Video: US sailing team sent flying during massive capsize at SailGP

Team USA SailGP capsize Images courtesy of SailGP.

Members of Team USA were sent flying out of their boat after a dramatic capsize during a practice day at the Apex Group Bermuda Sail Grand Prix.

As the F50 reached Mark 1 during the session on Friday (3 May 2024), the boat’s wing suddenly inverted, flipping the boat on its side and sending five of the six crew members in the boat tumbling into the water.

Only minor injuries were reported in the incident. However, the US team could not participate in the Bermuda leg of the Sail Grand Prix series due to significant damage sustained to the F50, which couldn’t be repaired in time for the race.

SailGP has confirmed that the crash was caused by a ‘user error’ after wing trimmer Victor Diaz de Leon pressed the wrong button while attempting to flatten the wing. The button inverted the wing by accident.

SailGP’s data team highlighted that the button was pressed a total of seven times before the capsize, meaning it was not defective and had been used successfully before the incident.

“While operating the wing, I chose the wrong function on my control panel, which caused our boat to flip. It was very scary, and I’m thankful all my teammates are safe,” Diaz de Leon told SailGP.com.

Team USA SailGP capsize courtesy of SailGP

Team CEO and strategist Mike Buckley added that the team ‘knew right away what went wrong’ but said ‘mistakes happen at any level’.

“We compete as a team, and whatever the outcome is — whether it’s what we want — we win and lose as a team, and we learn from it.”

The United States squad, led by Taylor Canfield, currently ranks seventh out of 10 squads in season 4 of SailGP.

In March, Tom Slingsby and his Australian crew were forced to retire from the New Zealand SailGP.after a dramatic collision with a course mark during the first fleet race of the championship.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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