Feb 21, 2011

AC45: 1st Capsize - No one hurt.

Testing the strenght of the platform, the hard way. Glad no one was hurt, and the Wing only suffered skin damage. This will be part of the game, and as I said before, Helmet time, more for those experienced sailors, but Catsailing rookies nevertheless. Learning how to manage a racing on the AC45 maybe is not the best idea for sailors with not much hours on Multis. This time it seems that Santi Lange was onboard too, don´t know if at the helm.
The AC45 prototype is safely back at the America’s Cup Race Management base after the boat capsized earlier this afternoon during a testing day on the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland. No one on board was hurt and at first assessment the boat seems to have minimal damage. Most of the damage is to the wing’s non-structural vinyl skin. It is hoped the boat can be back on the water in a few days. - Photos
Ivor Wilkins/www.americascup.com

“After a good session of training this morning with Artemis Racing, we were stopped when we got a little freak puff of breeze, then the boat went over and laid down on the wing,” explained ACRM boat captain Troy Tindill who was on board.

“The chase boat was nearby, so we quickly secured the wing. The main structure of the wing is intact. We got the boat back upright and actually sailed back into the harbor under our own steam. We will be back sailing in couple of days. We will have to get the wing down and assess the damage and look at all the framework but it’s not that bad,” Tindill said.

“The nature of these boats with the solid wing sail is that the wind attaches very quickly to the wing which then powers up very quickly,” explained ACRM CEO Iain Murray. “The wind was just 5-10 degrees off axis and the whole wing powered up very fast and the boat tipped over,” Murray said.

“When the wing hit the water it took some of the elements off the rig. Everybody is fine. There’s not too much damage…. it probably looks worse than it is,” Murray said. “It has been a valuable experience.”

All acknowledged some value from today’s lesson. “We are learning all the time. This is the first capsize and it probably won't be the last,” said Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing. “One of the lessons learned is in rescuing the boat and maybe we have learned how to do that with less damage next time. It is all part of the learning experience. It is why we built the prototype.”
Photos: Ivor Wilkins/www.americascup.com

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