The goal of the day’s training session was to dial in the boat’s medium-air mode, the boat and crew and boat. The day’s plan included a start a beat toward Point Loma, a downwind leg, and then two quick races using marks that Land Rover BAR’s chase boat set in the depths off Coronado Island. A good westerly swell was running, and the speedo hovering at 8.7 to 8.8.
With the crew the on the rail, it was straight-line sailing and the constant speed chatter between mainsail trimmer, driver, and runner trimmer, working together to get the numbers to target before pointing. The running backstay is adjusted continuously between gusts and lulls.
America’s Cup 35 grinder Freddie Carr is busy guy on the Gladiator, especially being a few crew short of the standard race team. Grinding the mainsail during tacks and loading up the runner before getting back to rail.
Team sailing coach, Rob Wilson, talks the crew through a mock leeward gate rounding; looping in navigator Andy McLean. Even though it’s a practice, they treat every rounding as if it were real.
While the core of Land Rover BAR’s Pac52 team was onboard for the NOOD warmup session, team principle Ben Ainslie and owner Tony Langley were not part of the action. Langley will helm the weekend’s races with Ben Durham as tactician.
Gladiator boat was originally a class-legal TP52, and now modified for Pac52 sailing, with a shorter keel and rig, but the same amount of sail area.
It’s all about time and distance, deciding where they want to be on the line with a timed run. The decision to place themselves on certain part of the line is decided well before. The team logged four starts over about three hours of sailing.
He’s checking the tablet against the hockey puck compass to get a better understanding about the current set off Point Loma.
The movement of crew during tacks is highly orchestrated: key people transfer first while the rest stay to leeward through the turn. The tactician calls the movement after the head sail is a cross and the crew is trimming up to speed. Once settled they’re constantly moving crew weight fore and aft for optimum trim.
Olympic medalist Giles Scott manages the active runner. After the tack, he’s usually the first one looking up the course, contributing wind observations.
The spinnaker halyard tail leads to a pair of big, strong, fast-arm grinders. The halyard smokes to the top in high gear; full hoist taking no more than 6 seconds to the top; they then transfer off the halyard winch to the gennaker sheet. Mid-bow Nick Hutton is bouncing a staysail, which goes up every set.