An unfortunate accident last Saturday during the Atlantic Cup shows how quickly things can go awry during a race.
No. 54-Dragon was tied with No. 106-Gryphon Solo 2, the eventual winner, entering the first race of the day in the third and final leg of the Atlantic Cup, presented by 11th Hour Racing, on Narragansett Bay.
Dragon was leading the first race en route to the first mark when the boat hit a rock just off Jamestown, R.I.
Bowman Emma Creighton was launched into the water, but was quickly retrieved. The team withdrew from the race and motored back to the Newport (R.I.) Shipyard to assess the damage.
When the crew pulled the boat out of the water they discovered major damage to the keel box. They withdrew from the remainder of the inshore series.
“We went out [on Friday] and practiced our timed starts and felt really good about our boat-handling skills,” Dragon skipper Rob Windsor said in a statement. “Today we were about 15 boat lengths ahead, and the boat was super-fast. We were getting ready to take the kite down and Emma went out on the end of the sprit to get the lazy spinnaker sheet so we could douse. As she went out and we hit a rock doing 12 knots.
“We were about 15 feet inside of where we should have been. It was a mistake, it got made and that’s it. We were in the wrong place with not enough tide. The boat is badly damaged; the keel grid, the structure foundation that holds the keel into the boat, is cracked and broken inside the boat and the faring all around the outside is broken, as well. I’m disappointed. I’m really disappointed. We were doing very well and we are all very disappointed.”