Artemis test boat damaged on Great Sound
The mast of Artemis Racing's America's Cup test boat came crashing down in the Great Sound yesterday. No one was hurt after the mast of the Swedish challenger's AC45T2 test boat came down across the starboard hull of their catamaran.
“We were following Artemis Racing as they went flying along, foiling up on a daggerboard in a building breeze,” said Chris Burville, who was out photographing practice action. “They were going quite fast downwind, heading from the Fort Scaur area North into Cavello Bay. Suddenly the boat seemed to turn, most likely in a gybe manoeuvre [crossing with the wind swapping sides behind the boat] and the mast came down in a jumble of wreckage. It was all very sudden.”
Spectators on shore reported hearing a loud bang and turned to see the hard-wing mainsail already over the side.
Reports from an Artemis team member were that no one aboard was injured, but the boat suffered serious damage. Luckily for the team, it was the turbo test platform used to develop systems and foil designs that was damaged and not the America's Cup Class 50-footer that Artemis will race, beginning May 26.
“As the team chase boats approached,” Burville said. “Sailors were standing on the decks of the sailless catamaran.
“The wing sail had fallen forward across the starboard hull. There was no panic when the chase boats came alongside. Some of the sailors got off on to the powerboat, and other crew got aboard. They fastened floats to parts of the catamaran to keep everything afloat. The sail was flat in the water at a weird angle. One of the hulls also seemed to be on its side.”
Artemis posted a brief statement on Facebook. “During a practice session Artemis Racing's development boat (T2) sustained beam damage whilst training,” it read. “There were no injuries.”