America's Cup: Man overboard drama for Team New Zealand

Team New Zealand had a man overboard drama while training in Bermuda today.

The incident, which was captured by local cameraman Jason Smith, occurred as the crew began to set up for a manoeuvre, in the transition between hulls. It is difficult to identify from the footage which crew member it was that was tossed over the side, but it appears to have been wingsail trimmer and skipper Glenn Ashby.

The multihull veteran appeared to have mistimed a few steps and got his footing wrong as he moved across the boat. Unable to stop, he elected to take a leap to ensure he was well clear of the rudder, which, at the speeds the 50-ft America's Cup Class catamarans travel, could cause serious injury.

Today was a rather light air day on the Great Sound, with winds estimated at between 5-10 knots.

The sodden sailor was picked up shortly afterwards by the Emirates Team New Zealand chase boat, and appeared uninjured.

Losing crew overboard has been a reasonably common occurrence in this edition of the Cup, with the g-forces the sailors are exposed to in manoeuvres making moving between hulls a precarious experience. To date no one has been injured.

Perhaps the bigger talking point from Team NZ's training today was the set-up of their race boat, with the Kiwi team sailing without a jib for a period. It is believed to be the first time this has been seen by one of the America's Cup crews on the Great Sound.

Despite the light conditions Team NZ appeared to be foiling easily. The benefit of sailing without a job is it allows the towering wingsail to operate in air that is undisturbed by the jib.

For more America's Cup footage from Bermuda's Jason Smith, check out MyIslandHomeBDA.

- NZ Herald

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