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America's Cup- Oracle Team USA capsizes AC72 in San Francisco - Latest

by Richard Gladwell on 17 Oct 2012
AC 72 Sail 8 Capize / SFO Oct Testing Session / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) / 16-10-2012 Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA

Oracle Team USA have capsized their AC72 while training on Day 8 in San Francisco.

Report is in chronological sequence starting from the top, latest photos and information is at the bottom

Reports are still coming in as to the extent of the damage however there were apparently no serious injuries to the crew.

The recovery is being effected by the team without external assistance.

The 72ft catamaran pitchpoled, it is believed to have capsized slowly after bearing away in a puff and going through the so-called 'death zone' as the boat accelerates quickly in the transition from upwind and downwind sailing.

It is expected that the windsail will be extensively damaged during the tow ashore.

Oracle Team USA also pitchpoled their AC45 in the recent America's Cup World Series in San Francisco

Uploaded : 93 KB

Live camera above the AC72 under tow. If video jams, click on Youtube icon and refresh/restart it should cut into the latest point.

A second live camera link may be viewed by!clicking_here

In a statement from the team it was disclosed that the capsize occurred 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 (AUS) 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.

'Luckily, everyone is accounted for and no one was hurt. The wing is pretty badly damaged, and we are working to get the boat back in position to return to Pier 80.'

The crew and boat will return to the team base at Pier 80 in San Francisco and assess the situation further. Additional details and images to follow.

San Francisco based photographer, Erik Simonson was on the water and shooting during the capsize sequence and filed this report on

Erik Simonson from Pressure Drop was on the City Front photographing Oracle Team USA’s brand new AC 72, when firing the shutter he noticed something peculiar through his viewfinder. As the team bore away just east of the Golden Gat Bridge, the bows stuffed, and Simonson kept snapping. At approximately 3:00 PST, the boat flipped mid bay in a huge flurry of spray. Here’s his report from San Francisco just moments ago.

'Oracle were headed to weather about ¾ of a mile west of Alcatraz in 25 to 30. They bore away to set towards Point Blunt. They went about 200 yds. and stuffed the bows. Most of the crew fell off at that time. The top of the wing broke off at that point, the second section broke off about 2 minutes after that, and now the entire rig, less the very bottom, is floating and connected by who knows what.

'The boat is now resting in a tripod fashion. It’s resting on the bows and what’s left of the wing. It is currently drifting at about 2 knots out the Gate.

'I can see parts floating around. I think that they’re not interested in the parts. It looks like they’re trying to right the boat, so they can tow it out of danger. If they don't do it fast, it’s going to be out the Gate.'

October 17, 2012

The AC72 arrived back at Pier 80 around midnight, and has been hauled from the water this morning.

Image galleries can be viewed by clicking on some of the story links below to other stories in

From here on we will be updating outside this story, and running separate reports and images as they come available.

There has been no statement from Oracle Team USA on what caused the capsized, the extent of the damage, or the time to repair - if indeed that is possible.

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