• Defiant Digs In

    American Magic's AC75 Defiant performed some spectacular gymnastics on Monday - when training in winds well above the racing limit.

    Leaving the dock in the Wynyard Marina at 11.00am, an hour after Emirates Team New Zealand's Te Aihe, the American Magic's first AC75 Defiant set up off Browns Island in the area of America's Cup Course C. The breeze kicked in as forecast - building to 23kts gusting over 25kts.

    It did ease away briefly - giving way to a rain squall gusting over 35kts in the early afternoon.

    American Magic started another beat towards North Head, as Emirates Team New Zealand had called it a day, and packing the boat away off Motuihe Island - about 5nm away from North Head. In this phase, the breeze eased away, being recorded as low as 10kts on the Northern Leading recorder before increasing over a short time to 25kts gusting 35kts.

    In the buildup to the "sky leap" incident, American Magic looked a bit wobbly 7 secs after coming out of a gybe, slowing down and going into windward, before recovering and sailing fast and under control, albeit a little high.

    From timings taken off a frame by frame replay, it shows that a few seconds later the fine high speed spray off the rudder started showing solid white indicating the rudder was ventilating, and it all came apart very quickly as the rudder ventilation continued - losing lift. The stern sank with an impressive roster tail of solid white spray emitting from the rudder. It is familiar scenario seen in at least three of the AC75's - caused by a design flaw that will be fixed in the second generation boats.

    all images © Richard Gladwell/ Sailworld.com

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    This article was originally published in forum thread: Defiant Fails To Defy Gravity started by Photoboy View original post