The new upwind foiling mode is bringing additional challenges to the AC teams, these wings were super proven, till now. All crew is safe. Video & excerpt Soft Bank Team Japan: softbank-team-japan.americascup.com/en/news/296_LEARNING-FROM-THE-UPPER-LIMITS.html
...“We were pushing the boat hard today in 20-23 knots of wind”, said Skipper and CEO Dean Barker. “We were doing an upwind run with Oracle Team USA and heard a loud bang as the lower flap of the wing broke and blew off the back of the main element. Fortunately there was no injury to any of the crew and we managed to get the boat back to the dock and avoid any further damage.”
One of only a few testing days to date in this Cup cycle that have seen wind speeds at the top of the design threshold for these boats, the breakage creates a unique learning scenario for team’s designers as they fine-tune their heavy-air wing control systems for the next America’s Cup.
“Any issue like this is always good to happen now as opposed to next year”, continued Barker. “As we learn more about these boats and push them further up the wind range, the loads get increasingly higher. Understanding how hard we can push is a key part of being successful next year.”