Dean Barker's Team Japan have suffered a dramatic wing breakage while testing their boat in fierce conditions in Bermuda today.
The team were racing their modified AC45 test boat against Oracle at the upper wind limit of around 30 knots when a large section of their wingsail broke up.
The sudden breakage caused the boat to keel at a dangerous angle, before the crew were able to depower the boat, avoiding a catastrophic incident.
Barker said none of his crew were injured in the incident, which sent debris flying across the boat.
"Fortunately there was no injury and we managed to get the boat back to the dock safely. Understanding how hard we can push the boat is a key part of being successful next year. We are fortunate that we'll be back out sailing by the weekend," he said.
Barker is one of four ex-Team New Zealand sailors on board the Japanese boat, with Derek Saward, Jeremy Lomas and Winston Macfarlane following the Kiwi skipper out the door last year.