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post #1 of 26 Old 05-09-2013 Thread Starter
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AC 72 crashes, 1 dead

The America's Cup Artemis boat crashed at 1PM today killing one sailor who was trapped under the boat. Ironically, it was the boat without foils. The wind was blowing 25-35 knots. Looks like the boat is toast.
British double Olympic medalist dies after America's Cup racing boat capsizes on San Francisco Bay | abc7news.com

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post #2 of 26 Old 05-09-2013
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Re: AC 72 crashes, 1 dead

Preliminary reports indicate Artemis’s boat didn’t capsize because the sailors were pushing too hard or made a mistake, as was the case with Team Oracle. The problem was with the boat itself, either faulty engineering or faulty construction. The boat simply broke apart under sail, folded, then flipped. The Artemis boat has had a history of cracking and problems with the carbon fiber used in the twin “beams” — the two girders that lash the two narrow hulls together. The boat had been in and out of the shed numerous times in an attempt to correct those problems. Today, however, the forward beam — the girder in front of the sail — gave way during a practice run. The two hulls, no longer connected, began sailing in slightly different directions. This caused one hull to snap just forward of the aft beam, and the mast, held up by high-tension rigging connected to the front of the hulls, simply fell over. The boat began to cartwheel, ultimately trapping Simpson underneath and drowning him.

What Went Wrong in the Deadly America's Cup Crash | Autopia | Wired.com
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post #3 of 26 Old 05-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: AC 72 crashes, 1 dead

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[I]Preliminary reports indicate Artemis’s boat didn’t capsize because the sailors were pushing too hard or made a mistake, as was the case with Team Oracle. The problem was with the boat itself, either faulty engineering or faulty construction. The boat simply broke apart under sail, folded, then flipped.
Wow! That explains why the thing is so broken up. Can you imagine that at 40 knots with a 130 foot wing above you?? It would be terrifying and would make pitch poling look fun by comparison!
However, it could be a good thing for the AC as it puts the blame on the specific boat's construction, not the entire class.
When I first heard about the incident, I thought: "Well, at the very least, foiling will be eliminated", only to find out the boat didn't have foils! Now I'm thinking maybe a 20 or 25 knot wind threshold may be in the works. I hope not, as that's an average Summer day on the bay! However, the City is probably going to want some reassurance the Louis Vuitton and AC won't turn into a gladiator sport on the SF Bay!

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post #4 of 26 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: AC 72 crashes, 1 dead

The most unfortunate part is the car crash is what could bring more spectators to the sport. I'm not good with it.


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post #5 of 26 Old 05-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: AC 72 crashes, 1 dead

This article puts the wind at only 15 to 20 knots, and claims the cat pearled before breaking up. America's Cup boat nosedived, broke into pieces
Haven't seen any footage on You Tube, which is surprising. Seems somebody is videoing the 72's anytime they are on the bay.

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post #6 of 26 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: AC 72 crashes, 1 dead

NYT article this morning says each crew wore short-term oxygen supply - just in case. Would make it appear that Simpson was knocked unconscious or otherwise unable to get to it.
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post #7 of 26 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: AC 72 crashes, 1 dead

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This article puts the wind at only 15 to 20 knots, and claims the cat pearled before breaking up. America's Cup boat nosedived, broke into pieces
Haven't seen any footage on You Tube, which is surprising. Seems somebody is videoing the 72's anytime they are on the bay.
They said the wind was 20K gusting 30k.

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post #8 of 26 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: AC 72 crashes, 1 dead

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NYT article this morning says each crew wore short-term oxygen supply - just in case. Would make it appear that Simpson was knocked unconscious or otherwise unable to get to it.
I'm pretty sure all the teams went thru training where they jumped off a 10-meter platform and had to activate their Spare Air bottles.

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Re: AC 72 crashes, 1 dead

Had a friend on an AC45 which pitchpoled a couple of weeks ago in SFO. He was happy he was wearing a helmet: they were going 30 knots up on foils until the boat stopped and he got shot from the stern like a rock in a catapult.
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post #10 of 26 Old 05-12-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: AC 72 crashes, 1 dead

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NYT article this morning says each crew wore short-term oxygen supply - just in case. Would make it appear that Simpson was knocked unconscious or otherwise unable to get to it.
Apparently, the tanks supply about 3 minutes of air IF used sparingly. Tough to do while getting tossed around under a 72 foot cat in the cold murky waters of the SF Bay, after having possibly fallen 5 stories (in a full pitch pole)! Simpson was under for 10 minutes anyway.
They also carry knives to cut rigging.
One of the AC guys said they are now re thinking wearing the PFD's under the shirts, as the sailor doesn't have the option of removing the PFD if it's pinning him up into the wreckage. I wondered why they wore them that way, and assumed it was to reduce wind resistance, as it looks odd. Anyway, if everyone wears them on the outside, all things are equal.

Last edited by L124C; 05-12-2013 at 02:28 AM.
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