Footage of the incident, which recently emerged, shows the 15 metre foiling catamaran lurching forward during a dock manoeuvre as an unexpected gust of wind seems to take the six-man crew by surprise.
The rigid wingsails fitted to the America’s Cup raceboats measure 23.5 metres tall, and the power they generate can become difficult to manage if the conditions change suddenly.
In a recent Boat International column, Ainslie explained that his recently launched R1 has “a lot more grunt” that its America’s Cup World Series predecessor, the 13.45 metre AC45F. “We should see the boats exceed three times wind speed,” the four-time Olympic gold medalist predicted.
Land Rover BAR has not made any statement about the crash, but it is unlikely to have a huge impact on the team’s development programme, as these foiling catamarans have been designed with replaceable bow sections, allowing for repairs to be carried out quickly.
The 35th Americas Cup gets underway in Bermuda on May 26, and Land Rover BAR is one of the favourites for the Auld Mug. Ainslie’s team came out on top in the 2015-16 America’s Cup World Series, thus earning a two-point headstart going into the Challenger Series, which will decide who takes on the Defender, Oracle Team USA for the top prize.