The AC45 flipped in 20 knot winds today, while being trialled by Artemis Racing
Swedish challengers Artemis Racing were on board the AC45 in winds of around 20 knots when the boat capsized. The crew were adjusting the wingsail. No one on board was hurt and the boat is safely back at base
The carbon fibre catamaran appears to have suffered most damage to its wing’s non-structural vinyl skin, as well as damage to the its right hull. An America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) inflatable was nearby to help keep the prototype afloat. Another tender brought some elements of the solid wing back to the dock separately.
“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.”
”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.”
“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 added. “It has been a valuable experience.”
Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing commented: “We are learning all the time. This is the first capsize and it probably won’t be the last. 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.”
Artemis is the third team to sea trial the boat and this was their first session. As has been standard procedure, an ACRM representative was on board. The Australian and New Zealand teams have previously trialled the boat without incident.
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