America’s Cup Rialto: August 6 – American Magic has a ‘glamour day’ despite false start

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/NZ 6 Aug 02:50 UTC 6 August 2020 American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com Tweet

After losing an hour or so through gear failure, American Magic headed back out onto the Waitemata for a training session out on Course E – between Eastern Beach and Waiheke Island, otherwise known as “The Paddock”.

Despite a poor forecast with rain expected for much of the day, the skies cleared for a time, with the sun making an unexpected appearance, and then the grey stuff rolled back in.

However what was happening upstairs didn’t affect the breeze at sea-level with a steady 15kt seabreeze prevailing with relatively mild temperatures for Auckland’s winter. “A glamour day,” was skipper Terry Hutchinson’s succinct description.

Despite breaking an upper mainsail batten – one of the remarkable pieces of engineering on the AC75, given the loads and angles involved, the team only lost about an hour, returning back to the team base under tow at high speed.


Defiant’s crew work to fit a new batten – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 6, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

After some quick work dockside the issues was resolved and the mainsail head reloaded before towing out and setting up just outside the Wynyard Marina. The incident is part of the learning curve – recalling one of four time Olympic Gold medalist Paul Elvstrom’s mantra’s ” if it hasn’t broken, then it’s too heavy.”

Defiant looked quite smooth coming out of the harbour doing a couple of good tacks before heading for the end of Browns Island, and disappearing from sight.

Her return in the NE breeze looked clean as well, staying foil-borne by eye and confirmed with zoomed images later.


Reloading the mainsail head – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

The scow hull doesn’t throw out the spectacular splashdowns that Emirates Team New Zealand’s Te Aihe did in the early days, however we have yet to see Defiant in a solid sea breeze, or a 20kt plus SW breeze which puts up an awkward chop.

Today was a different day to yesterday, where the breeze was well below the lower limit for racing – along with a cloudless sky and brilliant sunshine. Air temperatures were just under a summery 20°C.

Although Defiant was out sailing, the session was cut short, presumably due to the light conditions.


The AC75 mainsail head is a remarkable piece of engineering, given the high loads and need for minimum weight – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

The New York Yacht Club team have been out sailing on every suitable day this week, and most days since they started sailing in Auckland almost two weeks ago.

Emirates Team New Zealand hasn’t been out at all this week.

The wind is forecast to be similar to today on Friday, increasing on Saturday, and easing back on Sunday.


The heavily batten upper mainsail is re-hoisted on the tow out of the Wynyard marina – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


Defiant in her typical nose down sailing trim, and about to tack – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


Defiant completes her tack and raised the new windward wing – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


Defiant completes her tack and shows her wing with ballast bulb, and uptip – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


Defiant flying a little higher than normal as she settles onto her new tack in a 12-15kt breeze – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


Defiant in level flight and showing more hull rocker than the skiff genre AC75’s of ETNZ and Luna Rossa – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


Defiant setting her #2 jib in the 15kt breeze – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


The hull rocker allows Defiant’s forward sections to fly well clear of the water – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – America’s Cup 36 – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


Defiant returns in a 12-15kt NE breeze hugging the surface nicely – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – 36 America’s Cup – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


Defiant’s aerodynamic hull shape is very evident – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – 36 America’s Cup – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


Defiant passes Bean Rock with the reef marker just astern – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – 36 America’s Cup – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


Defiant appears to be testing different wings on eacc foil arm – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – 36 America’s Cup – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


Defiant sails up the inner Waitemata in the speed lane – American Magic – Waitemata Harbour – Auckland – August 3, 2020 – 36 America’s Cup – photo © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com


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