Yesterday afternoon during practice runs on their $8 million AC72 catamaran, Oracle Team USA took another nosedive into the bay. Skipper Jimmy Spithill, who is really making a splash around the St. Francis Yacht Club these days, was in charge of the crew that said they've been "pushing the boat harder every day" until they finally destroyed the crucial 131-foot, $2 million wing yesterday.
The boat flipped, or pitch-poled as the boating enthusiasts call it, in the bay around 3 p.m. right outside the windows of the St. Francis Yacht Club in the Marina, where we should note flip-flops are allowed before 6 p.m. in the Grill Room although they probably shouldn't be. Yesterday's tide was the strongest of the year, the Chronicle reports, and it quickly carried the boat across to the Marin side of the bay and out under the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Coast Guard, probably growing pretty tired of pulling Spithill out of the water, didn't actually have to rescue anybody in the incident. Instead, Oracle dispatched its own small navy of nine vessels to try and right the 72-foot racing yacht while the tide swept it four miles out to sea. It took all night for crews to finally tow the boat back to Oracle HQ at Pier 80 where they could get it ashore to begin repairs.
No crew members were injured beyond a few bumps and bruises, which means we can just get to the good stuff and watch the video of it going under:
And if you've got an hour to kill, the video below is 61 minutes of raw helicopter footage of the ship drifting out of the bay. We have helpfully fast-forwarded to some pretty good wreckage shots around the 39-minute mark:
Previously: Yacht-enfreude: Watch Oracle's Fancy Sailboat Take A Nosedive
All America's Cup Coverage on SFist