Tuesday, 22 February 2011
AC45 with wing damage. Supplied image.
by Paul Cayard
It was mid-December when I last wrote an update. A lot has happened since the RC44 regatta in Miami with regard to our America's Cup project. I was recently in Valencia for a couple of weeks working with Juan Kouyoumdjian and our design team who are based there. We also had a team meeting that lasted three days.
I arrived in Auckland today for a week to follow two issues; 1) ACRM meetings to discuss the AC72 and AC45 Class rules, new racing rules of sailing, logistics around the World Series events and the SF venue and 2) to test sail the prototype of the AC45. The meetings went well today.
Unfortunately, the sailing didn't. Our team capsized in the AC45. It wasn't even a spectacular wipeout at 30 knots. Rather they were sitting head to wind, taking a break after the three hour training session and repairing something on the roller furler. The boat got hit with a gust from about 10 degrees off to one side and the boat slowly rolled over. No one was hurt and the boat was back at the dock within two hours.
There is very little structural damage to the wing but a lot of the "skin" of the wing came off. Our team will help ACRM get the wing repaired and back out onto the water ASAP. A cyclone is approaching Auckland and is due to hit later Wednesday, so it will probably be after that when Artemis Racing can get back to sailing the prototype.
The team is going to make a "playbook" on the capsize. Yes, even in a unfortunate situation, there is a lot to learn. Hopefully, if this happens again, we will be able to right the boat without losing the skin. One thing for sure, it was good it was not a 72 footer capsizing today.
Simultaneous to the activities down here, Terry Hutchinson and part of the Artemis Racing team are in Oman racing the first Extreme 40 event of the year. Our team has put in a lot of hard work to get up to speed in multihulls and have been there training for almost three weeks.