Please select your home edition
Edition
ETNZShop-SUPPORTERRANGE-728x90 HR Top

America's Cup: Patriot remains defiant in the Prada Cup

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 18 Jan 15:39 NZDT 18 January 2021
American Magic base - Auckland - January 18, 2021 - America's Cup 36 © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

American Magic Executive Director Terry Hutchinson has confirmed that the team will remain in the Prada Cup, after nearly sinking their raceboat Patriot yesterday evening in Auckland.

The incident occurred just after 6.00pm rounding the final mark in Race 3 of Round Robin 2, of the Prada Cup.

The team's AC75 was leading Italian challenger Luna Rossa, when Patriot was flicked by a rain squall during the rounding manoeuvre. Hutchinson said the wind increased from 12kts to 23kts in just 40s; the boat accelerated as it bore away in rounding the mark, to 47kts of boatspeed.

The team were chasing their first race win in the challenger selection series, having started the regatta as favorite to take on defender Emirates Team New Zealand in the America's Cup, starting on March 6, 2021.

"There was a truckload of wind coming down the course and we wanted to be in it," Hutchinson told a media conference in Auckland on Monday afternoon. He said that the breeze had varied between 9-23kts in the race. Afterguard member Paul Goodison called a light spot in the breeze as Patriot closed in on the mark. In previous races the AC75s have been unable to foil when the wind pressure drops, and Hutchinson indicated the need to stay with the breeze was vital if they were to stay ahead of competitor Luna Rossa.

A series of issues combined to work against the crew in the manoeuvre, with the AC75 being caught in the rain squall, with the mainsail hard against a running backstay and the main traveller fully eased. Hutchinson said they were unable to release the pressure in the already fully-eased sail, triggering the "sky-jump" as the AC75 leapt clear of the water after the rudder elevator ventilated.

Hutchinson said the hole in Patriot's hull was caused by impact damage due to the acceleration, speed and height from which the AC75 fell back into the water. The team had capsized their test boat "The Mule" 39 times and their first AC75, Defiant, once, all without damage.

Emirates Team New Zealand have capsized AC75s at least three times - all without damage, the last occasion being two weeks ago during practice racing. All the other teams have performed other spectacular manoeuvres in their AC75s - all without damage, however none reached the height above the water achieved by Patriot, on Sunday evening.

The AC75 was righted by the team, but it was only after the initiation of a crisis plan as part of the event management that the yacht was saved from sinking. Emirates Team New Zealand was first on the scene with flotation devices which gave the team and other rescuers time to bring specialist equipment including 23 pumps.

After a slow tow, the yacht was hauled from the water late last night and a damage assessment begun. That process has involved a complete ultrasound of the hull. Hutchinson says the repairs are expected to take 8-10 days and will involve mainly structural repairs to the hull and complete replacement of the yachts electronic systems including the foil cant system.

The team's first AC75, Defiant, was shipped to Auckland and was sailing in July 2020 before being decommissioned when Patriot was launched in early October 2020.

Hutchinson says that Defiant will be used to provide some replacement parts for Patriot. That could include having a hull section cut from Defiant and transplanted into the damaged area of Patriot. Hutchinson didn't reveal the size of the cut-out to be made, however from initial photos, as well as the hole in the hull, carbon shards could be seen hanging from other areas of the hull indicating that the hull damage is a lot larger than indicated in the photos.

The incident will mean that Patriot will go straight through to the Semi-Finals of the Prada Cup. A sudden improvement in performance of INEOS Team UK sees them score four wins from four races, and look to be a shoe-in for the first position in the Prada Cup Finals.

The other two positions are likely to be determined between Italian Luna Rossa and American Magic, however it has not been announced if there is to be any change in the format of the remaining two Round Robins, given that American Magic will default their matches.

Later today Sail-World will post an eye-witness account of the capsize and near sinking of Patriot, along with photos of the multi-team recovery effort.

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line: A Match of just five days?
A COVID positive 21 yr old going walkabout in South Auckland has had big implications for the Cup A COVID positive 21 yr old going walkabout in South Auckland has had big implications for the Cup - now threatened to be morphed to a four race day event, and sailed on courses on which there has never been a lead change - except for the Patriot capsize. Posted today at 12:25 am
America's Cup: First weekend postponed
First weekend of the 36th America's Cup Match is postponed, start Wednesday possible America's Cup 36 permitted organiser, America's Cup Events Ltd have announced that the first weekend of the 36th America's Cup Match is postponed. Posted on 28 Feb
America's Cup start expected to be postponed
For the America's Cup the earliest Auckland will come out of the Lockdown is Sunday, March 7 The NZ Prime Minister has announced a return to Alert Level 3 for seven days. For the America's Cup the earliest Auckland will come out of the Lockdown is Sunday, March 7. An announcement is expected from the permitted organiser America's Cup Event Ltd Posted on 27 Feb
America's Cup: Chasing the chase boat - ETNZ
36th America's Cup teams have had to resort to chase boats and simulators to mimic a race situation. With the Protocol eliminating the once familiar sight of teams trialing two America's Cup Class yachts against each other, the teams have had to resort to chase boats and simulators to mimic a race situation. Posted on 26 Feb
America's Cup: INEOS Team UK's Auckland sojourn
From Christmas Turkey to being the Round Robin Rocket - the story of Britannia's Auckland sojourn From Christmas Turkey to being the Round Robin Rocket - here's the story of INEOS Team UK's Britannia sojourn in Auckland for the Prada Cup Posted on 26 Feb
America's Cup: Brits well positioned to go again
This is the second Challenge Ben Ainslie has led for Britain and a big step up from his first This is the second Challenge Ben Ainslie has led for Britain and a big step up from the 2017 effort, which was sailed Bermuda in the mostly one-design AC50 - a wing sailed foiling catamaran and quite different from the AC75. Posted on 25 Feb
America's Cup Rialto: Feb 25 - Design vs Racecraft
Challenger and Defender take similar but different approach to AC75 options. Prada Cup reviewed. The Challengers' game of Development Leapfrog ended on the Hauraki Gulf on Sunday, and set the scene for the 36th Match which as tradition dictates the Defender will come against the Challenger for the first time. Posted on 25 Feb
Luna Rossa awarded Prada Cup
The delayed prize-giving ceremony for the Prada Cup was held at the America's Cup Village The prize-giving ceremony on the main stage of Auckland's America's Cup Village marked the delivery of the Prada Cup to Team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, Challenger of the 36th America's Cup Match presented by Prada. Posted on 23 Feb
Luna Rossa win Prada Cup Final
They have now earned the right to be the Challenger for the America's Cup for the third time Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli made history on the Hauraki Gulf this afternoon by being the first Challenger of Record, since 1970 to win a Challenger Selection Series and go on to Challenge for the America's Cup. Posted on 21 Feb
Prada Cup: Day 10: Sea breeze for Finals Day 4
Brits protest over Luna Rossa jib sheeting, as they enter sudden death on Finals Day 4 For Day 10 of the Prada Cup, and the forth day of Prada Cup Finals, the course will be located on the Course A area, starting off Takapuna/Milford and extending north - depending on the breeze direction Posted on 20 Feb
Doyle Sails 2020 - Pure Brilliance 728x90 BOTTOMCup Cat AmCup  Ads_728x90px 1 BOTTOMCollinsonCo 728x90 BOTTOM