Yachting: Team NZ collides with official boat

Skipper Dean Barker said he had to luff to avoid a couple of spectator boats and lifted a hull to avoid the official boat. Photo / Warren Buckland.
Skipper Dean Barker said he had to luff to avoid a couple of spectator boats and lifted a hull to avoid the official boat. Photo / Warren Buckland.

Team New Zealand's AC45 America's Cup yacht has collided with an official boat in practice racing at the World Series Newport Regatta today.

The drama happened in the end of the third and final race in a 12-18 knot breeze.

Skipper Dean Barker said he had to luff to avoid a couple of spectator boats and lifted a hull to avoid the official boat. A collision could not be avoided and the port hull of the AC45 came into contact with the mark boat's rail.

"It probably looked more spectacular than it was. No one was hurt and neither boat suffered serious damage," Barker said.

The AC45's under-rigging and the port rudder were damaged and will be repaired overnight. Barker said the AC45 will be back on the water tomorrow.

Another mishap came in the form of an injury to trimmer James Dagg, who received a knock to the head early in the day after colliding with tactician Ray Davies' elbow during a manoeuvre. Doctors have cleared him to sail tomorrow and Davies reported no ill-effects to his elbow.

With a third, second and sixth placing, Barker was satisfied with the day's sailing which followed some intensive training in the few days since arriving at Newport in the United States.

- APNZ

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