Sports injuries in an America’s Cup yachting crew: A 4-year epidemiological study covering the 2007 challenge.
The aim of this study was to describe the injuries sustained by an America’s Cup crew during eight preparatory competitions of the 32nd America’s Cup 2007 and the Louis Vuitton Cup (from October 2004 to June 2007). The anatomical location, type of injury, and mechanism of injury were recorded. The injuries were categorized based on each sailor’s position on the boat according to three intensities of physical demands. The injury rates per sailor and per 1000 h of competition were determined. In total, 90 injuries were registered. The overall incidence was 10 injuries per 1000 competition hours. Overuse injuries accounted for 76.6% of all lesions. The most common anatomical location of injuries was the upper limb (36.6%), followed by the upper dorsal and cervical spine (34.4%). Frequency of injury was related to the sailor’s position on the boat, being higher in the group with more demanding activities (grinder, bowman, and mastman). Most injuries (67%) were sustained by this group of sailors. The most common injuries in this group were muscle contractures of the quadratus lumborum (11), trapezius (8), and rhomboid (7). There were eight cases of elbow epicondylitis, four cases of tendinopathy of the supraspinous tendon, and three cases of tendinopathy of the biceps brachii. An America’s Cup yachting crew is exposed to a high risk of overuse injuries, especially those sailors whose boat position involves high-intensity activity.