Things are not going swimmingly for yachters Team New Zealand as they prepare their catamaran for the America’s Cup competition, as their skipper Glenn Ashby was reportedly sent swimming in Bermuda Bay when he missed his footing in the midst of his wing sail trimming duties and as the crew prepared to complete a move from one hull to the other, Ashby chose to leap to avoid the boat’s rudder.
The mishap occurred on a light air day, with winds ranging in the five to 10 knots range. If and when the wind kicks up, it would not be unexpected to see further men overboard as crew members attempt to deal with crossing the hulls of precariously tilted catamarans where g-forces can make the crossing problematic.
The Kiwi crewman was plucked from the water by the Emirates Team New Zealand chase boat and was none the worse for wear from the dunking.
Team New Zealand was trying a radical experiment that involved sailing without a jib, a move intended to allow the wing sail to operate in air undisturbed by a jib. The tactic was apparently successful and the boat was able to foil without difficulty, but it may be necessary for footwear with better traction or better coordinated sailors.