America’s Cup: Alinghi Red Bull Racing has capsized their AC75 Boat Zero after first sail in Barcelona.
In a statement issued only on social media by the team they disclosed that after what was described as “a successful day of sailing, Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s BoatZero was hit by the violent rain squall, which developed over the city of Barcelona on Wednesday afternoon.”
“While towing back with sails down, the boat bounced into the wind and was pushed on to her side.
“Some of the crew members were knocked overboard but were promptly recovered by the support team.
“Everyone returned safe and sound to the team base.
“Alinghi Red Bull Racing’s BoatZero suffered minor damage to the port foil arm and to the hull. We will be back on the water soon, carrying on with our preparation for the 37th America´s Cup.” says Silvio Arrivabene, Co-General Manager of Alinghi Red Bull Racing.”
Wind recordings from a nearby land based station show a relatively light breeze changing rapidly in direction, and increasing to an average of 25kts, and likely gusts well into the mid-30’s accompanied by driving rain. These readings could have been higher on the sailing area.
It is not known if Boat Zero, or Emirates former first generation AC75, was able to get foiling on her first sail. From the land based wind observations the breeze may have been too light for the AC75 to have got foiling without the assistance of a tow from the chase boat. The lazy, but nevertheless significant cross-swell in Barcelona, could also have been a factor. Alinghi RBR is believed not have any of the specialist AC75 chase Catalyst 45 style chase boats owned by the established teams, which carry approximately 1600hp on the transom.
In similar situations observed by Sail-World in Auckland, the practice has been to strap one or two chase boats alongside and ride out the squall without attempting a tow in rain squalls.