It was a matter of time and valuable learning experience for all involved: a capsize aboard the prototype AC45 occurred on Monday in some 20 knots of breeze on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. Artemis Racing was enjoying its first training session on the boat with members of America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) when the crew stopped sailing to do a little maintenance and got caught in a stalled position. The boat capsized and the wing hit the water.
ACRM CEO Iain Murray said, “The wind was just 5-10 degrees off axis and the whole wing powered up very fast and the boat tipped over.” Fortunately no one on board was hurt and most of the damage was to the wing’s non-structural vinyl skin. There was no apparent damage to the boat. “They’re more robust than they probably look,” Murray said.
As reported by Richard Gladwell (www.sail-world.com), when Sail-World arrived at the Viaduct Harbor, the building teams had arrived from Oracle Racing’s factory in Warkworth, and the wingsail already had its outer skin stripped to reveal the frame damage. The lower part of the wingsail appeared undamaged.
Murray told Sail-World that they expected the damage to be repaired by Friday. In a normal racing situation the shore crew would have a replacement wingsail and this would be fitted to enable the America’s Cup yachts to sail again the next race day.
Murray said that while there are two other wingsails in advanced stages of construction it will be quicker to repair the damaged wingsail rather than push the other two through to a rapid more completion. Artemis elected to help with the repairs in lieu of their on-water training in the AC45 this week.
Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing, said, “One of the lessons learned is in rescuing the boat and maybe we have learned how to do that with less damage next time. It is all part of the learning experience. It is why we built the prototype.” Full story at www.americascup.com
Currently, all six teams registered to compete in AC34 are sharing the ACRM protocol boat for training purposes. The next four boats are expected to be delivered by mid-March and will be delivered on a first come basis according to each team's order of registration. The six teams currently registered are (in order of registration) are: ORACLE Racing (USA), Defender; Mascalzone Latino (ITA), Challenger of Record; ALEPH Team France; Artemis Racing (SWE); Energy Team (FRA); Team Australia.
Dates for the World Cup Series, which will be raced in the AC45, were announced today with venues expected to be announced in a few weeks according to America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA). The first half of the AC World Series will consist of five nine-day regattas in 2011, finishing up with three more regattas by mid-2012.
Event One: 16 – 24 July
Event Two: 13 - 21 August
Event Three: 17 – 25 September
Event Four: 15 – 23 October
Event Five: 10 – 18 December
Event Six: 17 – 25 February, 2012
Event Seven: 14 – 22 April, 2012
Event Eight: 19 – 27 May, 2012
*Dates are subject to change