This is very sad to read. When we visited with Frank Bethwaite shortly before his passing, Doug asked him if the new AC design was intentionally designed to be spectacularly unstable. He thought about it and simply said yes. It seems to me that the price of making the sport appealing to watch is simply too high. This is a tragic loss.
Very sad news indeed.I think it might be unwise to read too much about the design of the boat into one tragic accident. After all people die sailing 420s. But the AC72s certainly do look extremely dangerous and even if this America's Cup goes ahead as planned I do wonder if the AC72s will ever be used again in the AC.
I'm sure it's the thrill of a lifetime. As even a 420 is for a junior. We all know the risks of sailing and we all still choose to sail. But it's soooo very sad when things go wrong.
Nobody should die doing something they love to do, but if you asked them, they'd probably prefer it to be no other way.
Very sad news, shocked to hear it this morning.
Tragic. RIP Andrew. My thoughs and prayers are with his family.Like Pam I have my concerns about the boats. You can die sailing any boat, but only in an AC72 will you fall from such a ridiculous height in a capsize. And they do seem to be designed to capsize easily. the risks seem multiplied compared to other classes.
We lost one of the good guys yesterday. So sad
This may not be a personal safety issue but it seems to me thata) these boats are prone to capsizeb) when they do capsize they seem to suffer major breakages.Didn't Oracle totally destroy their wing sail when they capsized an AC72. And looking at the pictures from yesterday it looks like Artemis have snapped one of the hulls in two (or am I mistaken?)It will be a shame if the AC match is decided by which boat manages to destroy itself first.
The early reports at that "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."http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/05/americas-cup-crash/
Oh, so it wasn't a straightforward capsize but a breakage first? That bit about "the hulls began sailing in slightly different directions" sounds pretty scary.In any case I am sure today is a day for grieving and supporting each other for the whole community of sailors and support staff at the AC in San Francisco. Our thoughts are with them and Andrew's family.
The rules for America's Cup have become bullshite. J-class and 12 meter boats were awesome. IACC started to stray off the rez IMO and now the boats are totally wacko. No boat design is "bad", but let's all be on the same page when we race. Could there be a "Laser" race that included a multi-hull? Not. America's Cup has lost all meaning to me. (can I enter a turbine powered boat?) And now a life.Namu amida butsu.
I so agree with Pandabonium. AC has lost all meaning. Not because of this tragic and unneccesary death, but because it just isn't sailing anymore. Pam mentioned it, and others have said it before. AC is now about one thing: Attracting television at any cost. It was only a matter of time before this accident would happen. Everybody knew it, and marketing loved it.Question is: Is it really neccessary to use boats like the AC72 to get an exciting yachtrace. I say no.