David Campbell-James breathed a huge sigh of relief yesterday after learning that his son had escaped injury when the Land Rover BAR catamaran he was sailing capsized during a training exercise.
The British challenger’s second high-tech AC45, referred to as T2, ran into difficulty off of the Isle of Wight in 15 to 19 knots of wind when an issue with the wing inversion initiated a capsize to windward.
Damage to the boat was sustained to a section of the wing while none of the crew were injured.
Among the crew was Paul Campbell-James, who serves as a tactician.
“It’s very worrying having a son who is sailing and so the first thought was, is the crew okay,” Campbell-James said. “Fortunately, our daughter-in-law at home immediately sent an e-mail saying the boat had capsized but everyone is okay. It will be interesting to hear what my son says about that.”
Campbell-James was the principal race officer for the Amlin International Moth Regatta that concluded in the Great Sound yesterday.
Land Rover BAR launched what they claim is the most technologically advanced yacht to hit the water several days before the team travelled to Bermuda in October for the final leg of the 2015 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series.
The multihull racing yacht boasts technological advancements from the aerospace industry, and has been described as a “fighter jet on water”.
The 45ft catamaran, sailed by a crew of six, is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 50mph and will fly on hydrofoils the size of a wakeboard, while lifting the weight of a fully loaded London taxi.
To further reduce weight and increase efficiency, practical technology from Formula One and other motor sports has been integrated into the boat’s hydraulic systems.
“Everyone on the design, engineering and shore teams, have put everything they have got into this boat,” Sir Ben Ainslie, the Land Rover BAR skipper and team principal, said just days before the mishap. “All of the sailing team are grateful and privileged to get the opportunity to test fly this unique craft.”
Land Rover BAR plan to resume training in their second test boat in the new year.
This story appeared in The Royal Gazette on December 11th, 2015.