Tuesday marked the San Francisco Bay's biggest tide of the year, and even the formidable Oracle America's Cup catamaran didn't stand a chance.
The hulking, 72-foot vessel, designed to "fly on water" at twice the speed of wind, flipped over and was swept out to sea during a practice run near the St. Francis Yacht Club shortly after 3 p.m. Crews failed to tow the $8 million to shore before a current pulled it into the Pacific, dragging it two miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge.
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No one was hurt besides the yacht itself, its wing completely destroyed. The 11-member Oracle racing crew safely made it to shore without assistance.
"There's no question this is a setback. This will be a big test for our team," said skipper Jimmy Spithill in a statement. "But I've seen these guys in a similar situation in the past campaign before we won the America's Cup. A strong team will bounce back from it. This won't stop us from winning the America's Cup."
Team Oracle won the 33rd America's Cup race in Valencia, Spain, and will attempt to defend its rank at the big race in San Francisco next summer. A second, similar boat will be ready for the team to train on in February.
Another, smaller Oracle catamaran capsized on the Bay during the America's Cup World Series on October 6, but the team still managed to slide past Emirates Team New Zealand in the final race.
According to event organizers, this most recent setback won't impact next year's racing schedule.
Take a look at photos from the incident below:
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