Skip to main content

Oracle Team USA's AC72 Capsize

On October 16, Oracle Team USA experienced something they surely hoped they never would--the capsize of their AC72 at 3pm during training in San Francisco Bay.

On October 16, Oracle Team USA experienced something they surely hoped they never would--the capsize of their AC72. The accident occured at 3pm during training in San Francisco Bay. All crew members were safe and according to skipper, Jimmy Spithill, that’s what is most important.

Here's a video of the boat, rather quickly, going down.

“A big thank you goes to our shore team, our support team and the US Coast Guard as they were standing by,” Spithill said.

The team’s tactician Tom Slingsby said the team called for a bear away and as the boat accelerated, it pitch-poled.

“The winds were blowing about 25 knots and there was a strong ebb current at the time,” Slingsby said.

Slingsby said the team wasn’t sure what would happen with the new boat but after 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,” Slingsby said.

While the wing is badly damaged, the boat and crew were able to return to the team base Pier 80 early Wednesday morning. The team’s support boats towed the AC72 from its capsize location near the Golden Gate Bridge back to the team’s base.

Spithill said that while there is no question this is a setback, it won’t stop them from winning the 34th America’s Cup next year.

“Obviously, we’ve got a lot of work, and we have to look at our plan now,” Spithill said. “I’m still confident in the team we’ve got and we can go out and win again.”

For more on the ORACLE TEAM USA capsize visit oracleracingmedia.com

Photos by Guilain Grenier/ ORACLE TEAM USA

Related

00-LEAD-210918_11HR_AZIMUT48HRS_AMO_00411

11th Hour Racing Team's Green Mission

“I’ll admit, it’s still hard to watch the boat leave the dock sometimes,” says former Volvo Ocean Race sailor Mark Towill. Since meeting during a Transpac campaign over 15 years ago, he and his teammate Charlie Enright have sailed thousands of miles together aboard two Volvo ...read more

D61_JKELAGOPIAN-3

Boat Review: Dufour 61

Dufour, long one of France’s most well-respected builders, has been producing sailboats in La Rochelle since the dawn of fiberglass boatbuilding. Having recently merged with another La Rochelle-based builder, Fountaine Pajot, Dufour has now joined other European mass-production ...read more

m138123_14_00_210609_TORE02_SE_2152_2504-2048x

The Ocean Race to be “Climate Positive”

The 2023 Ocean Race intends to be one of the world’s first climate positive sporting events, offsetting more greenhouse gasses than are produced. The two-fold effort means cutting emissions by 75 percent and investing in ocean projects that sequester carbon and restore ocean ...read more

01-LEAD-Ancients-3-2048x

Cruising Lake Superior

Almost anywhere a sailor drops the hook someone else has been there before. We are hardly ever the first. That remote Maine harbor without a soul in sight: there’s a lobster trap. The south coast of Newfoundland: the crumbling remains of a fisherman’s cabin lie hidden among the ...read more

01-LEAD-Tablet-Holder-4

Fabricating a Tablet Holder

During the pandemic, I was stuck aboard Guiding Light, a Lagoon 410, in St. Lucia for over a month. During that time, as I worked on the boat, I started by doing a spring cleaning in my spares locker and finding some parts and material that I forgot I had. As soon as I saw them, ...read more

00-LEAD-AdobeStock_486335954

A Catamaran for a New Era

Anacortes, Washington, is an unassuming sea-salty town near the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, and the Betts Boats yard is easy for a passerby to miss. But within Betts’ facilities, the dawn of an era in Pacific Northwest production boatbuilding could be breaking with the ...read more

X5_plus_slide-01

Boat Review: Xquisite X5 Plus

The Xquisite X5 Plus is a major update of the boat that SAIL awarded Best Large Multihull and Best Systems titles in 2017. The changes were not just cosmetic, but genuine improvements to an already fine boat, making it lighter, faster and less dependent on fuel. The builder’s ...read more

01-LEAD-AdobeStock_40632434

Cruising: Offshore Prep Talk

When I began preparing Minx, my 1987 Pearson 39-2, for extended Caribbean cruising, I had to balance my champagne wish list against my beer budget. Every buck spent on the boat before leaving would be one less frosty can of Carib down in the islands. On the other hand, I had to ...read more