America’s Cup / YouTube
Onboard camera captures the dramatic moments before American Magic capsizes.
The drama kept coming in the Prada Cup on Sunday, with a race abandoned and having to be rerun, then American Magic capsizing when in a commanding position.
INEOS Team UK remain undefeated in the Prada Cup, defeating Luna Rossa by 18 seconds.
The victory, which was the team’s fourth of the weekend, put Sir Ben Ainslie’s team close to confirming their spot in the Prada Cup final, possibly only needing to win one of their four races next weekend to claim top spot in the round robin section of the challenger series.
But it will be images of the American Magic boat, Patriot, flipping over at high speed, which will be beamed into homes around the world. All the crew were safe, but the boat eventually started taking in water, no doubt causing significant damage.
It leaves American Magic realistically with no chance of avoiding the Prada Cup semifinal.
America’s Cup: American Magic boat seriously damaged in dramatic capsize
America’s Cup: Expected storm leads to organisers going for Prada Cup’s Course A
America’s Cup: ‘Slaughter on the water’ – British lap up stunning Prada Cup revival
The capsize happened as American Magic, looking for their first win, led into the top mark for the final time. Helmsman Dean Barker got the high speed bearaway horribly wrong, with Patriot leaping out of the water, coming down and turning onto its side.
On board footage shows the dramatic moments before Patriot capsizes, with the broadcast going still as the boat goes into the water.
An onboard camera on Luna Rossa’s boat shows the team’s reaction when American Magic tips over.
The crew on the submerged side scrambled to get clear of the giant sail which was resting on the surface.
The team’s chase boat rushed in to assist and with all crew accounted for, team members frantically began opening hatches on the deck to see if water had got inside the hull.
That appeared to be the case with the boat sitting alarmingly low in the water when it was eventually righted.
Drama happened all day with the race between INEOS Team UK and Luna Rossa initially having to be abandoned after four legs, because of a dramatic wind change.
Stuff / TVNZ
Stuff’s Duncan Johnstone and Todd Niall review a dramatic day three of the Prada Cup.
Weather has been the main story this weekend. The previous day boats drifted around the course, desperately searching for puffs, but on Sunday there was too much weather.
The latest twist in the Prada Cup was caused by a huge wind shift, making the boats almost unsailable.
Strong winds were always expected to shift from north to north westerly at some point during the day and it was confirmed that if it happened during a race, it would be abandoned and the course rotated.
In the pre-start INEOS Team UK went out of bounds, picking up a needless penalty, so had to follow Luna Rossa over the line.
Down the first leg the Italian boat kept a narrow lead of around 90 metres and they rounded the first mark with an 11-second advantage.
At the bottom gate they were a further six seconds ahead and at the midway point their lead was 44 seconds.
But on the fourth leg INEOS Team UK benefitted from a wind shift and remarkably went through gate four in front. But the wind then died and Luna Rossa crawled around the mark 40 seconds after the Brits.
However, INEOS Team UK skipper Sir Ben Ainslie had trouble turning his boat back towards the next gate and soon after the boundary line was crossed the race was abandoned.
American Magic capsized after Dean Barker lost control of the boat while racing at more than 40 knots.
When the race was rerun, the conditions had calmed considerably, with neither boat getting much of an advantage from the restart.
But Luna Rossa was through gate one with a 10-second lead, which was down to seven seconds by gate two and went through gate three at exactly the same time.
It was the next leg that was the crucial one, as INEOS Team UK tactician Giles Scott did a superb job in plotting the right route and they were up by 26 seconds at the next gate.
Luna Rossa cut the lead to 12 seconds at the penultimate gate, but lost another six seconds down the final leg.
In the second race of the day, Luna Rossa came close to hitting American Magic in the pre-start, but there was no penalty given and they crossed the start line with a small lead.
However, American Magic was narrowly in front at the first gate and was leading by 13 seconds at gate two.
Luna Rossa was given a penalty for going out of bounds on leg three as they lost another 14 seconds.
The race looked in the bag for American Magic, but sensationally coming around the last mark there was a big left shift, the boat rose up and flipped over.
Thankfully all the crew were safe, while Luna Rossa safely sailed home for their second win.
AT A GLANCE
INEOS Team UK – 4 points
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team – 2
New York Yacht Club American Magic – 0