These are crew training boats. They are all the same design and mass produced to keep the costs somewhat below the stratosphere. The actual America Cup Boats will be individual designs built to a rule
and about 1/3rd larger.
is a wing design so reefing is a problem as it's a fixed sized sail. They can alter the shape but not the actual sail area.
These boats are prone to pearling (surfing term for the bow playing submarine). The sails
have so much drive they force the bows down. When they hit a wave just right, the nose pearls, and the boat stops. All the drive from the sails
is still happening and has to have somewhere to go which causes the stern to lift
and the boat pitch
poles. Moving the mast
further aft may have a beneficial effect but you'd have to talk with a NA to figure that out. Designing the bows with more life might also help but would probably slow the boat down. These hulls are designed to go through waves more than over them. If the full size Cup boats have the same issues, we are going to see some spectacular spills in the real competition. Pearling seems to be a problem with high performance Cats. There is video of a cat racing
in Puget Sound
doing the same thing a couple of years ago.
The boat probably was fine but for the hole in the main. One of the crew couldn't hang on when the boat pitch
poled and fell through the main making a pretty big hole. You can see him falling in the Latitude 38 video. The main is a rigid frame covered with pretty light gauge mylar like a fabric
covered airplane wing. Fortunately the crewmember apparently went through the sail between the framing. Believe he wasn't injured though they did send him to hospital for a check up. There is a reason they wear PFD's and helmets on these boats.
At the end of this video is a near capsize
that happened sometime earlier that shows the cause a bit better: http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/...6-13&dayid=595