Oracle Team USA capsized its new America’s Cup Class boat during training on Bermuda’s Great Sound today [April 8]. No crew members were injured and early indications are that damage to the boat is limited.
“We flipped over our new America’s Cup Class boat,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill at dockside about an hour after the capsize.
“All the guys are good. We went straight into our righting procedure, pulled the boat up, and brought it back to the dock,” he said.
“Now, we have to go through process of checking the boat out. The top of the wing has some flap damage, but we have the team to get us back out on the water and we’ll be back out to finish off this race period with the rest of the teams.”
The team expects to be sailing on Monday, when the next ‘race period’ resumes, a three-day session where teams are allowed to train in an organized manner in their new America’s Cup Class boats.
Spithill described Saturday’s incident as a ‘soft’ capsize, with the boat going over sideways relatively slowly as opposed to when the bows dig in at speed. This would have helped to limit the damage, if not the frustration.
“It is frustrating,” he admitted. “But the fact is, this is a real possibility in these boats.
“We have to go back through and figure out what led to it. But that’s all part of the learning process. It’s usually from these sorts of incidents where you learn the most.”