Early Morning Sailing Session Pays Off for NYYC American Magic in Barcelona

In the pre-dawn hours of Barcelona, the NYYC American Magic team embarked on an early morning sailing session, capitalizing on the predicted breeze that was expected to wane by afternoon. The team’s dedication was evident as they navigated through the challenging west-south-westerly winds, fluctuating between 250-270 degrees true, before shifting to a northwesterly direction at 315 degrees.

America's Magic sailing in Barcelona in preparation for 2024 America's Cup
Ugo Fonollá / America’s Cup

Despite encountering mechanical and technical challenges, including a near-serious broach due to the mainsail track issue, the team remained undeterred. Their resilience was on full display as they tackled tacks and gybes amidst a residual swell from the previous day’s Mistral conditions. The Flight Controllers faced difficulties in maintaining the optimum ride height, a critical aspect in such unpredictable sea states.

Michael Menninger, the team’s esteemed Flight Controller, shared valuable insights in a post-sailing interview. He highlighted the varying wind conditions, ranging from 17 knots down to 8, and the significant role of the sea state in their sailing strategy. Menninger emphasized the importance of forward-thinking and adaptability in navigating these challenging conditions, noting that a forgiving and easy-to-sail boat could significantly enhance racecourse performance.

American Magic team's Patriot boat during a test sail in Barcelona in 2023
Ugo Fonollá / America’s Cup

In recent developments, the team has been exploring dual control of the mainsail and jib. While the exact approach remains under discussion, the potential benefits of this technology are a topic of keen interest within the team. Additionally, mast rotation has become a visible strategy across all wind conditions, utilized to adjust the mainsail’s shape for optimal performance.

As the team prepares for the upcoming Preliminary Regatta in Jeddah, ‘Patriot’ will undergo a week of maintenance and upgrades. The commitment to continuous improvement is evident as the team gears up for the next phase of their journey.

Patrior sailing boat from American Magic team training in Barcelona 2023
Ugo Fonollá / America’s Cup

The day’s session, starting with the boat’s preparation in the early hours and concluding with the final flight in diminishing winds, showcased the team’s dedication and skill. Despite the challenges, the NYYC American Magic team’s spirit and determination shone through, underscoring their readiness for the upcoming competitions.


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