Kiwis test race software in “The Paddock”

No further developments from the late entry French K-Challenge. An announcement was expected in mid-late January according to an earlier announcement by the Late Entry team.

Emirates Team New Zealand – AC40-LEQ Boat 1 – Auckland – Day 9

Emirates Team New Zealand again sailed their AC40-1 in LEQ12 mode. There was a light sea breeze mostly under 10kts averaging 5kts according to Predictwind readings in the area.

The day was attended by the film crew involved in the America’s Cup documentary.

AC40-1 (“Forty-One) was towed out of the harbor for about 20 minutes and started sailing in the vicinity of Browns Island (Motukorea) in the 2021 America’s Cup Course D area, before towing to “The Paddock” ETNZ’s favorite practice ground.The area is the Course E where most of the racing took place in the Prada Cup.

It will be interesting to see if Emirates Team New Zealand use the 2021 America’s Cup course areas for testing, where they have some race data from that campaign. Or, if they move out into the Outer Hauraki Gulf, to get more Barcelona ocean-like conditions, and are not surrounded by islands and other visual references.

According to the AC37 Joint Recon Team report the “session mainly consisted of straight line and going around marks looking at the racing software to make sure everything is all working well in preparation for more course practice.

This was the team’s second sailing day since returning from the Xmas break and SailGP Singapore.

The new sail delivery in the style of the 37th America’s Cup was more evident in today’s images than previously. Light to moderate winds are forecast for Thursday and Friday.

The session ended after three hours, and AC40-1 was towed back to base arriving at 1600hrs.

Quite how Emirates Team New Zealand will run the two-boat testing part of their program has not been really disclosed, except for the fact that the two AC-40’s will be used for match racing practice.

However it is obvious from the shots on this page that the team can sail their second AC40 (AC40-3) in its one design mode, and then change components on AC40-1/LEQ12, with it being able to have a test wing on one side and test that against 40-3 – with its one design foils. If they are testing sails then it is easy to have those on AC40-1/LEQ12 and test against 40-3 with its one-design sails, but with both using AC40 One Design foils.

In other words they can have two an AC40-One Design’s on one tack, and have an AC40-OD against a LEQ12 on the other. While other teams have focused hard on precise measurement of performance of a single boat, ETNZ has always been a team that “Tests its Tests”. Being able to measure performance data is one thing. Being able to check that you get the same result physically on the water, against another a near identical twin gives another level of assurance to a testing program, and may highlight variables that would not have otherwise been apparent.

It will be fascinating to see how this aspect of the program unfolds. In the days when full size two-boat testing was allowed, there was always the dilemma as to whether to have two boats to the same design, or build a base boat and then have a more radical design concept as Boat 2.

Back in the lead-in to the 1995 Cup ETNZ followed this strategy with NZL-32 and NZL-38, and did the same again in 2000 with NZL-60 and NZL-57.

Both resulted in Cup wins. However the team was unable to repeat in 2003 with what proved to be design and structural shortcomings in both IACC boats constructed. So the woth of the Hula coule never be properly tested, and the gimmick design was able to be able to be turned into a rules nightmare for the team compounded with the loss of their “A” team sailing crew from the 2000 America’s Cup.

ETNZ have never had such flexibility before in a test program. The fact that the AC40 is a development of their winning AC75, means they have stayed with their design genre, rather than taking the approach of the other teams of developing specific test boats.

Of course the use of AI with identical hulls, and using paired boats is new territory, remembering that in the 2021 Cup ETNZ used AI not only to suggest new design approaches and refinements, but also to suggest better ways for the crews to set up and sail the AC75.

It would seem that this same AI approach will be used and extended for the 2024 America’s Cup.

Session Statistics – Auckland – January 18, 2022 – Emirates Team New Zealand – AC40-1 LEQ12

  • Wind Strength 01-10kts (PM)
  • Wind Direction: E (PM)
  • Weather: 30% Cloud cover. Temperature: 24°C
  • Sea State: Light (PM)
  • Roll Out: 1030hrs; Dock Out: 1200hrs
  • Dock In: ​​1600hrs; Crane Out: 1630hrs
  • Total Tacks: 13 – Fully foiling: 9; Touch & Go: 3; Touch Down: 1
  • Total Gybes: 10 – Fully foiling: 8; Touch & Go: 2; touchdown: 0
  • Crew: Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge (co-helms), Andy Maloney and Blair Tuke (trimming)

Additional Images:

This commentary was written and compiled from video, still images and statistical content extracted from the AC37 Joint Recon program and other material available to Sail-World NZ including photo files, and other on the water coverage from the 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2021 America’s Cups.


Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW MPU

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