There was action aplenty on Practice Day at Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Chicago, after Emirates Team New Zealand capsized in their match with Oracle Team USA, and then Oracle Team USA capsized later in the day.
Team NZ’s skipper skipper Glenn Ashby performed some impressive acrobatics ejecting from the AC45 capsize, without injury. Oracle Team USA did a messy gybe, falling spectacularly off their foils. Emirates Team NZ gybed, but lost two World Champions 49er crew members, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke overboard, just before the gybe.
With no skipper the boat gybed and capsized.
Oracle’s capsize occurred in the last race of the day, during fleet racing, when they had failed to spot Artemis Racing coming at them upwind, and they swung the boat sharply to avoid a collision and capsized in the process.
Oracle Team USA tactician, Tom Slingsby said they had tried to put pressure on Team NZ before the gybe, and Oracle completed theirs successfully but ‘it looked like they lost flow in their hydrofoils/rudders and they spun out. Two people went in the water and they had no-one steering the boat and their boat capsized.
‘It was really puffy conditions and two teams were caught out.’
Slingsby accepted the blame for Oracle Team USA’s capsize. ‘I didn’t see Artemis Racing sailing upwind. I just saw him at the last second, avoided to miss and capsized. But the puffy conditions made it very tough for everyone,’ the 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist added.
The other surprise of the day was Softbank Team Japan (Dean Barker) winning all four of their races, often leading from start to finish.
by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com