...." He hoped the supercharged catamarans would catapult the 162-year-old event into the modern age and transform it into a spectator sport fit for TV.
In terms of the hardware, Mr. Ellison has succeeded. When the wings and wind are properly aligned, the 72-foot boats—or AC72s, as they are known—literally lift out of the water, supported only by the foils on their daggerboards, the retractable keels that drop down from each of the hulls. The vessels skim across the water at speeds of close to 50 miles per hour."
I agree, they are really a beautiful thing to watch and to sail:
... "British sailor Andrew Simpson's death is the latest evidence that the current competition is fundamentally flawed."
And why a solitary and only grave and fatal personal accident is evidence of that?
This accident was not even similar to the one with Oracle and It seems to me a double case of bad luck: the boat breaking without warning and collapsing in a way that trapped a sailor behind it.
The Hydroptere capsized at near 60K without any serious causalities, lots of capsizes with the smaller AC45, a capsize with the AC 72 and nobody hurt seriously. Why a bad luck dead is evidence of something except bad luck.
Racing is dangerous, racing with more speed is more dangerous but I don't see evidence that this racing is more dangerous than car racing or motorcycle racing at top level. Slow boat racing was less dangerous true, but what kind of racing sport is raced in slow machines when there are fast ones? who wants to race in slow boats? Who wants to see slow boats racing?
"... The wipeout came as a surprise to many—but not to the sailors. They already knew that AC72s are dangerous, overpowered beasts that are always skating on the edge of catastrophe."
This is simply ridiculous. Here you have a practice race where you can see that the boats as far from being overpowered or at the edge of catastrophe and they are still learning how to sail those boats. Put it on full screen and enjoy