lost foiling and stopped. The wind dropped and they kept waiting for the wind to come back for one hour. Around 14:40, a breeze of 5-6 knots TWD 180º came in. The chase boats assisted America and Magic to take-off by towing. After a few minutes sailing, America made a strange bear away and lost foiling abruptly. It looked like America lost complete control for a few seconds. The chase boat quickly attended America and somebody from the crew jumped from the chase boat and checked the hull. Session was over. America dropped the sails, and she was carefully sailed back into port with the chase boat towing from her side. We did not manage from the recon boat to see what the damage was. Magic was towed-in foiling back to port.

Dock in was complete at 15:30 for Magic and 15:55 for America.

When the crane out for America was complete, the foils and rudders seemed to be fine but we only had access to check the starboard side of the hull, which seemed fine.

As a summary Magic and America have foiled around 45 minutes. America performed around 11 tacks and 3 gybes, Magic around 13 tacks and 6 gybes and some speed tests together. Jose Piñana AC Reco

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