A dramatic capsize by the Kiwi AC75 Te Rehutai in a practice race with the INEOS Team UK’s Britannia.
Emirates Team New Zealand said afterwards that, “We got a little too high in the gybe and stopped pretty quick.”
The Kiwi team faced a British team who were determined to show that they had solved their handling problems and saw Ben Ainslie at his best, winning both starts.
The New Zealanders were under pressure coming into the bottom mark and flunked the gybe, with a classic AC75 ‘down-the-mine’ capsize as the bow buried.
The upside was that these boats showed that they can recover from such a dramatic situation, and no one was injured.
Practice racing started in just about perfect conditions . . . a southwesterly breeze of 18-23 knots, on flat water and bright sunshine.
First Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailed against American Magic, then ETNZ sailed against Ineos Team UK with practice starts, and short windward-leeward courses.
The Italian and American teams concentrated on practice starts rather than full course racing.
These two days of practice racing come just before the challenger teams declare their boat set-up on Wednesday (13 Jan) and then begin racing on Friday to decide who gets to actually face the Kiwi ETNZ team in the 36th America’s Cup.