Oracle Team USA Ends Up in the Drink Again

Author:
Updated:
Original:
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

FB-BHM-1024

SAIL Black History Month Series: James Forten

James Forten was born on September 2, 1766 in Philadelphia to free Black parents Thomas and Margaret Forten. Forten attended a Quaker school as a young child, then went to work with his father who was a sailmaker. His father died when he was still young, and Forten worked ...read more

sailme-app_ SAIL

5 Ways Sail.me Helps You Monetize Your Boat

Ready to earn some extra funds by renting out your boat or yacht? Sail.me is an interactive service that allows you to monetize your boat in a secure, safe, and easy way. A user-friendly app and website will help you manage reservations, add-ons, and set customized routes to ...read more

VendeePromo

2020-21 Vendée Timeline

As a spectator event, France’s Vendée Globe never disappoints, and the 2020-21 edition of the quadrennial round-the-world race was no exception. From equipment failures to climactic rescues, heartbreaking abandonments and a breathtakingly close finish, this edition, which ...read more

valleytrunk3

BVI Chartering in the Pandemic

The week before I flew out to the British Virgin Islands for a bareboat charter, I was having a few second thoughts. The islands had broken out of their Covid-enforced tourism hiatus in December, but the conditions of entry seemed a little stringent: a negative Covid test within ...read more

01-LEAD-windfarm

Sailing Amid Offshore Wind Farms

Here in Europe, the general feeling about green energy from offshore wind turbines has moved on after an initial surge of general skepticism. Concerns raised over cost, threats to seabirds, wind interference and the rest have to some extent been answered, and it’s hard to argue ...read more

LunaRossaPrada

VIDEO: Luna Rossa Wins the Prada Cup

The show has gone on despite last week's Covid panic in Auckland, and the "underdog" Italians are victorious. After being bested by INEOS Team UK in the round robin section, they seemed to have an uphill battle ahead of them going into the finals. However, the Italians have been ...read more

FB-BHM-Cuffe-2048x

SAIL Black History Month Series: Paul Cuffe

Paul Cuffe was born on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, in 1759. His mother was a Native American woman named Ruth Moses, and his father was Kofi Slocum, a formerly enslaved man from the Ashanti Empire, located in modern-day Ghana. They had 10 children including Paul. His ...read more

Ryan-Finn

Point of SAIL: Ryan Finn on Solo-sailing a Proa Round Cape Horn

In this episode of Point of SAIL, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with solo-sailor Ryan Finn, a veteran bluewater passagemaker looking to re-create the famed New York-to-San Francisco clipper aboard the 36ft proa, Jzerro. Although Finn was forced to abandon his first attempt ...read more