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OTUSA Capsize: Foiling jibe gone wrong

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

AS WE REPORTED soon after it happened this morning, ORACLE TEAM USA capsized again today while training in BDA. Reportedly, no one was hurt, and the boat was righted and soon back at the team base for inspection and any necessary repairs, said to be minor. They should be back on the water tomorrow.


Several of SAILING ILLUSTRATED's sophisticated sources in BDA report there was no apparent damage upon docking in. However, in such incidents, the yacht is subject to unusual loads and sometimes, internally, stuff happens. Likely we will ever know, as such info normally remains confidential within the team.


We hear it was bit breezy, 16-19 knots, but well within the range in which the yachts – and teams – will be expected to perform when the Louis Vuitton preliminaries begin in only two weeks time (which, for the time, will include the Defender).


Surprisingly, this was OTUSA's second capsize. The first was a month ago almost to the day. None of the other teams has capsized even once. Is OTUSA pushing the envelope? Or do they have control and/or technique problems?


As promised we have video, actually two. The first is courtesy of  and has no audio. From the high quality and reasonably close position of the videographer (and lack of audio), one assumes it was taken by the "recon department" of one of the other teams. Care to guess which team that might have been?


The other video is courtesy of Bermuda resident Jason Smith, who took it from approx the same angle but further away. Mr Smith has been taking shoreside vids for over a year now, and posting them to his YouTube channel "MyIslandHomeBDA." He's become a bit of a cult hero in AC circles, particularly in New Zealand where a couple of his vids have shown up on the national news.


Tonight in at their team base, I would assume that more than a few OTUSA members are a bit puckered up over all this. 14 days, and the clock's ticking.


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