America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ survive high-speed nosedive during Waitemata Harbour testing

Emirates Team NZ appear to have emerged unscathed from a high-speed dive during a testing run on Waitemata Harbour this week.

Witnessed by Sail-World NZ editor Richard Gladwell and videographer Justin Mitchell, the incident occurred in perfect sailing conditions, adjacent to the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, as the boat rounded the inner harbour mark.

"As the LEQ12 turns, it goes bow down and flies even higher on the foils," said Gladwell. "The effect of both actions is for the rudder elevator to come clear of the water and at that point, the nosedive and capsize becomes inevitable.

"The reassuring aspect of the latest incident is that there was no damage to the AC40 hull and once right - which took a few minutes - the crew changed to a No.3 jib, and continued with a couple more up and downwind runs, before sailing back to the team base.

"No-one was injured in the incident. The LEQ12 was righted and after changing the jib, the team continued with a couple more test runs, before calling it a day."

Team NZ have now crashed twice, as they push their test boat to learn more about its limits and make modifications.

The previous incident occurred in mid-November off Waiheke Island, causing "catastrophic" damage.

"Since that incident, the bow section of the AC40 was re-designed and strengthened," said Gladwell.

The 37th America's Cup will be contested at Barcelona in September/October 2024, between holders Team NZ and winners of the challengers series, either Swiss Alinghi, Italians Luna Rossa, American Magic, Britannia or K-Challenge Racing.