The sailors of Oracle Team USA, the same ones that were aboard the $8 million racing catamaran AC72 that capsized in the San Francisco Bay last month, are earnestly preparing for another crash. This one, however, will be planned.
On Oct. 16, during a test run for next year's 34th America's Cup, Oracle Team USA's 72-foot catamaran went end over end into the San Francisco Bay. No one was hurt, but the boat was severely damaged.
Now, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Oracle Team USA is creating a model of their destroyed sailboat for this weekend's Red Bull Flugtag. The event in SanFrancisco consists of 33 teams, each piloting a home-made flying device off of a 30-foot-tall platform and into the water. As you can see in the video below, most of the models don't make it that far.
Oracle Team USA sailor Shannon Falcone, who is leading the effort to re-create the catamaran, says he hopes the project can distract the team from its gloomy circumstances: the October crash wrecked the squad's only boat, and a replacement won't be available until February.
"Sitting at lunch, I saw a (video) feed of the Flugtag, and I thought maybe we could do that," Falcone told the Chronicle. “I thought it would be a good way for us all to come together. … Everyone’s in for watching me go down in flames."
Luckily for Falcone, he works with some expert aerodynamic experts. Normally they design sails for boating, but Falcone says they were happy to help out wit the Flugtag. The only problem? There's no use spending too much time on the project, as it will inevitably sink.
"You get the designers loose on wing design and crikey -- all the little kid comes out in everyone," Falcone said. "I had to remind them that it was something that was going to get destroyed."
So the sailors and crew members are in the awkward spot of re-creating a destroyed boat, only so they can watch it drown again. To make things more bizarre, they are using some of the rescued pieces of the destroyed catamaran in the new model.
So this weekend's Red Bull Flugtag might be deja vu for Oracle Team USA. Luckily, Falcone and the team aren't taking themselves too seriously.
"We’re gonna pitch-pole right off the platform." Falcone joked. "So everybody will have a replay of what happened when the big boat crashed."
(H/T to Business Insider)