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America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ break old rudder on Practice Day

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ on 15 May 2017
Emirates Team New Zealand breaks a rudder in Practice Session Emirates Team New Zealand
Emirates Team New Zealand broke a rudder on the first day of Practice Racing on the Great Sound, Bermuda.

The team confirmed to Sail-World that the rudders on for the sessions was an 'old up-range rudder' and that the new ones were still being finished in Bermuda.

The effect of the break is more an inconvenience to the team rather than the 'major setback' quoted in earlier ill-informed reports headlined in the New Zealand media.

The cause of the break, which occurred not to far below the waterline, is not known at this stage and could have been a catastrophic failure caused by a structural or building weakness in the rudder, or it could have occurred as a result of a strike on an unknown object such as a turtle.

Team sources said they had been pushing too hard in the session and that is why the rudder broke.

The effect of the break is more an inconvenience to the team rather than the 'major setback' quoted in earlier reports some ill-informed reports headlined in the New Zealand media.

Other teams have also broken rudders in Bermuda due to turtle strikes, and a similar situation happened in San Francisco with seals that moved through the race course.

The team fitted another rudder and continued racing later in the Practice Session which is the final long session before the start of the America's Cup Qualifiers at 5.00pm on May 26 local time.

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