On Saturday, this notice was released by the Alinghi team. Ed Baird and others were in development mode on a borrowed boat, preparing for a likely Deed of Gift match for the America's Cup to be sailed in large multihulls. The capsize will have no bearing on arguments to be heard Wednesday in a New York court regarding the timing of a match—KL
At 11:30 this morning, in 20 plus knots and a lumpy Atlantic swell, the 60ft trimaran Foncia capsized off Lorient with Alinghi sailors onboard. Of the 10 crew onboard, Piet van Niekerk and Francesco Rapetti were airlifted to hospital, both are safe and with no serious injuries. The rest of the crew along with consultant Alain Gautier were involved in securing the boat and towing it ashore, the sailors are shaken but unhurt.
Ed Baird, who was onboard, provides some insight into what happened: “As we were bearing away, always the highest risk situation on a multi-hull, both the leeward and the central hull dug into the water and the rudders came out. From then it was out of our hands and we capsized forwards. As the mast hit the water, it broke, followed by the rear beam.” He continues: “The crew reacted very quickly in getting everyone back on board, doing a head count and checking injuries before calling for help and beginning to secure the boat.”
Foncia is currently being towed into the harbour upside down to be craned out and assessed for damage. “We have all been through crashes and capsizes before, this is all part of the sport,” says Ed Baird, adding “however this is a temporary situation with Foncia and is not our equipment, so it is even more disappointing to us that we are involved in damaging someone else’s gear. We have learned a valuable lesson here and now must get to work to fix things up for Alain [Gautier].”
Filed March 29, 2008