pushing the limit
Oracle’s AC72 took on a 25-knot (gusting higher) afternoon in San Francisco Bay today, and it all went wrong when a big gust sent her over on her side. The wing broke up leaving something of a yard sale behind as she was towed back to base, and it seems hundreds of anarchists watched it all live on the StFYC webcam…check the thread here for the absolute latest news…
UPDATE: AC HQ says no one was seriously injured. With that fear gone, the remaining fear is whether there will be anything left of “17” by the time they get her back to the dock. A failed righting attempt turtled the boat, and 4+ knots of current have now dragged the 72 miles from her capsize point, into the open water past the Golden Gate (see the pic from JonnyG below). With the sun going down, the hulls looking a lot lower in the water than an hour ago, and a few more hours of ebb tide ahead, this one isn’t going to end well.
SA’er “Jagtek” saw how it went down:
I just happened to pull up the St.FYC webcam about 20 seconds before the capsize. They were coming upwind on port tack a little below the yacht club. They had both hulls in the water like they were taking a breather (sailing relatively slowly). They then accelerated on an upwind point of sail heading towards the middle of the bay. When they turned down through the ‘zone of death’ with barely any heel, the bows started to dig and spray started flying everywhere. It didn’t appear like they were unfurling the Code 0. Even with the jib blown, the boat continued to pitchpole in what seemed like slow motion. It probably took 7 seconds from when the bows dug in until the wing hit the water. I couldn’t tell on the webcam if anyone flew directly into the water on impact. One other observation, it did not appear like they were unfurling the Code 0 during the bearaway.
Glad to hear everyone was alright! Photo thanks to our friends at Weta.
Watch the recovery video here