The Alinghi crew capsize a second multihull


To capsize one multihull is careless, but two? Here is the Alinghi Extreme 40 catamaran taking part in the recent iShares Cup at Lugano and having one of those “oh s***” moments. This is just a few weeks after they planted the bows of the hapless Alain Gautier’s ORMA trimaran Foncia and performed a none too gentle pirouette to end up upside down. BMW Oracle Racing aren’t much better having also capsized their Extreme 40. So far, apart from Russell Coutts who suffered a cut arm, no-one has been badly injured.

The learning curve is patently extremely steep. But think of this. It now looks as though the 33rd America’s Cup will be raced in 90 foot multihulls. These boats will be substantially more powerful than the Extreme or Foncia and much, much faster. Fifty knots is a distinct possibility. Now if one of those comes unstuck at those speeds, with no tyre barriers to cushion the impact what are the chances of severe damage to both crew and boat.

Another thing about these boats. They are going to cost tens of millions to be designed and built and then used for a maximum of just three races…it’s a bit obscene isn’t it?