Amazing shots of Team New Zealand's catastrophic spinnaker drop and bowman overboard 27/6/07

Having taken control of race three yesterday Emirates Team New Zealand was forced into an early gybe which nearly cost them the race.

According to Andrew Bray who was on the racecourse at the time, Emirates Team New Zealand was sailing down towards the gate but a big windshift forced them to into an unprepared gybe resulting in the bowman going overboard. Fortunately he managed to recover himself but the crew had to do a manual drop which meant that part of the spinnaker ended up in the cockpit. Not only did the cloth then wind itself round winch drums but was pulled through into the fairleads making it impossible for the crew to fully sheet the genoa.

They were then forced off to the right-hand side of the course to sort things out leaving Alinghi to take the advantage by tacking on a favourable shift into the lead. Although the situation looked decidedly grim for Team New Zealand they managed to fight their way back and win the race by nearly half a minute.

Photos courtesy of Bob Grieser who just happened to be in the right place at the right time – thanks Bob!