Catamaran breaks its mooring

An American sailor is demanding $200,000 (£124,000) after he retrieved an America’s Cup catamaran that snapped its mooring.

The French catamaran Energy, currently competing in the America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco, drifted onto rocks near the regatta’s marina overnight on September 30.

Local sailor Todd Tholke spotted the wayward boat and towed it to the marina with his 14-foot Boston Whaler.

A team spokesman initially said: ‘We are grateful for the way this ended and for the help of a good samaritan who spotted the boat and secured it before handing it back to us.’

Mr Tholke was offered a guest race spot on the yacht, but instead he and his attorney have demanded a salvage fee from the team.

The French team was thus presented with a warrant from the US District Court to seize the boat and the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the matter is now likely to end up in court.

The team’s owners have announced that will not participate in next year’s America’s Cup, because insufficient sponsorship means they cannot afford to build the 72-foot boat needed to compete.

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