Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

America's Cup- Coutts capsizes in San Francisco - crew injured, Video

by Richard Gladwell on 14 Jun 2011
34th America’s Cup - ORACLE Racing press conference at GGYC - Russell Coutts capsize ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget http://photo.americascup.com/

Four times America's Cup winner, Russell Coutts was at the helm of an AC45 which capsized today capsized on San Francisco Bay, today.

At the time Oracle Racing was participating in some practice starts with the America's Cup Race Management Team.

Earlier in the day Media had been on the water to see the AC's 45 sailing on the venue for the 34th America's Cup.

Coutts was bearing off in a pre-start and pitchpoled at 22kts.

The AC45 was capsized for about 10 minutes and apparently the wingsail was undamaged, aside from some torn skinning fabric. Later it was revealed that there was some wingsail damage and the structure would be out of action for a few days.

At the time of the incident, the assembled media were in the Golden Gate YC clubhouse



Oracle Racing.com reported: After the media sail the team’s two crews, led by helmsmen James Spithill and Russell Coutts, engaged in exhibition racing run by America’s Cup Principal Race Officer John Craig. He set a course that featured a reaching start to a turning mark around which the crews unfurled the gennakers and turned downwind.

After rounding the leeward mark the two crews sailed up to a windward mark before another blasting run downwind and a final beat to the finish. The race lasted no more than 20 minutes.

The good times were dampened in the second pre-start, when ORACLE Racing Boat No. 5, helmed by Coutts, capsized during the pre-start. In an action similar to Friday, both bows buried and the boat went nearly vertical before capsizing to starboard.


'We got caught in the pre-start at the wrong angle and paid the price,' said Coutts, who fell through the lower part of the front element of the wingsail. 'The boats are spectacular, hard to sail. They’re gonna test the best sailors in the world. Luckily I had the crash helmet on.'

During the incident crewman Shannon Falcone injured his ribs. 'It was all in slow motion,' said Falcone, one of the strongest members of the team. 'I didn’t think it was going to go all the way over.'

Falcone walked under his own power to an ambulance waiting shoreside and was taken to the hospital for a precautionary X-ray.

'I would’ve preferred it didn’t happen, but it’s all learning,' Coutts said. 'Frankly, I’ve got to see these sort of things to learn how hard to push it and what not to do. It’s lots of learning for me.'



The incident is the second in three days for Coutts, with the first being a very well publicized near-miss last week. There were several capsize incidents in Auckland during media and race management trials during March and April this year, including top ranked Emirates Team NZ and Artemis Racing teams.

At the time of the incident, the assembled media were in the Golden Gate YC clubhouse.

The 34th America's Cup will be staged in San Francisco using 72ft catamarans with a wingsail approximately twice the height, and with just over three times the wing sail area of the one-design AC45 catamarans, plus substantially more in the jib and downwind sails. And, more importantly, the height to fall is 14 mtrs compared to the 6.8mtrs of the AC45.








Insun - AC ProgramRS Sailing 660x82Ancasta Ker 33 660x82

Related Articles

She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
A Q&A with Nicole Breault about women’s match racing in the USA
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about women’s match racing in the USA and about her upcoming Clinegatta. I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women’s match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Posted on 17 Apr
America's Cup - Team NZ return fire at Coutts' social media bullets
Emirates Team New Zealand have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers Emirates Team NZ have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers in a media release on Thursday (NZT) over the team's daggerboard use. In the release, replayed by America's Cup Events Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO Sir Russell Coutts on his Facebook page. It was claimed that the Kiwi team had an issue with daggerboards and were using a rule they had not supported to keep sailing
Posted on 2 Apr
A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar