Sail-World New Zealand: October 17, 2012 - Oracle AC72 Capsize: Images, Video and Latest Updates...Coastal Classic Record looms

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 17 Oct 2012

Sail-World New Zealand: October 17, 2012

As this editorial is written, we are watching two screens. On one, a webcam is tracking Emirates Team NZ's ASC72 as she puts in yet another training session on the Hauraki Gulf sailing in winds that are averaging 25kts gusting 35kts.

And on the other, in San Francisco, Oracle Team USA's AC72 has capsized, and has drifted out into the Pacific Ocean.

We are watching a live video of the boat which is upside down, semi-sunk and surrounded by a coterie of RIBs.

Getting close to the point of no return - Oracle Team USA capsize AC72 Oct 16, 2012  Erik Simonson ©

Assuming the boat can be recovered (we're assuming she will come back in when the tide turns) the capsize is a major setback for the Defender.

Their hull repairs may unlimited, provided they don't modify the hulls in which case they are limited to 50% of the original hull surface. However the rule is not 1000% clear on the difference between a modification, repair or replacement, and a trip to the Int Jury for clarification is likely. Exceed the 50% modification and Oracle Team USA could not build a second boat.

The wingsail is destroyed - leaving the team with just two wingsails - to be shared between two boats - assuming the current boat is repairable. The Protocol prevents more that 50% of the original being replaced.

Oracle would be expected to be in the early stages of construction of their second boat, but that is not allowed to sail before February 1, 2013.

Wing sail about to land and break soon after - Oracle Team USA capsize AC72 Oct 16, 2012  Erik Simonson ©

The capsize occurred about 3.00pm local time (11am NZT) after Oracle Team USA was out for a training session in an ebbing tide and 25kts. We believe the tide in the area flows at about 5kts and against a 25 kt wind, that would have been quite a seaway.

The incident occurred as Oracle passed through the 'Death-Zone'. That heart stopping moment when a boat bears off and heads downwind accelerating readily. Generally the bows go deep and then emerge with spray and water flying. In this case that didn't happen and Oracle went down the mine. From watching video it would seem at first blush that the issue was a lack of buoyancy forward. The fine wave piercing bows drove in and never emerged, tripping the boat.

Oracle Racing's AC72 drifts towards the Golden gate Bridge, San Francisco  Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA©

It is now night-time in San Francisco, the boat is still at sea, with the wingsail reportedly unrecognisable (and clearly beyond repair). Arrival times back at Pier 8- is projected for 0500hrs, Wednesday morning local time.

Whether the hulls are any better remains to be seen. There is a high risk, due to damage and limitation on hull alteration, that the US Defence just became a one-boat program. That would take away a lot from the 34th America's Cup.

In high definition video not publicly available, taken after the capsize and the collapse of the wingsail, the AC72 seems to be remarkably tight and intact. Whether that is still the case remains to be seen in the hard light of day.

In happier days - Oracle Team USA - Foiling - October 2012. The difference in the bow volume from Emirates Team NZ below is significant.  Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA©

In this edition of sail-World we have the best coverage we can provide, as the recovery is still in progress.

We have two photo sequences from Erik Simonson of who has captured the entire sequence from the start of the bear away to the full inversion.

We also have the links to various video sequences - live and delayed that have been posted, including one showing the whole sequence from the other side of the Bay.

We'll be updating this story as it unfolds - there is certainly a lot more to come, and when Oracle Team USA's USA-17 is recovered the future will become more clear.

Our sympathies to the team, they have a big challenge ahead of them now.

Emirates Team New Zealand. Day 12 of testing for the team's first AC72. Hauraki Gulf, Auckland.   Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Emirates Team NZ have had two good training days in the Hauraki Gulf, we have some new image galleries from those sessions in this edition of Sail-World. Certainly the foiling is impressive both watching from the land, on the webcam and in the images.

Also featured are some images from Oracle Racing's USA-17 in better days. Her foiling while appearing a little awkward had improved, although there was a lot more water being thrown around than on the New Zealand boat.

Predictwind track for ORMA60 for the 2012 Coastal Classic with a race time of 4hrs 14min to 4hr 27 min

On Friday, the 2012 Coastal Classic gets underway.

In this edition of Sail-World we have full coverage of the build up for the event, and some tips for those who are doing the event for the first time.

We will be covering the Coastal Classic from the water, at the start, and then with other sources as the race unfolds.

GoldCupR2-62-Medium - Royal Akarana Yacht Club - Nexus Gold Cup - October 13, 2012  Suellen Hurling ©

Many thanks to those who have contributed to this edition, particularly those using our online submission and image loading facility which can be accessed by clicking here

James Spithill flies with the Blue Angels  Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA©
Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

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Emirates Team New Zealand. Day 12 of testing for the team's first AC72. Hauraki Gulf, Auckland.   Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Royal Akarana Yacht Club - Nexus Gold Cup - October 13, 2012  Suellen Hurling ©

America's Cup: Oracle Team USA capsizes AC72 in San Francisco - Live
Richard Gladwell,
Oracle Team USA have capsized their AC72 while training on Day 8 in San Francisco. Reports are still coming in as to the extent of the damage however there were apparently no serious injuries to the crew. The 72ft catamaran pitchpoled,during a bearaway. See the recovery on live video... [more]
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America's Cup: Oracle Team USA capsize - full video
See the full video of the Oracle Team USA capsize in San Francisco Bay in 25kts of breeze. This is the first AC72 to capsize... [more]
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America's Cup: Oracle Team USA capsize - how it happened in images
Erik Simonson,
Erik Simonson of was on hand to capture the complete sequence as Oracle Team USA capsized at 3.00pm local time in San Francisco.... [more]
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America's Cup: Oracle Team USA capsize - how it happened in images - 2
Erik Simonson,
Erik Simonson of was on hand to capture the complete sequence as Oracle Team USA capsized at 3.00pm local time in San Francisco. Here is the second image gallery.... [more]
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Images from Royal Akarana Yacht Club's stormy Nexus Gold Cup
Suellen Hurling,
Suellen Hurling was on hand to capture some images from the start of the Royal Akarana Yacht Club's Nexus Gold Cup on Saturday. Racing got underway in strong winds with gusts of between 50-60kts reported in the fleet and winds averaging well above 40kts for sustained periods.... [more]
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Collinson FX Market Commentary: October 17, 2012 - Markets rally
Collinson FX,
Collinson FX market Commentary: October 17, 2012 - Markets continued to rally strongly eliminating last weeks losses with a surge in risk appetite. AUD drifted to trade 1.0265. NZD was hit with surprising news on inflation which fell to 0.8%. The lack of growth allows speculation that RBNZ will cut rates thus reducing pressures on the currency which fell to 0.8130.... [more]
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America's Cup: Oracle's Spithill rides with the Blue Angels + Video
Oracle Team USA,
Oracle Team USA's skipper, Jimmy Spithill (AUS) joins the US Navy's Blue Angels demonstration squad in 'Fightertown USA,' Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, to test his mettle at winged flight of a slightly faster kind. See how Spithill and the chief 'pilot' handles 6G's in the skies over San Diego.... [more]
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America's Cup: Team Oracle USA flies on foils
Gullian Grenier, Oracle Team USA,
US Defender, Oracle Team USA completed seven days on the water today. Here's a gallery of images from team photographer Gullian Grenier taken over the past few days on San Francisco Bay. While Oracle has been noted for the amount of platform twist, and discussions as to whether this is good or bad, planned or unplanned, controlled or uncontrolled. But here, on occasions, she flies straight and... [more]
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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ flies in big breeze
Chris Cameron,
Team photographer, Chris Cameron was on the Hauraki Gulf today for Day 12 of the Emirates Team New Zealand AC72 testing programme on the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf. The cat performed well in a south-west breeze in the low to mid 20s with gusts to 28 knots.... [more]
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Coastal Classic: Mark Mulcare's form guide to the 2012 Coastal Classic
Zoe hawkins,
Mark Mulcare was the designer and instigator of the RaceTrack ranking system for New Zealand race yachts, and he has cast his expert eye over the race fleet to advise of the divisional prospects: Division 1 has shaped up well with as good a battle for first over the line as we've had recently. V5, Wired, Georgia, Ran Tan and Kia Kaha all have good prospects for first monohull home. My pick wi... [more]
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Coastal Classic: New tracking system hoped to be running for race
Coastal Classic organisers have advised that they expect to have race tracking online for this year's event. Friends, family and fans will be able to follow the fleet. It is hoped to have an iPhone (and maybe Android) app available before the start which can be downloaded by competitors, so your friends and family can see where you are at.... [more]
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Coastal Classic: Official Race Forecast ripe for new records
Zoe Hawkins,
A good, fast sprint with a high chance of a record is forecast for this week's Coastal Classic Auckland to Russell Yacht Race, particularly for the boats that will lead the pack. The wind forecasting site is suggesting that the boats will encounter a strong 25knot South West breeze off the start at 10am on Friday, moderating that night... [more]
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America's Cup: Oracle Team US's AC72 on Day 7 on San Francisco Bay
Erik Simonson,
Erik Simonson from joined the AC racer chasers club today on San Francisco Bay trying to get in position to get shots of Oracle Team USA's AC72 in action. An afternoon spent chasing the Oracle 72' yields limited success, just when you think you have a bead on their angle of attack, they gybe or tack, and despite the sizable ebb, they are gone in a heart beat.... [more]
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Sail Sydney will bring Sydney Harbour alive with sails
Mainsheet Media,
Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, India, Finland, Great Britain... all the sailors are lining up for four days of high class racing at New South Wales' premier sailing regatta, Sail Sydney 2012.... [more]
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Kaenon reflects on ten years of unique product success
Steve Rosenberg,
Over 10 years ago, two brothers from Southern California created Kaenon – a premium sunglass brand offering high quality sunglasses designed in California, and powered by a truly innovative and proprietary lens technology known as SR-91®. Over the past decade Kaenon has evolved – and we will continue to introduce best-in-class product offerings – but our commitment to our founding principles has... [more]
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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ sailing in 35kt winds
Richard Gladwell,
Emirates Team New Zealand completed a five hour sailing and testing session, apparently without mishap today in winds that gusted over 35kts. Winds averaged 26kts at Bean Rock at the entrance to the Waitemata Harbour. The winds peaked at midday before easing. Real time observations in the area have the winds at 28kts, gusting 36kts.... [more]
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Coastal Classic: Great record breaking forecast treated with caution
Zoe Hawkins,
Three days out from the NZMYC's Coastal Classic Auckland to Russell Yacht Race, Simon Hull, skipper of TeamVodafone Sailing, is aiming at not thinking too much about the prospect of a back to back record in the iconic New Zealand race. 'If it's a good forecast, which it is, then it will turn bad,' he jokes.... [more]
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Pure Blonde fires the first bullet in the 3 Buoy Challenge + Video
Bob Killick,
Pure Blonde fires the first bullet of the Australian 18 Footer League's 2012 - 2013 season.......Tom Clout, Rob Bell, and Matt Wark took their race to the other challengers Sunday, and shot away for a comfortable win in Heat 1 of the Big Brown Box 3 Buoy Handicap Series.... [more]
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Coastal Classic: Best strategy - stick to the Rhumbline
Cameron Thorpe,
Multi's and fast mono's may have more options to stray from the rhumbline as a small change of angle can make a big difference to boat speed... where as boats like Young 88's, Farr 1020's, Stewart 34's... (in fact the majority of the fleet) need to have a VERY good reason to stray from the rhumbline as it's so hard to beat sailing the shortest possible distance.... [more]
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Coastal Classic: Your pre-race checklist and Predictwind prognosis
Coastal Classic and Sail-World,
First, make sure your boat is 100% ready to go by the night before racing. Easier said than done, right? Here are a few extra ideas to add to the mix. If you are leaving from Westhaven, try to cast off by 9am at the latest, to give you time to get to the start line, and do a reconnaissance, checking out conditions and confirming your starting strategy... [more]
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Coastal Classic: Class 40 Team Buckley Systems to race in the Classic
Coastal Classic,
Ross Fields' stead known as Team Buckley Systems in the Global Ocean Race will be a starter in Friday's Coastal Classic, even though the man himself is still recovering from surgery to his spine. Ross and his son Campbell were leading the Global Ocean Race in February this year when they were forced to turn back after the boat crashed off a massive wave in storm force wind... [more]
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Amphibious Aythya is a boat and a car!
Jeni Bone,
OK James Bond aspirants, take a look at the latest design out of the Janne Leppänen studio - the Aythya amphibious concept vehicle - ideal for quick escapes, beating the commuter traffic or just showing off.... [more]
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2012 Coastal Classic: Riada and her crew of Lads and Dads
Zoe Hawkins,
Riada and her crew of 'lads and dads' are one of the teams that we'll be following as they sail up the coast for the NZMYC Coastal Classic on Friday 19 October: Riada is a 1975 Laurie Davidson design of forty five foot (13.7m), says owner John Bertenshaw, and this year she provides the setting for what is possibly the last opportunity for three fathers to sail together with their teenage sons,... [more]
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18ft Skiff 3-Buoys Challenge - Pure Blonde excels in race 1
Frank Quealey,
The 2012-2013 Australian 18ft Skiff Season got underway on Sydney Harbour today when the Australian 18 Footers League conducted Race 1 of the 8-race 3-Buoys Challenge series over a four lap windward-return course. Tom Clout, Matthew Wark and Rob Bell (Pure Blonde) excelled in the 10-knot SE breeze to score a convincing 1m28s win after taking the lead on the second lap of the course.... [more]
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