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America's Cup: Minor damage to Cup construction despite weather-bomb

by Sail-World.com/NZ 12 Aug 23:23 PDT 13 August 2019
A temporary fence was damaged on the America's Cup base construction site, the remainder of the damage was not an America's Cup asset. © Wynyard Edge Alliance

Auckland was hit by a severe weather event for the second successive night.

While 75 boats were damaged by a weather bomb which swept through Westhaven marina, at around 10pm, damage to the America's Cup base construction was relatively minor, with Portcoms (temporary buildings) and some containers being blown into the water.

In nearby Auckland's Westhaven Marina, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere with approximately 2,000 boats on marinas and pile berths, it was a different story with a capsized catamaran and sunken keelboat in the well-protected area.

One 50ft catamaran was plucked up by the tornado-like conditions, blown over a pier and deposited upside down on the other side.

In another incident, a yacht was sunk at her marina by strong winds.

On the other side of the America's Cup bases the weather-bomb struck "The Cloud" ripping panels off two sections and causing extensive damage to which Mayor Phil Goff, expected to run well into six figures to repair.

On real-time observation points around the harbour winds only peaked at 46kts - a relatively common gusting wind strength, and indicating that the damage was confined to a narrow swathe.

Coastgard Northern Region reported on social media that late Monday night, "the Coastguard Operations Centre was alerted to damage from the storm that tore through the downtown Auckland area, including a large portion of the city wharves, Westhaven Marina, and the Viaduct Harbour.

"Lion Foundation Rescue and Trillian Rescue Alpha were tasked to respond and assist the Police with securing vessels and debris adrift, and to undertake welfare checks with impacted vessels to ensure people were accounted for. Luckily, no mariners were harmed despite some dramatic scenes. All rescue assets were stood down and returned to the Auckland Marine Rescue Centre at Mechanics Bay by 0045hrs."

In a media release from Wynyard Edge Alliance, responsible for the America's Cup base construction, some damage was confirmed.

"Last night the waterfront was hit by a severe weather event, which caused damage across our project site", said Andrew Rose, WEA Project Director in a written statement.

"The weather event passed through Westhaven Marina, across the bottom of Wynyard Point, over the Viaduct Events Centre, then striking the north-eastern tip of Halsey Wharf, and passing across Hobson Wharf.

"Damage was localised but severe in places. Power lines were damaged on Daldy Street and Hamer Street, and our Hamer Street site offices were without power. This has since been restored.

"One of our compounds was severely disturbed by wind, with two Portacoms and a container being thrown into the harbour.

"At Halsey Wharf, a container was thrown into the outer Viaduct Harbour, along with a water-filled barrier and fencing.

"This morning our team conducted a site-wide safety inspection and began clear up and recovery operations, alongside the Police and Harbourmaster.

"We have secured and recover the two smashed Portacoms from Wynyard Basin, as well as to remove one container from the channel and tow it to Ports of Auckland, as instructed by the Harbourmaster. The other container is currently secured against pontoons.

"We will continue to work with the Harbourmaster to complete the recovery and clear-up operation.

"None of our project team members were injured as a result of the weather event.

"With more bad weather expected later today, we have been undertaking safety analysis across our site to secure all materials and minimise potential further damage."

A seaplane was also flipped over in the weather-bomb which passed through the Westhaven area, late on Monday night.

"The Westhaven, Silo and Viaduct Marina team are relieved no one was hurt around the marinas during last night's storm. Our priority is making sure the areas and people are safe," said Kevin Lidgard, General Manager Marinas at Panuku Development Auckland.

"At Westhaven approximately 45 vessels were damaged or broke their moorings, and there is damage to some marina infrastructure which is being isolated and checked. The damage at Silo and Viaduct Marinas is restricted to the pontoon structure and some damage to a vehicle and Porto-com that blew off the wharf.

"All the vessels were secured overnight when it was safe to do so, and we will be continuing to check all three marinas for further damage, and begin our clean up and repairs, today."

For a full report with video and images click here and

click here

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