The San Francisco Chronicle weighs in with an in-depth story, that adds some details to what we know about what happened:
At this point, a confidential Artemis report says, the boat was steering into position to put the wind at its back – “bearing away” in yachting parlance. It’s a tricky maneuver, a 180-degree turn known as “the zone of death,” because the boats may accelerate out of control, while shifting from upwind to downwind.
As the Artemis AC72 attempted its downwind turn, downward pressure was put onto the front of the twin hulls, pushing them into the water. As the front of the boat dug in, the Artemis report says, the back of the boat lifted up, a situation called pitchpoling. The boat flipped, and the front beam connecting the two hulls broke, causing the portside hull to tear away from the boat. The starboard hull, along with the wing-sail, collapsed into the water.
“In my opinion, the boat was in the process of capsizing when the boat broke,” Percy said in an interview with The Chronicle. “It definitely stuffed the bow” into the water.
Artemis chase boats were on the scene of the accident, and began transferring crew members, one by one, off Big Red to the chase boat.
But the head count came up one short.
That’s about the only important info that the “confidential Artemis report” seems to reveal, so it doesn’t seem to be much of a report. But still. Following Peyron the other day, it is clear that Team Artemis is taking the line that the boat broke as a result of pitchpoling, as opposed to pitchpoling as a result of structural failure.
The difference between the two, especially in terms of liability and implications, is enormous.