On Wednesday March 2, ORACLE TEAM USA became the first America’s Cup team to capsize during training in Bermuda. Fortunately, there were no injuries and minimal damage to the AC45S training boat the team was sailing.
Following a crew rotation, helmsman Tom Slingsby had only been on the boat a few minutes before the mishap occurred. Despite this being a best-case scenario capsize with no injuries, it was still a traumatic experience.
“It was a great day for training, sunny, 15-20 knots of wind,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill. “So it was a great afternoon of sailing until we capsized.
“The boat didn’t tip over through a nose-dive, which is what normally happens, but we were just pressed over sideways.”
“It was a good test of our on-water safety procedures. Everybody is safe, it looks like we had minimal damage, but we’ll know more on that after the shore crew get a look,” Spithill said.
“When you capsize, it’s all on the skipper. The first thing I thought when I got washed off the boat was to get back on the boat because I need to be running the show for the recovery and to make sure everyone is safe.”
In this case, the full crew was quickly accounted for, the boat was righted in less than five minutes, and was able to sail back to base under its own power.
ORACLE TEAM USA is the second team to capsize during training in the past few months. Land Rover BAR capsized on the Solent in the UK just before Christmas.
“Hopefully we don’t see too many more of these, but this is where we are as a sport where you’re always pushing to be on the limit. We’ll learn from this and move forward.”
Photo Credit : Sam Greenfield / ORACLE TEAM USA
– PR –