American Magic Power Group came back onboard Patriot

American Magic Power Group came back onboard Patriot

American Magic Power Group came back onboard Patriot


21/01/2023 - 21:58

The supreme athletes of the American Magic ‘Power Group’ came back onboard Patriot today eager to crack into testing their new upgraded cycling system and crank out the watts. Gone was the agricultural hydraulic jib tensioner on the bow, perhaps only installed for when the team is fully operating on stored power, and instead it was the enormous leg-power of Colten Hall, John Croom, Madison Molitor, Trevor Burd, Taylor Brown, James Wright and Tim Hornsby that pumped the hydro at an alarming rate and allowed the rock stars at the back to record a 71 nautical mile day inshore in the Pensacola Bay.

American Magic’s full-scale programme is yielding monstrously good results at the moment – a 100% foil-to-foil gybing score today, is, well, perfection – and watching Patriot sail is almost a demonstration in precision flight control and accurate, dynamic sheeting. Does having the mainsail ram on a carrier laid on the deck make much of an aero difference? Debatable with the legacy Quantum Sails from AC36 that the team are using. But in terms of sail control, the team appear to have a depth-inducing set-up that maintains power through take-off and early flight and can then be reduced as speeds, well in excess of 40 knots, require the mainsail to be de-powered. It’s mesmerising to watch as the trimmers co-ordinate with the helms, whilst Patriot’s flight control is so good that it almost looks like it’s on auto-pilot.

Commensurate to the on-water displays that we are seeing literally day after day in Pensacola, is the team ethos being built within American Magic. The recon interviews, most probably viewed by many of the sailors and shore teams in this America’s Cup cycle as a chore, is something that the Americans have embraced and today, James Wright of the Power Group gave a magnificent, open and typically honest assessment of what magic the American Magic team are creating as he offered: “I think it's pretty incredible…talking to everyone as well, I think we all have very similar experiences of just all being super passionate about where we're going and where we currently are and everyone just trying to support each other and trying to build forward and ultimately when the Cup. I think it's a super exciting place to be.”

And Wright, a former single-sculler and a graduate of Stamford Medicine University, also gave an insight into the new cycle units on Patriot which have been significantly upgraded to deliver power more efficiently, saying: “On the system side we can change the different inputs to the system and different power demands necessitate different inputs from us on our side so the system kind of auto adjusts depending on the demands from the sails…so there's definitely some variability there.”

That auto-adjustment is going to be key and an area where no doubt the teams with Formula 1 technical input will be concentrating their efforts to maximise power delivery and efficiency. American Magic has the might of SRAM who are very much at the pinnacle of cycling technology to work with, and judging on today’s performance, they certainly look to have taken a very big step forward.

Flight time was another astonishing 111 minutes out of a light-airs afternoon on the Bay where the wind struggled to get above 9 knots and again Tom Slingsby and Paul Goodison kept everyone honest with a total of 37 manoeuvres through the session. Meanwhile the designers and data analysts would have been pleased with the long runs as Patriot recorded four stretches of between 16-20 minutes each.

Valuable days in Pensacola. Very valuable.

On-Water Recon Unit Notes: Patriot sailed inshore today, covered approximately 71 nm, comprised of 10 W/L legs. Five headsails were loaded into the support RIB, 2 were used. Sailing began at 12:55, completed 37 manoeuvres and ended sailing at 16:44. Patriot had a total flying time of 111 Minutes. Top speeds were approximately 37k upwind and 43k downwind (according to RIB GPS). The highest wind speed recorded today was 9k (14:04) and it got as low as 4k (13:17). Patriot's boat speeds seemed higher today than in prior sessions in similar conditions. The cyclists were back on board today and based on the interview the new equipment is installed and functioning as designed. Patriot is not expected to roll out again until Monday 1/23.

Total Tacks: 21 – 12 foil-to-foil, 3 touch & go, 6 touchdowns

Total Gybes: 16 – 16 foil-to-foil,

Notes: Patriot was on foil a combined total of 111 minutes. Flight times ranged from 1 minute to 26 minutes (6, 3, 2, 16, 20, 6, 26, 17, 1, 1, and 13 minutes respectively).

Take off speed: 21 knots at 90 degrees TWA (True Wind Angle)

Initial take off was self, 10 additional self-take offs/ 1 tow up.

Onboard Today:

Helms: Paul Goodison / Tom Slingsby

Trimmers: Lucas Calabrese / Riley Gibbs

Flight Control: Andrew Campbell

Power Group: Colten Hall / John Croom / Madison Molitor / Trevor Burd / Taylor Brown / James Wright / Tim Hornsby

Conditions: Partly Cloudy 70 degrees (AM). Partly Cloudy 75 degrees (PM). Sea State: <1ft
10:35 S 10-12K/ 11:22 S 12-15K/ 12:07 S 8K/ 13:06 S 6K/ 14:24 S 7K. Wind speed measured 8ft above sea level using a handheld anemometer.

Sails Used:

M1 (AM-MN8): 4 hours 30 minutes

J1 (J1-5): 2 hours

J2 (J1-6): 1 hour 50 minutes

Dock-Out: 1230 Dock-In: 1705

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