Video: Oracle Capsizes its ACC Catamaran

Publish date:
Social count:

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


Landing Page Lead

The Volvo Returns to the Southern Ocean

Since the Volvo Ocean Race’s inception, the Southern Ocean has made it what it is. And no part of the race says “Southern Ocean” like Leg 7 from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajaí, Brazil. The 7,600-mile leg, which starts this Sunday, is not only the longest of the event, but far more


SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comTeak deck paradise  I had a call recently from the man who replaced the deck on my Mason 44 five years ago. He was worried about the way people are wrecking their teak decks trying to get the green off. more


Gear: ATN Multi Awning

THROW SOME SHADEAmong the many virtues of cruising cats is the large expanse of netting between their bows, which is the ideal place to hang out with a cold one after a hard day’s sailing and let the breeze blow your worries away. Only trouble is it can get a bit hot up there more


How to Sail the Med

“After spending so many years sailing the Caribbean, I was frankly astounded at how much more I enjoy the Mediterranean,” says Scott Farquharson of charter brokers Proteus Yacht Charters. “The culture, the history, the food, the weather, friendly people, crystal-clear water—there more


Know-How: Rigging Emergency Rudders

We were 1,100 miles from the nearest land when we received a text message on our Iridium GO: “Rudder gone. Water in bilge. Worried pumps can’t keep up. Please call!”We had been in contact with the owners of Rosinante, a 38ft Island Packet, since they had first announced over the more


Experience: Hard Aground

This is a story of how mistakes are made and judgment is dulled to the point of catastrophe. It is also about how prudent planning, good equipment and a bit of luck can bring you back from the brink.We departed Norfolk, Virginia, on December 15 bound for Jacksonville, Florida, more


Vestas Discusses Fatal Collision, Recovery

Vestas 11th Hour Racing co-captains Mark Towill and Charlie Enright discuss the collision near the end of Leg 4 as well as the efforts the team has made to get back into racing trimJust over a month after 11th Hour Racing’s fatal collision with a commercial fishing vessel shortly more