America's Cup 2021: Rival skipper Sir Ben Ainslie stunned by 'horrific' American Magic crash

Team INEOS UK skipper Sir Ben Ainslie was one of the many onlookers left stunned by NYYC American Magic's spectacular capsizing on the Hauraki Gulf on Sunday.

Ainslie, who was watching from the sidelines after he had led Team UK to victory over Italy's Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team for his fourth straight win in the Challenger Series in Auckland, saw the American Magic yacht 'Patriot' crash and overturn around the final mark while leading its race against the Italian team.

The four-time Olympic champion expressed his relief that the incident hadn't been worse.

"I don't know much about what happened, I've seen the video of the manoeuvre and it's just horrific," says Sir Ben. "You don't want to see that for anyone, either your own team or any other team. 

"We're going out there racing hard against one another, but, at the end of the day, it's a sporting contest and we want everyone to be safe and we want everyone to be racing, so I just feel for those guys, for Dean (Barker, the helmsman) and Terry (Hutchinson, the skipper), the rest of the team.

"I just really hope they are able to sort things out and get back on track, no one wants to see that."

The American team confirmed that noone was injured during the incident.

The hole in the hull of 'Patriot' caused by Sunday's capsizing.
The hole in the hull of 'Patriot' caused by Sunday's capsizing. Photo credit: Photosport

"The team's AC75 racing yacht 'Patriot' was damaged during the incident and began taking on water," they said.

"Patriot has been stabilised and is in the process of being towed slowly back to shore. We'd like to again express our sincere thanks to our competitors... for immediately coming to our assistance."

The capsizing completed a sorry weekend for the American team who failed to win any of their four races against the British and Italian teams and face a tough battle to progress to the America's Cup itself against defending champions Emirates Team New Zealand in March.


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