[Source: Team Korea] With the first week’s sailing behind them and with confidence growing rapidly, Team Korea’s ‘White Tiger’ AC45 catamaran ‘bit’ the crew back today when the boat capsized off Lisbon during an intense training session. In an 18 knot gusty breeze, the Team were practising advanced manoeuvres after making excellent progress all week. There were no injuries to any of the crew, and no damage to the boat or wing.
Skipper Chris Draper said, ‘’we have been pushing the boat and the manoeuvres harder and harder all week, and today midway through our session we got caught out. We were trying a manoeuvre perhaps a little too early in our plan and paid the price when it didn’t go well! Our guys reacted very quickly and the wing touched down slowly with everyone safe and uninjured. The support boat was very fast to help and we had the boat upright and damage free within three minutes, but it shows these ‘Cat’s have to be respected. After assessing the situation we were clear to get the boat wound up again and continued our training session’’ He continued, ‘’I’d like to say what a great job the support team and the guys on board did in being able to right the boat so quickly and not damage anything. We lost one winch handle, so it was actually very encouraging that we were able continue sailing and move on from this quickly’’.
When asked afterwards about the experience Chris said, ‘’in many ways it’s good to have got this out of the way and behind us. It’s all been in our minds of course, and we were able to deal with it quickly and efficiently. These things are going to happen when you start to push hard, but we learnt a lot from the situation and will be able to improve the righting process further – if it happens again. Apart from that we are pleased with our progress and see today’s ‘blip’ as a positive, it’s done and we’re through it ok. These are really physically demanding boats and we’re learning more about how to handle it every day – clearly you can’t take any liberties with these cats..’’.
The spectacular ‘White Tiger’ has become a regular sight off Lisbon, and will continue to sail there for the next week before moving up to Cascais ahead of the America’s Cup World Series event beginning August 6th.