The series front running SuperFoiler Euroflex and her America’s Cup powerhouse crew will surrender precious points after being forced to sit out the action on Friday and are in serious doubt for the entire weekend after she suffered a structural failure in a Busselton training run.
“The boat fell apart today in training,” said Euroflex skipper and Olympic Gold medallist Nathan Outteridge, “It looks like a can opener has gone along the side of the boat.”
“We just started hearing a cracking noise and saw the back of the boat explode as we were squaring up to go down wind. That sound and feeling when you are on trapeze is not ideal,” said Euroflex’s mainsheet trimmer and America’s Cup winner Glenn Ashby.
The Euroflex rudder stock snapped in training, puncturing Euroflex’s starboard float and leaving the Championship leader with an unlikely mountain to scale – and the hopes of a Busselton return hanging by a thread.
“It is a pretty major repair needed but these guys in the shore crew are specialists at what they do and we have full faith that they will make the right decision and get us back on the water as soon as they possibly can,” said Ashby.
“I am sure the boat builders are going to assess this to see if they can fix it in time,” added Olympian Nathan Outteridge.
“Euroflex will be fixed and we are aiming to have her back on Western Australian waters. This is a clearly a rudder stock failure that we are assessing, but not out of the ordinary for such a high-performance machine,” said SuperFoiler COO Jack Macartney, “We have a spare rudder and are fully confident the boat will be racing at 100 percent.”
Euroflex had looked like she would be able to almost secure the SuperFoiler Grand Prix championship with a solid showing in Western Australia and her potential absence opens the door for the chasing pack to quickly close the gap.
Should tech2 or Pavement win this weekend and if Euroflex fail to repair their SuperFoiler the front runner’s lead in the championship will by scythed to just two points heading into the Grand Final in Sydney.
The Western Australian regatta is free for spectators to watch – although VIP Hospitably packages for the solitary event on the West Coast are available with Busselton’s historic jetty hosting Leg Four of the season.
Saturday and Sunday’s racing will be livestreamed on www.superfoiler.com while the series makes its television premiere on 7mate this Saturday and Sunday with the Adelaide leg debuting at 11.30am local.