Italy back, through a series of test tows with their LEQ12
Luna Rossa back, through a series of test tows with their LEQ12
It’s the news that every fan of the Luna Rosa Prada Pirelli Team wanted to hear and today out in a mistral-infused Cagliari, the Italians were back in action going through a series of test tows with their LEQ12. In total four runs were conducted varying between 30 seconds and three minutes with speeds ranging from 19 to 32 knots – all without the damaged mast that is still in the shed undergoing checks and repairs after the incident on the 7th November that saw the rig fall from its hoist ending up on the dockside with some noticeable damage both to the masthead and the stern gantry on the LEQ12 itself.
The team looked to have done their usual first-class job in repairing the damaged gantry and today no less than six crew were onboard, squeezed into the alternate trenches, three either side of the LEQ12. This was clearly a day of testing and data gathering with the port anhedral foil being wired up to sensors and a camera pointed inwards towards the centreline of the boat to capture the inside foil and tip flow data of the T-section dihedral foil (it’s unclear from the spy shots if the camera is capturing any data for the outer foil).
During the session a crewmember could be seen climbing out on the port foil arm with scissors and what looked like adhesive spray to make adjustments to the sensor arrangement but as Horacio Carabelli, Design Co-ordinator for Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli commented: “We try to sensor as much as we can in terms of the appendages and this is part of our testing schedule to sensor what we can, where we can.”
With a couple of weeks of enforced no sailing time, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli have spent the time constructively as Carabelli offered: “We used this opportunity to do some changes and some adjustments to all the electronics and mechatronics that are a big part of these parts. In the towing we can learn a lot from all these works that have been done and it was very useful to put everything together and be sure that we don’t lose any time in the future when we go back sailing.”
And that day will be upon the team in short order with Carabelli confirming that the team should be back sailing in: “the next seven to ten days.” And he went on: “All the shore crew and building teams are doing a great job in putting things back together in terms of the rig and by next week we will back in the water and full into sailing.”
These are important times for both Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli and indeed INEOS Britannia who are the two teams that elected to build their own LEQ12 testing platforms, amplified by the news overnight about the Emirates Team New Zealand nosedive and subsequent bow damage. The Italians and the British now have a golden opportunity to get useful testing time on the water in their LEQ12’s before the AC40s come back into commission. Expect to see both teams pushing their programmes forward over the coming weeks.
On-Water Recon Unit Notes: 4 tow runs of an approximate duration between 30 sec and 3 min, with approx boat speeds from 19 to 32 kn, the LEQ12 looked stable over different ride height changes
Different boat speeds with different pitch angles and ride heights were tested perhaps gathering data from senso on port foil wing
Crew: Francesco Bruni, Ruggero Tita, Vittorio Bissaro, Umberto Molineris, Andrea Tesei and Enrico Voltolini
Dock-Out: 1145 Dock-In: 1340
Wind Strength: 12 knots (AM) 18 Knots (PM)
Conditions: NW, No Swell, 20 degrees cloudy & sunny