China Team has capsized during a training sail on Tuesday. All crew are safe, although their wing is damaged.
America’s Cup World Series, Plymouth England - copyright Ricardo Pinto /ACEA - China Team capsize
'Unfortunately the way the boat landed, the wind got under the wing and caused more damage. The boat then flipped over and over going downwind, from stern to bow, which was pretty exciting,' said Will Howden, a crew member on China Team. 'A pretty nasty one but everyone's OK and that's the main thing.'
Shore crew will be working through the night in an effort to get the team to the start line tomorrow: 'Our technical team and ACRM will be working together to repair the boat,' said skipper Charlie Ogletree. 'It will be a long night, but we think we'll be up and running tomorrow… Our neighbors – Artemis Racing, Oracle Racing, have all offered help, which is very nice.'
When China Team sailed back into the harbour in Plymouth there were sharp intakes of breath as sailors, shore crew and spectators gathered round to survey the damage on the broken wing of the AC45.
Damage to Team China
'No way she’ll be racing tomorrow,' was the sentiment of some, and looking at the sorry state of the wing with its broken ribs and torn film, it was easy to see why.
But Regatta Director Iain Murray saw it differently. 'I'll think they'll be out there tomorrow,' he said. The reason for Murray’s confidence? An eight-man repair crew working for the America’s Cup Race Management. 'It looks like probably 150 hours of work for our team. They’ll be working right through the night until the boat needs to go out for racing tomorrow.'
With a start time of 1410 hours, the ACRM repair team will need plenty of coffee to see them through the early hours and get the work on China’s rig completed.
In past America’s Cups it has been down to individual teams to run their own maintenance crews, but this is another innovation brought in for this America’s Cup cycle. 'It's very important for us to have these boats racing every day so we carry all the spare parts. We have a resource team of expert carbonologists to do this kind of repair work.
'We have the resources and the team to do the all-nighters required to fix things like this. It's no different to car racing or anything else, you've got to have people who are very specialised and knowledgeable in the right areas - and so we've got most of this covered.'
The China Team will be the repair unit’s toughest test yet, but Murray is pleased with how things are going. 'It's working out well and it means people can push their boats, and they can trust our team that we'll help them get on the start line the next day.'
Team China damage
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