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Too Big, Too Powerful, Too Dangerous

Published on June 24th, 2013

Paul Cayard, the CEO of Artemis Racing, hasn’t done much talking since their America’s Cup training accident on May 9 that destroyed their boat and killed crewman Andrew Simpson. But he’s talking now… here’s what he said in an interview with the SF Chronicle

“San Francisco is one of the windiest venues in the world. But that’s a good thing if you’ve got the right tool for it. It’s a horrible thing if you’ve got the wrong tool. Right now we’ve got the wrong tool. We’ve got a boat (AC72) that’s made for San Diego (where the winds are much lighter), and we’re trying to race it in San Francisco.

“We knew it for a long time, and we probably never really as an event grabbed that reality enough and did something about it. So the Oracle capsize (in October) opened everybody’s eyes: Even the 72-footers can tip over. Fortunately, nobody was hurt there, but the boat was destroyed completely. And then ours was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“The fact that this (the review of safety recommendations) is happening might save five other people’s lives. The question is: If that hadn’t happened May 9, would we be in the midst of this whole review? Would we be talking about (smaller) wind limits and bigger rudder foils?”

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