Incurring the Wrath of Progress

Published on February 8th, 2018

While training for the America’s Cup, French skipper Franck Cammas fell off a GC32 catamaran in France and nearly lost his foot after getting struck by the yacht’s rudder.

Closer to the Cup, Oracle Team USA crew Graeme Spence escaped injury after going overboard in front of the main beam and miraculously passing between all foils in the two hulls.

The risks are real as the sport continues to explore foiling. “When you’re pioneering new engineering, technology, construction and designs, there’s a lot of finding out where the edge is,” notes America’s Cup winning skipper Glenn Ashby. “We don’t want anyone injured, but these boats certainly push everyone to their limits.”

Danish Danish Nacra 17 team of Lin Cenholt and CP Lübeck, ranked fifth in the world, are the latest to incur the wrath of progress. When Lubeck’s trapeze hook broke, he was sent over the side of the boat and had his leg sliced by the T-foil rudder. The incident occurred while the Danes were competing in the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta in Auckland, New Zealand.

Here’s an update by CP from their Facebook page:
“I have got 30 stitches – so it is a big wound. But I was really lucky. It seems like no damage on the ligaments, bones and nervous system. I got a cut in one of the big arteries, so it was bleeding a lot when I was in the water and it looked scary.

“The doctors have just closed the artery, so my leg will have to survive without that one – but it shouldn’t be a problem. The reason why the bandage is so big is, that my ankle needs to be in the same position, so I can’t stretch the wound.

“The main focus now is to keep it calm and make sure the wound doesn’t get infected. Next step is to get the stitches out. That will probably happen in less than three weeks. And then I can start up my recovery training. It is hard to know when I will be back sailing, but hopefully I can jump on the boat in two months’ time 🙂 ”


Video taken prior to the accident:

 

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