One of the big 'what-if' questions about racing AC72 class catamarans on San Francisco Bay was answered today when Oracle Racing became the first team to capsize one of these wingsail-powered beasts, flipping their 'USA 17' on their eight day of sailing their new boat.
Oracle Team USA capsized in San Francisco Image: Chris Ray
USA 17 pitch-poled, and that the team was able to self-rescue, crew injuries were minimal. The fragile wingsail, however, is a different story as it took several attempts to right the mighty trimaran and the tow back to base was rough on both the boat and wing.
Sail-World USA's Chuck Lantz reports 'I'm at Oracle's pier 80. What's left of the 72 was towed in at around 11:15 pm PST. As you've heard by now the wing was destroyed but two Oracle people told me the hulls may still be able to
be repaired. Earlier reports were that they had been destroyed, too.'
Oracle base after AC72 returned - America's Cup AC72
This mishap comes on the heels of several successful days for both Oracle Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), the only two AC34 contenders to have flown their AC72s on foils. Be sure to check out the great image galleries of Oracle Racing and ETNZ aloft, inside.
And speaking of Oracle Racing, Jimmy Spithill—the team’s young, red-hot skipper—recently got the chance to ride shotgun with the Blue Angles flying team in a Navy F/A 18 Super Hornet. Spithill was exposed to high-G Force moves during the flight (really cool video exists), but he came away loving the experience, calling it 'the thrill of his life'. Quite a statement, coming from a man who has driven two of the most exotic sailboats ever built. More, inside this issue.
Esimit Europa 2 winner of 44 Barcolana race Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi
Also inside, get the latest news from the Clipper Round the World Race and check out the preview of this week’s Rolex Middle Sea Race. And finally, don’t miss ace shooter Carlo Borlenghi’s lovely image gallery from the Barcolana 44, which recently took place in Trieste, Italy. Enjoy!
SDIM9975 - America's Cup AC72