Bristol-built Patriot sustains significant damage in capsize

Posted 1/20/21

It was a rough end to the weekend on the other side of the world when Patriot, one of the Bristol-built AC75 foiling monohull American Magic yachts built to challenge for the America’s Cup, …

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Bristol-built Patriot sustains significant damage in capsize

Posted

It was a rough end to the weekend on the other side of the world when Patriot, one of the Bristol-built AC75 foiling monohull American Magic yachts built to challenge for the America’s Cup, capsized in dramatic fashion while leading during one of the Prada Cup races in New Zealand.

Just before disaster struck, Patriot was leading her race against Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli when a 25-knot rain squall sent Patriot airborne and then crashing down onto her side.

After following capsize procedures, and determining that all crew were safe, American Magic righted the yacht to discover that she was sitting low in the water. That was the first indication that the boat sustained some real damage in the incident: a hole on the port side.

The America’s Cup contender was designed and built by a 150-person team over the past several years, largely in Bristol — for much of that time in relative secrecy. It was only her 44th day of sailing, and third day racing in the Prada Cup.

A massive effort began immediately to save the boat, and everyone from fellow competitors to race officials and local rescue personnel chipped in to lend a hand.

The boat finally made it back to shore hours later, well after dark, at about 10:45 p.m. local time.

“First and foremost, we are incredibly grateful and thankful that everybody is safe,” said Terry Hutchinson, skipper and executive director of American Magic, in a statement. “The team did an incredible job getting Patriot back to the dock.”

“The response from the local community here was incredible, and you can’t give enough thanks to the police, fire and local authorities for their quick response,” said Hutchinson shortly after stepping ashore. “The response from the other teams was amazing, too. It was certainly heartwarming to see all the support, and obviously we needed it because this was a crisis situation. Huge thanks to Emirates Team New Zealand, to INEOS Team UK, and to Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli for coming out and helping us.”

Now the task remains to repair Patriot and get her back in action as quickly as possible — a serious challenge with only 12 days remaining until the Prada Cup semifinals.

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