Crazy Day in the 35th America’s Cup
The ETNZ capsize is at the end of this video – and ETNZ now has another day to repair their boat before sailing against Ben Ainslie – photo: Getty
And Ben Ainslie had obviously won the start against ETNZ – what a pity…
It was a day of spills on the Great Sound, with SoftBank’s Dean Barker saying: “We’re obviously thrilled with the day. It was pretty full on by any standards…”
“There was plenty of breeze, I think we hit our top speed since we’ve been sailing.
“It’s a fantastic effort by the guys on the boat because Chris and I are sitting there somewhat locked up and the four other guys are flogging themselves senseless trying to keep developing the foil to allow us to develop the rake and wing functions.
“And three laps is very taxing on the crew and they did the an amazing job today.”
Artemis Racing’s helm Nathan Outteridge explained: “We had a bit of a stuff just before the start began. We were coming round the bottom mark just trying to get a feel for the course before the start and blew out a bunch of fairings at the front.
“We had to spend a lot of time just to bandage up the boat to get going.
“It just shows how fragile these boats are. I was talking to Dean before and he said they also had little issues on their boat and you’ve just got to keep chipping away.
“It’s pretty tough out there as Dean was saying, but the boat’s back in the shed now and they’re going over it doing the checks I’m sure it’ll be good for tomorrow.
“Most of the stuff was cosmetic but there were a few other bits and pieces that were holding us back as well.”
Ben Ainslie said simply: “It was an amazing day of sailing, the most exciting exhilarating sailing I’ve ever been involved in.
“Ultimately we were pleased with how we sailed as a team.
“All of the teams were struggling to get the boats around the course today they’re so physical and if you get one of the manoeuvres slightly wrong it puts you on the back foot for the rest of the race.
“Our guys did a great job, but ultimately, one loss and one win considering the conditions today, we’re happy with that.”
Talking about the ETNZ capsize, Ben said: “The incident happened just as Emirates Team New Zealand were crossing the start line. We’d been dialled up and it’s a tough bear away, a big, deep bear away which, in those conditions, isn’t easy.
“It looked like to me it was just a slight misjudgement on the rake and the angle, but all of us sitting here not going to pass criticism.”
Ben added: “These boats are incredibly hard to sail and these things can happen, but everyone’s fine on the boat and they’re be out racing tomorrow or the next day.
Artemis Racing’s helmsman, Nathan Outteridge, said: “It looked like one of those moments. You’ll have seen how close we got Dean when we had a little nose stuff, and then we looked up and saw them a boat’s length ahead, with their boat under water as well.
“So we bailed out of that situation, turned up and stopped, which eventually put us out of bounds.
“I was a bit nervous we were going to do something like Pete did right in front of us and we were going to be put right on top of them.
He added: “Our reflex was to get out of that situation, but I got a good look at what ETNZ did and, as Ben was saying, they turned it down quite hard trying to get through the start line and a split second decision can put the boat upside down quite quickly.”
Dean Barker said he hadn’t seen the incident, so couldn’t really comment.
Later in the day, ETNZ helmsman Peter Burling told the press the boat had sustained quite a bit of damage: “But all the guys on board are safe and we have no major injuries. This is quite a relief when you’ve seen a few of them falling off.
“But I saw them with their heads above water and they’re all fine.
“They’re taking the boat out and assessing the damage, of which we have quite a bit, but we feel like we’ll be able to repair it and get back into action.
“The winds were pretty close to the upper limits, but that’s all part of it.
He went on to say: “The first race was a massive effort for the whole team and when we first sheeted on out there we sustained fair bit of damage to our wing, so we went back in and put the second wing in the boat try and get back out for the start.
“And to repay them with a race win was incredibly pleasing. That was a full team effort. We made it by a couple of minutes.
“On the second race, as we went to accelerate we got really high and then proceeded into a big bow down trim.
“We’ve not reviewed the footage, so we’re not really certain what caused it yet.”
On getting back out there, Burling said: “I think we’ll have to wait and see. They’re already working on the repairs and getting us back out there.
“We’ll bounce back from this. At some stage we’ll get the boat back to 100%, but right now we’re still assessing the damage.”