America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ capsize AC45 in Auckland

Emirates Team New Zealand take their AC45 for its first sail on the Waitemata harbour in Auckland. 16/3/2011

Emirates Team New Zealand today confirmed that their AC45 had capsized in Auckland while training today.

The one design wingsailed catamaran left the Viaduct Harbour just before 1000hrs this morning and returned soon after noon.

A Team confirmed the incident had taken place when approached by Sail-World, saying the time of the capsize was late this this morning (Wednesday) NZT.

The yacht toppled on to its side as it rounded a mark. No one was injured. The yacht was righted without incident and it sailed back to base, Sail-World was told.

Minor damage to the top of the wing will be repaired overnight and the yacht will be back on the water tomorrow.

Skipper Dean Barker said the capsize was all part of the learning process. 'Every time we take the yacht out we test to the limits in the conditions prevailing otherwise there’s no point to the testing process.'

No cameras were on hand to video the incident. A southwesterly wind (offshore) was blowing at the time gusting to 29 kts.

Emirates Team NZ are the second team to capsize an AC45. The first being the Swedish Artemis Racing about a month ago, when the wing stalled and the yacht tipped over while the crew were taking a break in training. The damage took three days to repair.

On that occasion the damage was more severe, and for America's Cup event organisers and teams it is encouraging to see that the wingsailed boats can capsize without creating major rig destruction.

The AC45 is due to be sailing tomorrow along with Camper, the Emirates Team NZ campaigned Volvo 70, launched last week.

Trials for the 34th America's Cup race management are due to get underway next week on the Hauraki Gulf, and are not expected to be impacted by this incident.