Significant damage sustained to New Zealand’s wing means Peter Burling’s team will be unable to compete on the second day of racing in Saint-Tropez, it has been confirmed.
The 29m wing dramatically collapsed shortly after racing on the first day of the France Sail Grand Prix - thankfully, all athletes were accounted for and no injuries were reported.
But after damage assessments were carried out overnight, the Tech Team has said the damage is too significant for the team to continue racing.
Due to SailGP’s spare wing being located in New Zealand, there is no spare equipment on the ground to get the Kiwi F50 up and running in time for today’s racing.
This is due to a backlog of wing repairs after a lightning strike in Singapore and weather event in Sydney destroyed two wings last season.
A new wing was taken from the in-build 11th F50 and distributed to New Zealand and Canada and another replacement wing has just been completed in New Zealand. The aim now is to ship that wing to Taranto to enable New Zealand to race in the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix on September 23-24.
Speaking about the incident after racing, New Zealand driver Peter Burling said he heard 'an almighty bang' before the wing 'unraveled'.
The cause of the wing collapse remains unknown, but investigations are underway.
It comes after New Zealand finished the first day of racing second in the rankings and level on points with leaders ROCKWOOL Denmark. SailGP offers no racing redress, which means the Kiwis will finish Saint-Tropez with their current score.
Racing resumes in Saint-Tropez at 13:30 CEST.