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.
Peyron was following in a chase boat, so had a pretty good view. It is not the final word, but definitely key testimony from an expert witness. Here’s the key point Peyron makes in the story:
The accident was “a classic capsize situation,” said Loick Peyron, one of the team’s two helmsmen. He confirmed that the yacht capsized, as has been reported, while the Artemis crew was executing a bear-away maneuver: a downwind turn away from the breeze that has been a particular challenge in this class of Cup boats.
Just saw this, and it is well worth watching. I wonder what Simpson would think of what is now happening to the Cup that he gave his life for, and the idea that his death might be used to try to rewrite the design rules for competitive advantage.
A few days ago, Ainslie attended the funeral of his friend Andrew Simpson. The next day he and his crew went out and broke a 16-year old record by racing their AC45 around the Isle Of Wight in 2 hours 52 minutes and 15 seconds (beating the old record by some 16 minutes).
It was a fitting way to pay tribute to Simpson, and a perfect sailing day.
There’s nothing like a first sail for a brand new model in 35 knots of breeze. It comes with the territory for builders like Robertson & Caine in Cape Town, and is fitting for Leopard cats, built to cross oceans. Leopard 40 hull #1 handled the wind and seas with ease on her first sail last week. The Leopard 40 Launch playlist has a full series of video interviews and other footage cataloging the birth of the Leopard 40.
A stirring tribute to a sailor who always seemed to be smiling. It’s a nice testament to, by all accounts, a great guy and a great sailor. Which only makes it all the more saddening that he lost his life for something that is as essentially trivial (in a cosmic sense) as that plaything of billionaires–the America’s Cup.