America's Cup: big morning for Emirates Team New Zealand

America's Cup: big morning for Emirates Team New Zealand

America's Cup: big morning for Emirates Team New Zealand

Sport

24/05/2023 - 17:11

Making the most of a Monday morning weather window, Emirates Team New Zealand launched their LEQ12 AC40, with its new starboard foil, early and docked-out just before 7.30am with a schedule that was very much dictated by the design office. Pushing hard, Nathan Outteridge and Pete Burling, entered into some desperately tight pre-start circling and at times, particularly at the beginning opf the session got ragged with sky-rockets and broaches.

Speaking afterwards Blair Tuke, who was on trim and manual flight control today admitted: “I think we still just trying to get to grips with it. Josh (Junior) and his team are going pretty good, they’ve been getting some good training in, so we're trying to get ourselves ready to have some pre-start action with them in the coming days so yeah and also it's just good to see that foil and the different foils side to side and study different characteristics so yeah it was a bit of fun but yeah we certainly weren't always in control today but i think we got better and better as the day went on and you know got (a new) top speed so it was good speed.”

America's Cup: big morning for Emirates Team New Zealand

That top speed Blair admitted was 57 knots on a bear-away later in the session as the breeze built and the Kiwis dropped the recon unit and “put miles on us in what felt like seconds” as they put it. The AC40 in development mode in anything above 10 knots is a rapid machine and with the hammer down, Emirates Team New Zealand were pushing hard for the foil data demanded by the design team to correlate their computer simulations. The new foil looked highly stable in a straight-line and once the flight control was sorted, through the turns it looked rapid and controlled.

A total of 151 tacks and gybes were executed today with a 91% return foil-to-foil over the course of five and a half hours – impressive by any measure – and lots of bear-aways and round-ups to put maximum pressure on the foils and extract the data. Sail trim looked precise with plenty of traveller adjustment to flick the head and keep flying whilst the concentration upwind looked to be on maintaining windward heel and ever-lower flight. Downwind, it was a case of flying as high as they dared whilst keeping the rudder immersion at a manageable level.

A really solid day for the Kiwis who, with winter approaching fast, are making the most of every opportunity with the AC40 in LEQ12 development mode and are looking at two-boat testing later this week before the boats are packed up and shipped to Europe. For the summer sailing season in Barcelona that starts on the 1st July 2023.

 

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