29 May 2024

New Zealand Youth America's Cup crew capsize

2:04 pm on 29 May 2024
New Zealand's Youth America's Cup AC40 capsizes on the Waitemata Harbour.

New Zealand's Youth America's Cup AC40 capsizes on the Waitemata Harbour. Photo: Sam Thom / America's Cup

Four months out from the Youth America's Cup,Team New Zealand's youth crew have had a dramatic capsize during a training session on the Waitematā Harbour.

Pushing the limits of the AC40 on Tuesday morning, during a one-boat training session on exiting a gybe, the crew lost the rudder and turned end over end resulting in a capsize.

All four crew onboard - Erica Dawson, Seb Menzies, Oscar Gunn and Leo Takahashi - were unharmed.

The boat's jib had a hole ripped out of it but, with no spares on the chase boat, the crew were forced to end their training after more than two hours on the water.

This was the first time the boat had capsized, however Team New Zealand coach Ray Davies knew it was a possibility.

Team New Zealand's Youth America's Cup boat capsized on Waitemata Harbour.

The Youth AC40 righted after a capsize Photo: Sam Thom / America's Cup

"It's inevitable that was going to happen at some point, but as they're pushing the limits of the boat up the wind range a little bit, as there's only 16 knots at the time, and you know they'll go back through it, but there's probably a little bit too fast a turn rate and in the gybe and probably came out a little bit hot, and next thing the rudder came out of the water and it all happened pretty quickly from there, but everyone's okay," Davies said in an interview after the incident.

"[The AC40's are] actually very easy to right and the crew can just stay in their compartments, you just got to get one crew forward to clip a tow-line onto the bow and get the boards down and she comes upright."

The Youth America's Cup will be held in September in Barcelona. A fleet of 12 teams is split between six from the countries represented in the 37th America's Cup and six invited teams.

The AC40 is a scaled down version of the AC75 which was used in the last America's Cup. The AC40 in its one design configuration will be raced using auto pilot flight control in Women's and Youth America's Cup regattas

The new class of boat, which has four crew, can be used by teams as a test platform for the bigger AC75.

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