Extreme conditions break Americas Cup Boats!
Picture perfect; was not how anyone described Bermida on the 6th June 2017. Day 11 of Racing took its toll on the boats, the crews, and support team, as they crossed every appendage they had in hope that their team would make it through the day.
Winds gusting up to 30 knots, pouring rain, low cloud and choppy sea conditions meant the foiling AC’s were on the edge. Their rigs were too big, their foils were too big, quite simply, the boats were going too fast. Designed for wind in the 15-18 knot region, these boats were out of their element, as proven by Emirates Team New Zealand in the pre-start.
As Land Rover BAR (The English team, skipped by Ben Ainslee) took off across the line, Emirates Team New Zealand pushed hard to accelerate and catch them. Too hard, and their foils skipped out of the water, the nose dug deep, and over they went – a classic pitchpole capsize which left the crew dangling perilously in mid-air, still stuck on their bike-winches.
Other teams suffered fearings tearing off with the sheer force of the water hitting them at 30+ knots, there were near misses between boats rounding marks, and of course countless near capsizes as every boat battled to keep their speed down.
It was a crazy day, but made for spectacular viewing. Watch the highlights in the clip below!