Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Dinghy Wetsuits

America's Cup - High Drama

by Richard Gladwell on 17 Oct 2012
Bows bury in bear away - Oracle Team USA capsize AC72 Oct 16, 2012 Erik Simonson © http://www.pressure-drop.us">www.pressure-drop.us http://http://www.pressure-drop.us">www.pressure-drop.us
As we write this we are watching two screens. On one, a webcam is tracking Emirates Team NZ's ASC72 as she puts in yet another training session on the Hauraki Gulf sailing in winds that are averaging 25kts gusting 35kts.
And on the other, in San Francisco, Oracle Team USA's AC72 has capsized, and has drifted out into the Pacific Ocean.

We are watching a live video of the boat which is upside down, semi-sunk and surrounded by a coterie of RIBs.


Assuming the boat can be recovered (we're assuming she will come back in when the tide turns) the capsize is a major setback for the Defender.

Their hull repairs may unlimited, provided they don't modify the hulls in which case they are limited to 50% of the original hull surface. However the rule is not 1000% clear on the difference between a modification, repair or replacement, and a trip to the Int Jury for clarification is likely. Exceed the 50% modification and Oracle Team USA could not build a second boat.

The wingsail is destroyed - leaving the team with just two wingsails - to be shared between two boats - assuming the current boat is repairable. The Protocol prevents more that 50% of the original being replaced.

Oracle would be expected to be in the early stages of construction of their second boat, but that is not allowed to sail before February 1, 2013.


The capsize occurred about 3.00pm local time (11am NZT) after Oracle Team USA was out for a training session in an ebbing tide and 25kts. We believe the tide in the area flows at about 5kts and against a 25 kt wind, that would have been quite a seaway.

The incident occurred as Oracle passed through the 'Death-Zone'. That heart stopping moment when a boat bears off and heads downwind accelerating readily. Generally the bows go deep and then emerge with spray and water flying. In this case that didn't happen and Oracle went down the mine. From watching video it would seem at first blush that the issue was a lack of buoyancy forward. The fine wave piercing bows drove in and never emerged, tripping the boat.


It is now night-time in San Francisco, the boat is still at sea, with the wingsail reportedly unrecognisable (and clearly beyond repair). She is reported to have arrived back at Pier 80 around midnight local time after a long tow from several miles the other side of Golden Gate Bridge.

Whether the hulls are any better remains to be seen. There is a high risk, due to damage and limitation on hull alteration, that the US Defence just became a one-boat program. That would take away a lot from the 34th America's Cup.

In high definition video not publicly available, taken after the capsize and the collapse of the wingsail, the AC72 seems to be remarkably tight and intact. Whether that is still the case remains to be seen in the hard light of day.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]

Schaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82upffront 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Does the America's Cup really need a Star Chamber?
The first meeting of the three-man America's Cup Arbitration Panel is believed to have taken place in London The first meeting of the three-man America's Cup Arbitration Panel is believed to have taken place in London in the past week or so. Officially the date hasn't been publicly announced. The venue hasn't been publicly named, and the parties have appeared before a Panel that is publicly nameless.
Posted on 23 Jul
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on Emirates Team NZ's road to Bermuda
Part 2 of the interview with Emirates Team NZ skipper Glenn Ashby. In this part of the interview we look at what is going to happen once Emirates Team NZ get their 'AC49.5' sailing in Auckland, and how the campaign may shape up before they leave for Bermuda. Ashby wouldn’t be drawn on whether Team New Zealand had started their AC50 build, with July being the usual start of what is usually a five-month build and commissioning period for an end of December launch.
Posted on 10 Jul
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on Emirates Team NZ's new AC49.5
Sail-World talks with Emirates Team NZ skipper, Glenn Ashby on what is different about the team's new test boat Just under 11 months out from the 35th America’s Cup, Team New Zealand does not seem to be in its customary place at the front of the starting grid to be the first to launch their Challenger, or are they? Although they will be one of the last of the six teams to launch an AC45 Surrogate, Emirates Team New Zealand may have stolen a march with a boat that is as close as you can get to an AC50.
Posted on 9 Jul
Gladwell's Line - Emirates Team NZ launches shadow AC50
Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC4 Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC45S - as the test boats are called in the Protocol which governs the 2017 event. The bloated Protocol, which now runs to 83 pages of legalese, is restrictive on the size of boat that can be built as a test platform but doesn't restrict the number that can be built.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Rio 2016 - Double Olympic medallist on the delights of Guanabara Bay
Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist Bruce Kendall updates on the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. Olympic Gold and Bronze medallist, and now a windsurfer coach, Bruce Kendall has made several trips to the 2016 Olympic venue at Guanabara Bay. He updates on the pollution issue which is clearly not going to be resolved in a couple of months, and also shares his views on the venue from a sailing competition perspective.
Posted on 14 Jun
America's Cup - Artemis win Chicago as Team Japan wins two races
Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. After losing the first official day of racing due to light winds and the non-arrival of the onshore breeze, Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. From a racing perspective this was probably the best day of racing yet in the series which counts for points in the Qualifying Series of the America's Cup in 11 months time.
Posted on 12 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates TNZ NZ and Oracle capsize in Chicago Practice
Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA capsized in Practice Racing at the Louis Vuitton ACWS Chicago There was action aplenty on Practice Day at Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago, after Emirates Team New Zealand capsized in their match with Oracle Team USA, and then Oracle Team USA capsized later in the day. Team NZ's skipper skipper Glenn Ashby performed some impressive acrobatics ejecting from the AC45 capsize, without injury.
Posted on 11 Jun
America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
America's Cup - AC50 construction uncovered - Part 2 - Wings and Costs
Second part of a two-part series looking at the AC50 construction progress at Core Builders Composites Second part of a two-part series looking at the construction progress at Core Builders Composites, and features of the AC50 class which will be used in the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda. Tim Smyth takes us on a tour of the CBC facility in Warkworth, and hour's drive north of Auckland. Where several AC50's, components and wingsails are under construction or have already been shipped to the teams.
Posted on 5 Jun