14 Jun 2011

Coutts capsizes America's Cup catamaran

6:52 pm on 14 June 2011

Oracle Racing's chief executive Russell Coutts has had embarrassing moment on San Francisco Bay, capsizing one of the new class of catamarans to be used in the America's Cup World Series.

The former Team New Zealand and Alinghi cup winner sent one of the

nimble New Zealand-built AC45's into a cartwheel during an informal race against skipper James Spithill.

The capsize damaged the hard, aeroplane wing-shaped sail, sending a crew member to hospital for x-rays.

Spithill says there's a significant amount of risk, so crews wear helmets.

The 45-foot carbon-fibre catamarans will be used in the World Series, starting in, Portugal in August, with larger AC72s, which have yet to be built, to be raced in 2013 at the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco.

The catamarans are intended to boost spectator interest.