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America's Cup- Launch incident injures Luna Rossa shore crew member

by Sail-World on 17 Nov 2012
Luna Rossa Challenge 2013’s base prior to the launch October 26, 2012 Auckland Sail-World.com/NZ ©

Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 shore team member, Fred Gastinet has been injured in a launching incident on Friday, November 16, just before midday. He suffered a compound fracture of the shinbone, requiring surgery. The top of the wingsail for the AC72 catamaran has been damaged.

The team has advised that the incident occurred on Friday, November 16th at 11.15 AM NZT. It terminated the planned sailing session, and is expected to cause some small delay in the team's workup program

Gastinet suffered a compound fracture of the shinbone, requiring surgery.

The 40 metre wingsail was almost vertical and ready for fitting on the platform of the team's America's Cup Challenger AC72 catamaran, when the wind suddenly shifted by about 60 degrees; this caused the wingsail to 'fly' and rear up towards the crane, damaging the top of the sail.

Winds in the area, according to www.predictwind.com!Predictwind were averaging 15kts gusting 18kts at the time, and were from a SW direction. Generally Emirates Team NZ will fit their wingsail very early in the morning ahead of a training session. But on Friday they also fitted theirs around mid-day, and it would seem that the teams were destined to have a practice racing session. This would have been the first occasion in which two AC72's were sailing at the same time in the same venue.

The Luna Rossa base backs onto a number of large silo towers which could have deflected the wind to swirl. There is no natural shelter from SW direction of wind at the base in Auckland's Beaumont street. A large multi level superyacht is also being fitted out nearby which could also have had some influence.

Gastinet, a member of the shore team, was hit by one of the ballasted mobile trolleys that hold the wing when it is being lifted and he suffered a compound fracture of the shinbone.

He was immediately taken to hospital, where he underwent surgery and his leg was put in a cast. The team reported that 12 hours after the incident there were no further complications occurred and his condition is satisfactory.

The team reported that Gastinet was reported to be in high spirits and, half an hour after surgery, he was already joking with the team members who went to see him.

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