LYME Regis sailor Jim Turner is currently among the American Magic crew competing for the America’s Cup.
American Magic is currently competing in races for the 2021 Prada Cup – the winner of which will go on to sail against the defender ‘Te Rehutai’, sailed by Emirates Team New Zealand on behalf of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, for the 36th America’s Cup, the oldest international sporting trophy.
But it’s not been all plain sailing, with the team’s foiling yacht ‘Patriot’ hitting the headlines this month following a dramatic capsize.
A sudden gust of 23 knots suddenly hit the boat during a high-speed race and lifted her out of the water before plunging her back into the sea, leaving crew trapped beneath the sail and an anxious wait before the 11-man headcount was completed, prior to a rescue operation which successfully salvaging the vessel.
A friend in New Zealand let Jim’s family know that he was safe, while sailors all over the world watched the drama unfold with sympathy.
While competitors from Team GB have already made it through to the final of the Prada Cup, the American team has had to race against the clock to repair ‘Patriot’ following her near-sinking.
The boat is now back in the water in New Zealand, ready for her first Prada Cup semi-finals match and will go up against the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team, starting at approximately 3:15pm NZDT on Friday, January 29 – that’s 2.15am here.
Having grown up in Lyme Regis and learnt to sail with brother Chris at Lyme Regis Sailing Club, Jim was selected for the American squad and moved to the US for four years of preparatory training, visiting his parents and brother in Lyme in August 2019 during a break.
He took a Lyme Regis Sailing Club burgee back with him to hang at the American Magic team base.
Always keenly competitive, both Jim and Chris have achieved international success and carry the name of their hometown all over the sailing world.
A spokesperson for Lyme Regis Sailing Club said: “We wish American Magic well and although we are behind Sir Ben Ainsley and his British team, we also cheer on our Lyme boy, Jim, as we follow the progress of the racing.”
View the dramatic footage of the capsize and rescue of American Magic’s ‘Patriot’, featuring Lyme sailor Jim Turner with ‘Turner 4’ on his back on board deck.