THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Crew safe after Kiwis capsize in America’s Cup challenger race

YACHTING: Emirates Team New Zealand capsized spectacularly to cap a chaotic day of America’s Cup racing on the wind-whipped waters of Bermuda’s Great Sound yesterday (June 6).

accidentshealthmarineweather
By AFP

Wednesday 7 June 2017, 09:41AM


Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Peter Burling, capsizes. Photo: AFP

Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Peter Burling, capsizes. Photo: AFP

All crew members were reported safe as the race against Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR was black-flagged and support crews rushed to the aid of the crippled Kiwi catamaran.

The New Zealand boat rose on its hydrofoils rapidly just before the start and lost control, its bows plunging into the water before the boat flipped sideways, its massive fixed wing sail in the water.

Three of the crew remained in their cockpits in one hull suspended high above the water, while the other three went overboard.

“I was very thankful when I was sitting up top to be able to look out back and see all their heads above water,” said New Zealand helmsman Peter Berling, one of those left on board.

“We’ve all got a few bruises and cuts and bits and pieces, but nothing major.”

Burling said the team were still assessing the damage – and the precise cause of the mishap.

Ainslie, who had crossed the start line in front, immediately slowed and instructed the support boat following him to return to render assistance.

“I didn’t actually see the capsize itself,” Ainslie said. “Thank God it sounds like everyone’s OK, that’s the most important thing.”

High winds and intermittent lashing rain made for what four-time Olympic gold medallist Ainslie called “an incredible day of racing”.

“I don’t think in 30 years of sailing I’ve ever experienced anything quite like that,” Ainslie said of racing the temperatmental AC catamarans in winds averaging upwards of 21 knots (38.89 Km/h) with gusts even higher.

The New Zealand capsize handed the British outfit their first point of the first-to-five semi-final series, which New Zealand led 3-1 at the end of the day.

SoftBank Team Japan beat Artemis Racing of Sweden twice to take a 3-1 lead in their series.

QSI International School Phuket

But all four teams were challenged by the conditions, with gusting winds causing at least some degree of damage to every boat.

New Zealand, trying to book a return to the America’s Cup Match after a heartbreaking loss to Oracle Team USA in San Francisco four years ago, had looked solid in building a 2-0 lead over the Brits with two wins on Monday (June 5).

But disaster struck even before racing began yesterday when they found themselves in a frantic bid to replace their damaged fixed wing sail in time to make the start of their first race.

Burling said the damage was to the bottom flap, but declined to go into specifics lest he give away design secrets.

They sailed with composure, overtaking BAR mid-race and hanging on to take their series lead to 3-0.

Japan took a 2-1 lead over Sweden when the struggling Artemis retired from their first race of the day.

“She’s still upright, so that’s a good start,” SoftBank helmsman Dean Barker said after both boats took a beating.

Controversy erupted in the second race between the two, with Artemis tactician Iain Percy infuriated by penalties meted out after they sailed full-tilt beyond the course boundary.

However, that drama paled in comparison to the frightening capsize in the final race.

“All sailors accounted for and safe after Emirates TeamNZ capsize,” the team tweeted. “Boat is making its way back to dock to assess damage.”

High winds are again forecast for today, and if they top the 24 knot (44.45 Km/h) limit allowed for racing New Zealand could get an extra day to make repairs.

“As a group of New Zealanders, we are really resilient,” Burling said. Although it remained to be seen just how extensive the damage was, he said, “we feel like we’ll be able to repair it and get back into action.”

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
In Big Joke saga, border patrol boss gets last laugh

Perhaps a part time laugh? The moment he becomes original in handling matters ( which is needed to l...(Read More)


Italians, boat crew and guide all arrested for fishing in national park

As a foreigner, you expect going out with thai boat captain and a thai fishing guide for fishing tha...(Read More)


Patong Police call for calm after foreigner outburst over motorbike collision goes viral

Not surprised. The standards of tourists Thailand lets in nowadays is dismal. Just take the money do...(Read More)


Italians, boat crew and guide all arrested for fishing in national park

The fish caught were disposed of in a hole in the ground. Hahahaha. Yeah, right. Dinner for the park...(Read More)


Inspectors suspect foul play from Patong resorts

Inspections should be done without announcing that they go to inspect. Do 'surprise inspections&...(Read More)


Australian stabbed 12 times trying to protect Thai woman

Anyone who believes you can stab someone 12 times in "self-defense" is overdue for a spell...(Read More)


Italians, boat crew and guide all arrested for fishing in national park

Burn the boat as well. nearly 50 kg fish catched by only 2 sportfishers in a nationalpark?? Fishing ...(Read More)


King cobra female caught in Patong, 30 eggs missing from nest

Should have brought the eggs to the serial poster.As he likes to sit down,he could carefully hatch t...(Read More)


Boy, 14, killed as Phuket suffers worst Songkran road safety record in years

Wiesel, it is not about our minds. It is about the 'after' of accidents. People not able to ...(Read More)


Patong Police call for calm after foreigner outburst over motorbike collision goes viral

Haha, very funny outcome. Pay 30,000 thb on forehand? Show me the costs of motorbike repair & m...(Read More)