SAN DIEGO – Young America, the America’s Cup yacht that was blown over during a violent storm last week, will be repaired in time for its inaugural race, its skipper said.
Kevin Mahaney, of Bangor, Maine, reassured supporters at the christening of the yacht on Saturday.
Elizabeth Gosnell broke the traditional bottle of champagne over the damaged bow of the boat as more than 800 supporters cheered and workers toiled away inside the hull.
The 75-foot yacht was heavily damaged as winds estimated at over 100 mph tore through the compound in Mission Bay, causing an estimated $600,000 to $800,000 in damage to the vessel.
“We lost four sails and only got to sail the boat for six days, but I know we’ll be ready for the start of the America’s Cup next Friday,” Mahaney said.
Mahaney and his crew have been working on repairing their yacht as the countdown to the America’s Cup defenders series continues. Young America makes its racing debut next Friday against Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes.
The boat didn’t suffer structural damage, but holes were punched in the carbon-fiber hull when the high winds blew Young America over on its side. The boat, weighing between 25 and 30 tons, was stored in its cradle when the tornado hit.
The cradle also was damaged by the freak winds, but interior structures and the mast were not.
Even as the christening ceremonies were under way, a repair crew from the Goetz Boatyard in Rhode Island, where the yacht was built, was hard at work on the inside of the hull – out of sight of the festivities.
The yacht has a mural of a mermaid painted on its hull, and pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, who designed the work, will be on hand to assist with the touch-up when the cutting, patching and sanding is completed.