Kolla in nerrundningen. Rejäl puff efter rundningen och förarna gräver ner sig rejält, två man (Chris Ward & Rob Waddell) sköljs i havet och en del av panelerna bakom främre balken slits sönder. Snygg recovery, och sedan är man igång igen…
Emirates Team New Zealand led by 7 seconds at the first mark and continued racing after Luna Rossa had all but withdrawn. Later in the race, however, the Kiwi crew nosedived at the third (windward) mark rounding.
The team’s AC72 Aotearoa popped up onto its hydrofoils rounding the mark and then a gust of wind hit. The port (left) bow of Aotearoa buried up to the main crossbeam, reducing the boatspeed from 40 knots to 13 and flicking two crewmembers, Rob Waddell and Chris Ward, overboard. The two grinders were recovered unharmed by the team’s chase boat, but the rush of tons of water tore the port side fairing off the main crossbeam and left the crew shaken.
“In this sort of racing, the boats are incredibly powerful. You see how quickly the speed rockets up as you make the turn around the top,” said skipper Dean Barker. “We came in there with good pressure. Through the turn we were always going to pick up a decent increase in speed; I’m sure there are a few things we could’ve done better.
“We’re very thankful that all the guys are OK. Everyone’s a little shaken, but that’s yacht racing and this type of sailing is pretty full on,” said Barker.
Grinder Chris McAsey described the experience.
“I’m on the forward pedestal and was holding on for dear life,” McAsey said. “I was the second guy under water, with Jeremy Lomas in front of me. I was holding on as hard as I could. It all was a blur, everything’s wet and white, you come up, there’s a bit of broken carbon around the place and we’re two guys short. From there on it was just a matter of trying to cover the two guys lost.
“It was an interesting day,” McAsey said. “I spent a lot of time wondering how this day would play out. We were stoked to start the Louis Vuitton Cup Final, and it’s nothing like I expected it would be.”
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