Video: Oracle Capsizes its ACC Catamaran

Author:
Publish date:

As evidence of just how far foiling has come in the America’s Cup, look no further than Oracle Team USA’s capsize this past Sunday. Time was that capsizing your boat could have signaled the end of your campaign, but not anymore.

Remember when Oracle first dumped its AC72 while training on San Francisco Bay and then spent hours desperately trying to salvage the thing before it could be swept out into the open Pacific? How about when Emirates Team New Zealand nearly flipped its boat in the finals? You could not imagine a more rattled looking sailor than Dean Barker afterward.

Now you just dust yourself off and sail away. Heck, you don’t even have guys flying through the air anymore to land in the water with a dramatic, “Smack!” Watch the video carefully. The guys to windward just hunker down in their cockpits. Only one member of the six-man crew even gets appreciably wet.

Whether this is a good thing or not is debatable. Obviously, nobody wants anybody to actually get hurt, and it may have just been dumb luck that Oracle didn’t wreck its boat. But then again, a sense of danger should also be a part of anything that advertises itself as being on the cutting edge. And when the odd capsize becomes routine, the race as a whole becomes that much less interesting.

Again, when ETNZ nearly went over on San Francisco Bay it was a moment of incredibly high drama. Now, while the announcers will undoubtedly do their best to play up the excitement should a capsize ever occur during an actual race, those in the know will know it’s not the same. As part of the organizers’ never-ending quest to monetize the event, I fear this is yet another way in which the final “product” that is the America’s Cup is becoming that much more bland.

April 2017

Related

7261ab1f-6891-424f-a22f-14c946c08ba8

Gear: Fusion Panel-Stereo

Plug & Play StereoIt can be a real pain to install a marine stereo inside a boat, what with the tiresome business of running cables through cramped spaces and finding somewhere sensible to locate the speakers. The audiophiles at Fusion thought about this and came up with the ...read more

2019BestBoatsPromo-04

Best Boats 2019

Some years ago, the book Aak to Zumbra catalogued—and celebrated—the incredible diversity of watercraft that has evolved over the centuries, a diversity that remains evident to this day in the 11 winners comprising the “Class of 2019” in SAIL’s Best Boats contest. Indeed, it ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comGuaranteed result What you see on the end of this halyard isn’t a beautiful Flemish Eye worked by a rigger, but it will make a big difference when you have to “mouse” a line through the mast. If the ...read more

dometicadler-700x

How to: Upgrading Your Icebox

The time has come when the prospect of cold drinks and long-term food storage has you thinking about upgrading your icebox to DC-powered refrigeration. Duncan Kent has been there and done that, and has some adviceFresh food must be kept at a refrigerated temperature of 40 degrees ...read more

Jet-in-Belize

Cruising: Evolution of a Dream

There’s a time to go cruising and a time to stop. As Chris DiCroce found, you don’t always get to choose those timesAlbert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, ...read more

01a-rosemary-anchored-at-Qooqqut,-inland-from-Nuuk

Cruising: A Passage to Greenland

When a former winner of the Whitbread Round the World Race invites you to sail the Northwest Passage, there is only one sensible answer. No.More adventurous types might disagree, but they weren’t the ones facing frostbite of the lungs or the possibility of having the yacht’s hull ...read more