Shattered—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
The sailing world is buzzing with news of Oracle Racing's capsize on Tuesday on San Francisco Bay, which shattered their wingsail and damaged their AC72 class catamaran, 'USA 17'. Oracle Racing, it will be remembered, was the first team to capsize an AC45, and now they're the first to take the full-value ride on an AC72. But unlike capsizing an AC45, however, the hard-check reality is setting in that flipping a 72 is far more expensive proposition, both in lost time and money.
|AC 72 Sail 8 Capize / SFO Oct Testing Session / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) / 16-10-2012 Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA© |
According to reports, USA 17 suffered a pitch-pole after bearing away in a puff, transitioning through the so-called 'death zone' where the boat rapidly accelerates from upwind trim to off-the-breeze angles. 'We called for a bear-away as we were out training,' said tactician Tom Slingsby. '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.
|Oracle Team USA - Pier 80 Base, San Francisco Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA© |
Multiple photo galleries and video footage of the capsize—and the damage it rendered—exist, so be sure to check out this issue to get a feel for the amount of repair/rebuilding work that Oracle Racing must now tackle. Stay tuned for more from Oracle's camp, as it unfurls.
|Emirates Team New Zealand. Day 13 of testing for the team's first AC72. Hauraki Gulf, Auckland. Chris Cameron/ETNZ |
Meanwhile, as the American-flagged Defender contends with broken boat bits, challenger Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) continues to lay down precious training miles on their AC72 on the Hauraki Gulf. The team has now logged more than a dozen of their allotted 2012-2013 AC72 training days, getting the boat up on her foils and learning the finer points of sailing this powerful new class of catamaran. Photographer Chris Cameron caught a ride aboard ETNZ's AC72 earlier this week, and his photo gallery (inside) presents a very different view of the AC34 experience than Oracle Racing is currently suffering.
|Emirates Team New Zealand. Day 13 of testing for the team's first AC72. Hauraki Gulf, Auckland. 17/10/2012 - Emirates Team NZ - Day 14 Chris Cameron/ETNZ |
And Olympic news, there's a renewed call to retain the Men's and Women's RS:X windsurfing classes for the Rio Olympics 2012 ahead of ISAF's annual conference. Windsurfing advocate Rory Ramsden has put together a compelling list of five reasons why different international sailing authority delegates should vote to re-open official discussions about keeping the RS:X in the Games. Check out Ramsden's open letter, inside.
|Team Invictus, Falmouth UK Team Invictus |
Also inside, get the latest news from the Sunfish Worlds, the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the Extreme Sailing Series Act 7. And finally, don't miss the latest happenings from the Little America's Cup, which will next be contested from September 23-29, 2013 near Falmouth, U.K.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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