Oracle Team USA:
America's Cup 2013
AC72 17 Capsize
Oracle's New AC72 Catamaran Pitchpoled on Sailing Day 8
Oct 16, 2012
Team Statements October 16:
From Oracle Team USA:
The team’s AC72 racing yacht capsized during training at approximately 3 pm PT today on San Francisco Bay. All crew and Oracle Team USA team members are safe. It was the boat’s eighth day on the water since the launch in August.
Said tactician Tom Slingsby of the capsize:
“We called for a bear-away as we were out training. The winds were blowing about 25 knots, and there was strong ebb current at the time. We started the bear-away, and as the boat accelerated it pitch-poled.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen with the new boat. When the nose went down, the wing hit and a few guys went in the water. We were unsure if the wing would snap, so we all climbed off the boat.
“We did something we had hoped we would never do,
and that’s capsize an AC72,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill. “The most
important part is that all the crew are safe, and no injuries. The
next step now is to get the boat back to shore safely we have it under
tow and we’re making progress now.”
Oracle Team USA, the defender of the 34th America’s Cup, has capsized its giant AC72 catamaran on San Francisco Bay during a training session. No one on the crew was injured.
The capsize took place during the team’s eighth day on the water. Conditions were fresh, with building winds whipping up waves against one of the strongest ebb currents of the year. As the team turned the boat downwind, the front of the boat nosedived and the boat pitch-poled.
“When the nose went down, the wing hit and a few guys went in the water,” said tactician Tom Slingsby. “We were unsure if the wing would snap, so we all climbed off the boat.”
With the boat on its side, the sea conditions quickly inflicted damage on the wing. The boat was pulled out to sea by the strong current, and as darkness fell, the team was still working to secure the catamaran platform and bring it back to base. The wing is destroyed.
“There's no question this is a setback. This will be a big test for our team,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill. “But I've seen these guys in a similar situation in the past campaign before we won the America's Cup. A strong team will bounce back from it. This won't stop us from winning the America's Cup.”
Each team competing in the 34th America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup (the America’s Cup Challenger Series) can build two AC72 boats. This was the first of two boats to be built and launched by Oracle Team USA. The second is due to be launched early in the new year.
Event organizers say the setback to the American team won’t impact the 2013 racing calendar.
“This is a challenge for Oracle Team USA,” said
Stephen Barclay, the CEO of the 34th America’s Cup. “The team will
assess how to fix the damage caused by the capsize to this boat and
will adjust its program as necessary. We expect them to be ready to
defend the Cup as planned.”
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