America’s Cup Capsize
The last time Dean Barker and his teammates on Emirates Team New Zealand capsized their AC45 (in Newport in June) the ensuing drama of righting the boat from its bows-to-the-sky position proved more entertaining than the capsize itself. It was an experience that Barker admitted he’d soon rather forget. So as to get it out of the way before racing starts this week in San Francisco, ETNZ laid its cat on its side again during Monday’s practice race. Luckily, they have the day off on Tuesday to repair “minor rib damage.” I’m sure pit row and the respective wing teams will be plenty busy this week (even Ben Ainslie’s debut came with some non-capsize wing-damage).
Anyway, here’s how Barker explains the capsize in his blog:
“Today was the official practice day for this event in SF. Plan was for two match races and then some fleet race starts and race. Unfortunately for us it was a short day after capsizing in our first race against Artemis.
The conditions were down a fair bit on previous days early on but built steadily during the day. We were having a close tussle with Artemis coming down to the bottom gate and in a luffing situation struggled to furl the Code 0. As we tried to get back through the gate marks the 0 unfurled, and as we tried to get through the gate the boat loaded up and went over. It was a frustrating mistake but fortunately it has resulted in only a few damaged ribs on the wing and we will be back out there to sail tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be a seeding race day for the lower ranked teams for the match racing, with racing proper starting for us on Thursday. Our plan is to do some practice with Artemis prior to racing kicking off which will be good to get back in the swing of things.”