Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup – Monthly Roundup

There was a palpable sense of tension rising around the Port Vell throughout June as the business end of the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup gets real.

The time for thinking is over, it is all about execution now and every team is working flat-out, at the max and beyond to deliver a race winning package and sailors at the very peak of their conditioning and form. June was brilliant. Barcelona’s conditions, for the large part, were epic champagne days and the Challenger teams certainly didn’t disappoint. It was all action day after day. Here we summarise the key moments for each team:

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With ‘Taihoro’ packed onto a container ship for its 28 day passage up to the Port of Tarragona before a midnight transfer to Barcelona by road, Emirates Team New Zealand got some useful two-boat race training in early-winter Auckland pushing their two AC40s at the max. Pre-starts were the order of the day over a five day, intense period with Peter Burling and Nathan Outteridge pressed hard by Josh Junior and Sam Meech.

Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup
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Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup

Perhaps the great unknown package of this Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup cycle, INEOS Britannia has shown more than just glimpses of outright performance as they spent June testing and engaging, looking very impressive. Development is still very much ongoing with the race rudder in focus being swapped in and out through the month whilst the team ran Pitot tubes on their foils alongside hefty cameras so outright speed is still very difficult to gauge.

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Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup

The headline for the month of June for Alinghi Red Bull Racing was a dramatic mast failure on the 13th June that kicked-off wild speculation about the cause and sent shockwaves through the Port Vell. The team have remained tight-lipped about what happened but interviews, particularly with Bryan Mettraux the team’s stalwart Flight Controller, indicated that they are well aware of the cause of the failure and it’s not what the visuals suggested with high mast bend and cunningham loads.

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Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup

Certainly a month of intensity and tuning, NYYC American Magic spent June really into the detail with their sail setting, plenty of race practice and a lot of unofficial line-ups on the water with the other Challengers. The team that you just can’t take your eye off, they even endured a pretty spectacular nosedive when coming back into harbour on a windy day that will have sharpened the senses. ‘Patriot’ looked supremely fast and stable throughout the month however, and the low-profile bow section simply looks right on the money with a low-riding mode upwind and downwind.

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Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup

Now permanently onsite in Barcelona, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli have excelled through June and are undoubtedly the front-runners in the Challengers based on what was seen throughout the month. The team hit June running and completed 14 days of training from the beginning of the month through to the end of recon on June 22nd. It was relentless and it was productive with the sailors showing off a very stable all-round package that looked super-rapid across nearly all conditions.

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Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup

A month on an almost vertical learning curve, Orient Express Racing Team managed ten days on the water up to the end of the recon programme on 22nd June, getting to grips with their box-fresh AC75 running an asymmetric foil set up. Having bought the design package from Emirates Team New Zealand, it’s now all in the details for the French who suffered a few hydraulic leaks around the mast base and some very teething steering/control failures caused by water ingress.

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