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Analysis: Peter Lester breaks down moment and aftermath of American Magic's capsize

The extent of damage to American Magic's AC75 may be more than meets the eye despite the giant hole visible after yesterday's dramatic capsize.

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The TVNZ sailing commentator said there are plenty of unanswered questions heading into this week. Source: Breakfast

That's the analysis of TVNZ sailing commentator Peter Lester, who broke down yesterday's dramatic events during the Prada Cup as well as its aftermath on TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

Lester said both Mother Nature and Kiwi helsman Dean Barker played a part in the crash as he broke down just how things went wrong for the American challengers.

"Essentially, what happen was when they were approaching the top mark gate, you go through this area from upwind to downwind and there's an area of physics that goes on when they pull the boat to go down to Gate 4," Lester began.

"The boat is really vulnerable [at that moment] if there's a gust of wind or a wind change and right at the critical moment where they went around the mark, they got big squirt.

"At that point, they lost the rudder, they lost steerage and the end plate of the rudder cavitated and the cavitation means the rudder isn't working anymore.

"The rudder sinks, the back of the boat sinks, the lead foil gets a lot of elevation and you're off into space and at that point, you're totally out of control."

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Barker and company were locked in a close race with Luna Rossa when disaster struck. Source: 1 NEWS

After the crash, a recovery operation was launched almost immediately to recover Patriot as it begun to sink due to the later-revealed hole in its hull.

Crews from all four syndicates along with the police, coastguard and Fire and Emergency NZ all helped keep the AC75 afloat before it was eventually brought back to land at Auckland's waterfront.

After it was brought out of the water, it became apparant just how serious the crash was, with a gaping hole in the left side of Patriot visible.

However, Lester warned sailing fans that may not be the biggest issue the Americans face in getting their campaign back on the water.

"You've got to say, 'How did the hole get there?'" Lester said.

"What created the hole? Is it when it hit the water or has something internally come unzipped."

Lester added there was one positive for the Americans going forward, though, saying they'd have plenty of help around them to get the boat fixed.

"This isn't like Bermuda for Team New Zealand where there were no resources to help them out from the community.

"Here, this is a sailing city, and the industry in Auckland I'm sure will rally behind this team to help them out. I'm sure Team New Zealand will put their hand up as well."

Lester was asked if he believes American Magic will be back on the water this Friday to continue competing in the Prada Cup round robin or whether they'd simply wait until the semi-finals next week to give themselves more time.

He said he'd be surprised to see them in action on Friday.

"They've got a lot on."