Bowman escapes injury in accident at America’s Cup World Series


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The Independent Online

Bowman Andy Fethers escaped serious injury when he was catapulted through the wingsail powerplant of the 45-foot catamaran Artemis on the final day of the America’s Cup World Series in Plymouth.

Artemis, Swedish-flagged but with an American skipper, Terry Hutchinson, had already been involved in a collision with the Spanish-flagged but Italian-backed Green Comm, whose skipper Vasilij Zbogar suffered a minor hand injury as he was thrown into the water.

Green Comm was penalised and retired but Artemis continued racing, despite taking water in one of the hulls. The capsize, on a day when the demolition derby aspect of racing boats which are the training platforms of the 72-foot versions which will be used in the next Cup in San Francisco in 2013, ended Hutchinson’s campaign.

Also joining the swimming club was France’s Energy team, skippered by Loick Peyron, flipped before the race started, and, for the second time in the week, the China Team, skippered by another American, Charlie Ogletree.

Eventual winner was Jimmy Spithill, helmsman for the San Francisco-based Oracle team which won the Cup from Switzerland’s Alinghi last year, with his ceo, Russell Coutts, a four-time winner of the America’s Cup, third.

Second was Dean Barker, whose Emirates Team New Zealand had, on Saturday, won the match racing section by beating Team Korea, skippered by British double Olympic medallist Chris Draper.

Leigh McMillan made it two in a row when he added the Trapani Extreme Sailing Series crown to the one he won in Cowes last month with the Omani team, The Wave. Pierre Pennec grabbed second place with a last gasp lunge as multi-Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie, making his debut in the class, took Oman Sail to third place. “We have a lot of improvement to make and I am just learning the ropes,” he said.

The series moves on to Nice, France, and Almeria, Spain before concluding in Singapore in December.