Switzerland driver Nathan Outteridge has debriefed the moment the Swiss F50 luffed Australia in Halifax, resulting in the Aussies suffering a dramatic nosedive.

'Luffing' is a defensive tactic employed by a leeward boat (boat furthest from the wind) against the windward boat (boat closest to the wind) if the latter is trying to overtake. It forces the windward boat, which must keep clear, closer to the wind.

The incident occurred in the second race of Race Day 1 when, Outteridge said, Australia was ‘trying to roll [the Swiss team] on the reach’.

“The leeward boat (Switzerland) has right of way so we gave him one luff, which he responded to,” Outteridge said. “You’re not going to just let someone roll you and lose the spot and if you have right of way you’ll give another luff.”

Eventually, Outteridge said he ‘gave [Slingsby] one too many luffs’, resulting in the Aussies falling dramatically off the foils. While it ‘wasn’t intentional’ to knock the Aussies into the water, it was ‘intentional to not let them past us’, he said, adding: “I get why he was upset about it.”

He added that in the same position he would have been instructing the flight controller to ‘be more conservative with flight control, so that you’re prepared for those luffs’.

Season 4 // Swiss and Aussie crews cross the F50s in Halifax

Slingsby meanwhile estimated Outteridge to have luffed the Australians ‘six or seven times on the reach’.

“Every time I thought he must be done now, and then he would go into another luff,” he said. “The last one he did we were close to 90 km/h and it was a sharp luff.”

This resulted in Slingsby having to ‘spin the boat’, resulting in the F50 ‘crashing out of the water’.

“I owe Nathan one,” he joked after racing. “I’m going to get him back somehow.”