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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ to be back on the water tomorrow

'a655A9637sm - AC World Series Newport RI'    Stephen Fasano

Emirates Team New Zealand plans to be back on the water tomorrow after a capsize in the first race of the quarter-final at Newport today.

Three elements of the wing were extensively damaged in the capsize. One will be repaired overnight, one has been bought from the event and one will be cannibalised from the Youth America’s Cup AC45.

Skipper Dean Barker vowed the team would be back on the water for the second day of the America’s Cup World Series final regatta for the 2011-12 season.

He said the wing extension – fitted to the top of the rig for better light-air performance – filled with water making it difficult to get the boat back upright.

'We were on our side for an hour. That’s when the damage was done.

Emirates Team New Zealand - capsize, Day 1 America’s Cup World Series, Newport -  Chris Cameron-ETNZ   Click Here to view large photo
'When we capsized in Auckland soon after we got the boat, we were upright in three to four minutes and damage was slight.

'As we went over I expected to be upright in a few minutes and ready to race for the second match that afternoon.'

The capsize occurred at the top mark during the first quarter-final race against Luna Rossa Piranha. Emirates Team New Zealand was comfortably ahead.

A problem with the leeward runner meant they could not ease the wing sheet as they rounded the mark. Able to go either up or down, the capsize was inevitable.

Today’s incident was the latest in a series since the team arrived at Newport.

Two AC45 crewmen have been sidelined by injury. Bowman Winston Macfarlane has - returned to Auckland after injuring a shoulder in practice and trimmer James Dagg’s head collided with tactician Ray Davie’s elbow. As a precaution, he’s being rested for a couple of days.

Sailing crew members Derek Saward and Jeremy Lomas, both heavily involved in past months with the AC72 build programme, were called in at short notice to fill in. Saward arrived at Newport on Sunday and Lomas only yesterday.

Coach Rod Davis, in a chase boat alongside the yacht, blogs his take on the incident.

The reason for the capsize was a problem with the leeward runner as we rounded the top mark. That meant that wing couldn't go out far enough and in any kind of a puff, the boat would roll over.

We had all kinds of trouble righting the boat because the wing extension filled with water, a problem no one has come across as we were the first to capsize with it on.

Rescue operations were going pretty much to plan, until we started breaking righting ropes. Then, when we got the boat up the first time, water/weight in the top of the wing made the boat roll back and sit with the bows pointing to the sky

So we had to re-capsize and start all over again. Three snapped tow lines and a pad eye later (the back of the chase boat looks like someone has beaten it with a chain) we had her back on her paws. And the boys sailed it home.

So what happens now? There are three flaps on the back of the wing. One is can be fixed overnight, one can be fixed but is not over night. And the last is totally destroyed.

The wing might look a little funny in the branding but we will be back on the water tomorrow.

Emirates Team New Zealand - capsize, Day 1 America’s Cup World Series, Newport -  Chris Cameron-ETNZ  

Emirates Team New Zealand - capsize, Day 1 America’s Cup World Series, Newport -  Chris Cameron-ETNZ  

Emirates Team New Zealand - capsize, Day 1 America’s Cup World Series, Newport -  Chris Cameron-ETNZ  

by Warren Douglas


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3:25 AM Fri 29 Jun 2012GMT

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