The prototype AC45 capsized on the Huraki Gulf Sunday afternoon, sustaining serious damage to her wingsail; however, the platform appeared to be undamaged and there were no injuries to the crew save for wounded pride.
The incident happened off Murray’s Bay on Auckland’s North Shore. Winds at the time were around 20kts and the AC45 had been sailing at speeds of up to 28.5kts. According to America’s Cup Regatta Management spokesman Troy Tindall, who was on the water at the time of the incident, the crew had stopped sailing to make an adjustment to the wingsail, and were caught in a stalled position.
The 45-foot catamaran was caught in a wind gust, at an awkward angle with little steerage and she capsized. She was towed back to Viaduct Harbour by tender and hauled from the water. Damage to the platform (hulls and trampoline) is negligible and at worst very minor. The damage to the wingsail appears to be quite substantial. Several of the frames are broken at the top of the wingsail in the front of the two elements.
When Sail-World arrived at the Viaduct Harbour, the building teams had arrived from Oracle Racing’s factory in Warkworth, and the wingsail already had its outer skin stripped to reveal the frame damage. The lower part of the wingsail would appear to be undamaged.
ACRM would not allow photography of the wingsail except by their official photographer. ACRM’s Regatta Director, Iain Murray told Sail-World that they expected the damage to be repaired by Friday. In a normal racing situation the shore crew would have a replacement wingsail and this would be fitted to enable the America’s Cup yachts to sail again the next race day.
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