Not plain sailing as winds cause havoc in America's Cup series

Auckland (AFP) –


The vagaries of the Auckland weather created further drama in the America's Cup challenger series on Sunday when American Magic capsized while in sight of their first victory.

As the wind continued to test the sailers, unbeaten INEOS Team UK needed two attempts to beat Luna Rossa when their first race was abandoned after the strong breeze changed direction further than the allowable limit.

Luckless American Magic held a commanding lead over Luna Rossa when it flipped the rounding final mark, flinging the crew into the water.

All on board were safely accounted for but the multi-million dollar yacht appeared significantly damaged and floatation devices were required to prevent it sinking.

The havoc contrasted with racing the previous day when light winds saw the "flying" yachts spend almost as much time flailing about on the water rather than soaring above it.

INEOS Team UK have won all four of their races, Luna Rossa has won two and American Magic are so far winless in the series to determine which of the 23-metre (75-foot) yachts -- which fly above the water balanced on hi-tech foil arms -- will challenge defending champion Team New Zealand for the America's Cup.