Emirates Team NZ have suffered what’s been described by skipper Peter Burling as the “biggest bang” they’ve had during testing on the Waitemata Harbour.
The J2 sail – the second biggest in their arsenal – broke away at the bow, forcing the monohull to jolt violently in the water.
Fortunately, nobody was injured in the incident, with the crew on that side of the boat able to evade the flapping sail, as it wrapped around the mast.
“It’s probably the biggest bang we’ve had this campaign and obviously we’re pretty thankful that everyone was safe down to leeward,” said skipper Peter Burling.
Team NZ are in their final phase of testing, before departing for Barcelona, where they’ll get into the thick of their preparations for next year’s defence of the ‘Auld Mug’.
Burling says the team need to push the limits at this stage of their build-up and the incident is simply a byproduct of that ambition. The damage is understood to be minor.
“You want to be pushing the boundaries, you want to be pushing it super hard and we are definitely up on the edge of some things,” said Burling. “To try to find where the edge is and for us to continue to learn as a group to push the boundaries is right where we want to be.
“These last few days have been invaluable to us at this stage of the programme to make sure we make some good decisions going forward.”
In coming months, Te Rehutai will be shipped to Spain, where the team and crew will be based for the NZ winter.