America’s Cup 2021: Phil Robertson – The mistakes that led to American Magic’s capsize


We saw yesterday how in just the blink of an eye, a team’s Prada Cup campaign could be sunk.

It’s an extremely tricky manoeuvre that led to American Magic’s dramatic capsize in race two against Luna Rossa.

They were basically going from a reach, so breeze at 90 degrees, into a roundup, tack, and then bear away back onto a reach. The manoeuvre they tried to do is very difficult and they simply rushed it.

American Magic had quite a big lead and at quite an intense moment, with a big gust of breeze, rushed the whole manoeuvre and got it horribly wrong.

When they did tack, they went straight into the bear away where they could have probably held for a few seconds, settled to get everything under control, then turn downwind. When they did turn straight downwind, it looked like they finished the turn at too high of an angle.

Another thing during that moment is that the leeward runner, which is the backstay, didn’t get let right off so it stopped the mainsail from being eased out, which is depowering the boat. That’s when it started to tip over as well as the course they were steering was not as far down as they needed to go.

In that moment, they had way too much power and tipped the boat over. When it did that, they lost their rudder lift through ventilation and the back dropped out of the sky and shot the boat up to the moon.

The most important thing is the safety of the people on board and these boats are designed with that in mind. The guys have had safety training and they all have oxygen on them, knives on them if they need to cut themselves free. It looked like everyone got out okay. Then it was onto the slow tipping of the boat and unfortunately, it doesn’t look too good right now.

What happens now for American Magic? What goes on in my mind is the thing has been underwater, the whole platform has been underwater, so all your electronics have been exposed to saltwater. If they’re not completely sealed then there’s potential it’ll need to be binned.

The structural damage to the platform as well will be huge factor. They’ve got a massive job ahead of them. Whether they can recover from this is yet to be known. If they will make next Friday is a question only they could answer, but from my experience it will be a huge push.

While American Magic are the obvious losers of the opening three days, it’s also clear who the big winners have been.

Ineos Team UK just keep going from strength to strength. In race one yesterday they proved they are going fast downwind in that breeze and they are simply sailing really well.

Their boat is nothing special but they’ve made huge improvements over Christmas which is great. They are now a competitive boat and they are doing the right things. They’re getting the starts right, they’re putting the boat in the right place and they’re pulling off all their manoeuvres. That’s the complete package. They’re not relying on one thing, they’re getting it all right.

I can’t believe we’re looking at Ineos Team UK at 4-0, Luna Rossa with two wins now and American Magic with none and potentially not even a boat to race with this coming weekend. Not good times for American Magic but Ineos Team UK have a lot of confidence and the momentum behind them.

Heading into the Cup racing?

• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus to watch the Cup.

• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It’s the best way to ride.

• Don’t forget to scan QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app when on public transport and entering the America’s Cup Village.

• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit

Source: Read Full Article