A more expensive and dramatic penalty could hardly be imagined. The sinking of oneAustralia 95 is considered the worst disaster in America's Cup history. The boat was not a radical design but, rather, a refinement of its predecessors. Seemingly neither more nor less dangerous than most of the other boats in this most delicate of fleets, the hull design of oneAustralia 95 represented, in the end, a search for speed that turned out to be the final, reckless breath of air into a balloon already fully distended. The envelope was pushed, and this time it tore apart.
As of Monday the Australians were coordinating plans with the U.S. Navy to conduct a salvage operation. Bertrand hopes that oneAustralia 95's mast, sails and hardware might be saved and still be of use as his syndicate continues its now highly improbable quest. Bertrand will race his first boat, oneAustralia 94, for the remainder of the trials. In the opening two rounds that boat's record was 8-4.
"[OneAustralia 95] represented about 20,000 man-hours of work, and it was quite sickening to see it disappear so quickly," Bertrand said. "But as I said to the boys, we'll live to fight another day."
That's one thing to be thankful for. Here's praying it's not a blustery day.