Oracle Team USA Ends Up in the Drink Again

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
Oracle Team USA optimizes its full-foiling AC45 in Bermuda

Oracle Team USA optimizes its full-foiling AC45 in Bermuda

It was October 16, 2012, only a couple of months after Emirates Team New Zealand took to the air with the world’s first full-foiling AC72, making the Kiwis the odds-on favorite to win the 34th America’s Cup. Then just as things couldn’t look worse, Jimmy Spithill stuck the nose of Oracle’s first full-foiling AC72 into a wave, and the next thing the crew knew they were up and over, trashing their boat and wing in the process.

It’s a funny thing, though, about Aussie-born Spithill—who also happens to be an avid boxer—the harder he gets knocked around, the harder he hits back. Sure enough, slightly less than a year later, after being told he had no chance on multiple occasions, it was Spithill hoisting the Auld Mug, while a shell-shocked Emirates skipper Dean Barker could only look on in despair.

It might therefore have been with more than a little trepidation that the five challengers taking part in the 35th Cup read this past March of Oracle Team USA’s capsize while training aboard it full-foiling AC45 in Bermuda. If past is prologue, then Spithill and company are now only going to work that much harder.

“It was a great afternoon of sailing until we capsized,” the typically understated Spithill said afterward. “The boat didn’t tip over through a nose-dive, which is what normally happens, but we were just pressed over sideways. Hopefully we don’t see too many more of these, but this is where we are as a sport where you’re always pushing to be on the limit. We’ll learn from this and move forward.”

The rest of the campaigns can now consider themselves duly warned.

Photo courtesy of Oracle Team USA/Sam Greenfield

MHS 2016

Related

101218BTSC-9887

Just Launched: Little Big Boat

Peter Nielsen looks at Beneteau’s latest entry-level boat and a new cruiser from Tartan Group Beneteau’s commitment to entry-level boats has been reaffirmed over the last year with the assimilation of the sporty Seascape line of pocket cruisers and the ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more