The Oracle Racing team experienced an expensive mishap this afternoon during a training session for the America’s Cup when their boat capsized in San Francisco Bay.
According to Bloomberg, the 72-foot catamaran broke its mast and its wing sail during the crash.
Skipper James Spithill said:
“There’s no question this is a setback. A strong team will bounce back and this won’t stop us from winning the America’s Cup.”
The boat, which was launched last week by Larry Ellison’s Oracle Corp., was sailing at about 25 knots when it pitch-poled and capsized. No one was injured in the crash but the boat did experience some major damage.
Tactician Tom Slingsby told the NY Times:
“We didn’t know what was going to happen with the new boat … When the nose went down, the wing hit and a few guys went into the water. We were unsure if the wing would snap, so we all climbed off the boat. Luckily, everyone is accounted for and no one was hurt.”
The Oracle Racing team won the America’s Cup in 2010 and is hoping to defend the 160-year-old trophy in 2013. Russell Coutts, the Oracle Team USA chief executive, said that the biggest setback for the team, besides repairing the $2 million wing sail, was that the damage will limit the team’s time in the water.
“If you break a boat or a wing, you can replace it without using up your allotment … The biggest loss besides cost is development time on the water. Any number of things could have gone wrong with that maneuver.”
Here’s a video about the Oracle Race boat capsizing in the SF Bay.
“There’s no question this is a setback. It’s going to be a big test for this team. But, I’ve seen this team in a similar situation in the last campaign, before we won the America’s Cup. A strong team will bounce back, and this won’t stop us from winning the America’s Cup. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of work, and we have to look at our plan now. I’m still confident in the team we’ve got and we can go out and win again.”
The America’s Cup will be held in September 2013.