Emirates Team New Zealand cut-short their foil testing Wednesday with what appeared to be more problems with the new port wing.
The first run of the day – a real screamer on the port foil – came to a stop pretty quickly in displacement with the team calling in the Chase Boat and plenty of head-scratching around the outer part of the foil.
Quickly onto the scene and climbing out on the foil arm was Blair Tuke, joined swiftly after by the engineering-minded Peter Burling who had been driving on the port foil from the starboard helm position.
Whatever the issue – and Peter kept close counsel after sailing in interview – it wasn’t enough to stop them, but it set the course for the next hour of the session with the team nursing the port foil whilst opening up spectacularly on port tack with the legacy Wing02 on the starboard foil arm.
We saw some stunning runs on the starboard foil so it was anything but a wasted session but there was certainly the feeling shoreside that it was a day that could have served up so much more.
Speaking afterwards, Peter Burling saw it very much in the long focus of an America’s Cup campaign and spoke positively, saying:
“Yeah another awesome day out there, it was the first kind of south-west windy day with full sun that we’ve had for quite a while, so it’s nice to get that change in conditions, obviously a pretty puffy, dynamic kind of day, we just tried to look at a few more things on the foils and sails so really productive day, obviously a little bit short but really happy with it.”
Talking about the port foil issue, Burling added: “We’ve definitely been pushing things pretty hard with the foil so yeah just trying to nurse that one around a little bit today but you know really happy with the data we got and we’ll get it back in the shed and keep marching forward.”
Speaking more broadly about the campaign and the rev-up in action in Barcelona that Emirates Team New Zealand are clearly keeping an eye on, Burling said:
“We’re definitely looking at the other teams to see what they’re up to, especially when they launch a new component or a change to a component, but to be honest we’ve looked at a lot of recon of them sailing recently and we’ve got a lot going on here ourselves so you know it’s kind of really that balance of how much you just charge on and put your head down and get into your own work or you look across the fence.”
“But we feel like we’ve got that balance pretty good at the moment and definitely focusing on ourselves at the moment.”
Asked whether the team were missing out on being in Barcelona at the moment, Burling gave a good analysis saying:
“I think it’s going to be great to see the first AC75s get launched which is probably like a couple of months’ time now at least, bit more maybe, we’re not quite sure what the other teams are on, but we’re definitely excited to see those boats.”
“I think the conditions are so different in Barcelona right now to what they are in that late summer period that I don’t think that local knowledge is really much to play, and obviously everyone evolves their boats so much as time goes on so it’s really not always where you start, it’s where you finish.”
Following the issue yesterday on port and another one today, the team would have felt less than happy. Although, by delivering the boat downwind with dual foils and keeping loads to a minimum, they were at least able to take a little more data from the starboard foil and the modes sailed on port tack on the long upwind.
Crew: Peter Burling, Nathan Outteridge, Andy Maloney, Blair Tuke
Recon Report – Emirates Team New Zealand