Alinghi Red Bull Racing suffered some serious rudder damage during a bear-away off Barcelona on Thursday.
The Swiss AC75, BoatZero, suffered damage when the rudder let go whilst beginning an exit from a fast reach, bearing away in around 12 knots of breeze towards the Barcelonetta beach.
When the yacht was brought back to base, it was clear that the rudder stock broke from the quadrant and through the fairing.
Hitting an unidentified object in the water has not been ruled out, though there does not appear to be any damage on the leading edge of the rudder.
It is most likely a structural issue, to be confirmed.
The Chase Boat tenders were in fast and as a precaution put water-pumps onboard which weren’t needed.
The sails were rapidly lowered, a tow line was attached, and the second tender acted as steerage to coax BoatZero back to the base at the mouth of the Port Vell.
The Alinghi Red Bull Racing team will now go into a period of heavy analysis to get to the bottom of the issue.
Arthur Rozand, a key member of the Swiss design team in the VPP department confirmed that there was not much structural damage.
The programme will now switch to the AC40 and as Rozand so eloquently put it: “We are quite lucky to have a lot of boats, so we’ll have fun on the AC40, that’s the next step.”
Recon Reported Onboard:
Driving Group: Arnaud Psarofaghis / Nicolas Charbonnier
Trimmers: Bryan Mettraux / Nicolas Rolaz
Power Group: Théry Schir / Florian Trüb / Barnabé Delarze / Nils Theuninck
Dean Barker was on board observing as passenger. Pietro Sibello and Ernesto Bertarelli were on separate chase boats.