The headlines screamed disaster, but the video footage of Team New Zealand’s recent training mishap as they make their final preparations for the America’s Cup in Bermuda’s Great Sound seemed on par with a car park fender-bender.
The Kiwis did, however have to sit out practice while repairs to their starboard rudder are made.
It is quite a balancing act that the catamarans that dominate the America’s Cup have to pull off and the Kiwi team apparently ripped off the winglets at the bottom on the rudder. Those winglets are vital to allowing the boat to foil above the water, a process where the hulls do not make contact with the water’s surface at all, which decreases resistance and helps boats attain maximum speed.
The incident was caught by a local cameraman and posted on YouTube. The Emirates Team New Zealand seemed to be making good way, foiling stably before going into a gentle nosedive and coming to a halt.
The boat did not sink, no one was hurt and there were no explosions of any description.
The team had to return to their base to replace the winglets, but they could not make the needed repairs and get back out onto the course in time to make their allotted practice slot.
America’s Cup Qualifiers get under way in less than a fortnight, but during the practice sessions, teams crave the opportunity to run trial races with other competitors’’ boats.