Land Rover BAR's chief technology officer, Andy Claughton, has some fascinating insights into the capsize of Emirates Team New Zealand, and other aspects of the America's Cup race format

Why did Emirates Team New Zealand pitchpole so disastrously during the America’s Cup playoffs?

There have been numerous theories about this – the wingmast being allowed to develop too much power; and disruption of the flow pattern over ETNZ’s foils caused by Land Rover BAR’s turbulent wake being two.

But Land Rover BAR’s chief technology officer, Andy Claughton, thinks it’s much simpler. He believes it was an issue with the daggerboard controls, a split-second miscommunication that arose from decision to give these vital flight controls to one of the team’s ‘cyclors’ rather than putting them in the hands of the helmsman, as is the case on the other teams’ boats.

The pitchpole was captured from every which way – you can see how it all unfolded in the video below.

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Claughton is one of the America’s Cup’s leading experts. A naval architect who is a former principal research engineer at the Wolfson Unit at the University of Southampton, he has also been design co-ordinator for Emirates Team New Zealand and Team Origin.

In this interview, he takes an overview of how teams are faring in this Cup, and indeed of the 35th America’s Cup itself.

He has some other really interesting observations, including what could possibly be behind the erratic performance of pre-race favourites Artemis Racing.

Interesting also for the many former America’s Cup fans who lament this style and format of racing, Claughton also has some interesting observations. How does the America’s Cup now fit with sailing, and where should it be going?