What a scuffle for Team New Zealand in high winds. VIDEO

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And in the end it was the defender who ended up being knocked out. When there are only four days left before the start of the Prada Cup big twist in Auckland. As was to be expected, teams are raising the level of training a lot, going to push the AC 75 even in the strong breeze, looking for the limits. For Team New Zealand, these are the last chances to sail close to the other challengers, since with the start of the Prada Cup the defender will only be watching and it is unlikely that the other challengers in the off days will have time for more joint training with the Kiwis. In the practice race against the British, in winds above 18 knots, Team New Zealand ran into the scuffle.


The mishap occurred after a gybe, probably due to a lack of coordination in maneuvering between the helmsman and the person adjusting the foil boom angle. New Zealand’s AC 75 comes out of the gybe perhaps a hair too hemmed, you can see how the mainsail trimmer immediately dumps the mainsail but something doesn’t go right, as the boat goes into noose diving then lies on its side. No problems for the crewmen, who managed in a few minutes and with a support vehicle to right the boat without consequence.

The AC 75s have a buoyancy reserve at the masthead that prevents the boat from capsizing 180 degrees, and thanks in part to the movement of the foils the righting operation is not particularly time-consuming. An event that could happen again to anyone on high wind days.

THE RUMORS FROM AUCKLAND

Meanwhile, New Zealand media report a newfound “friendship” between Ineos and just Team New Zealand. The two teams have reportedly intensified relations and communication, and there is even already talk of the British as the challenge of record should the Kiwis be successful in defending the Cup. It looks like the usual America’s Cup skirmishes, with the relationship between the New Zealanders and Luna Rossa seemingly long since compromised. The New Zealanders would probably greatly benefit from having the British competitive during the Prada Cup, an added problem for the Americans and Italians. Can it be speculated that some useful information came from the Kiwis for Ineos in order to lift the performance of the British AC 75? Perhaps this is just fanta sailing, not least because it is plausible that Ben Ainslie and co. have the technical and financial capabilities to lift themselves up on their own. In this regard in the strong wind the rumors coming from the Hauraki Gulf speak of the British AC 75 as one of the fastest. To know whether this is true will only have to wait four more days.

Mauro Giuffrè

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In the meantime, we at the Sailing Newspaper are preparing. In fact, Il Giornale della Coppa will also return with the regattas, which for this first phase of the Prada Cup will go live every day after the regattas at 1 p.m. on our Youtube channel and on Facebok, with a first preview episode airing on January 14. As always, there will be plenty of guests: sailors, designers, America’s Cup enthusiasts, along with our “hosts” Bacci Del Buono and Mauro Giuffrè, and there will be no shortage of contributions from New Zealand. As always, we will answer questions from the audience and all curiosities.

 

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