SailingState/National/World

Dramatic U.S. Capsize Revealed; Crew Error Blamed for Pre-Race Incident

The cause behind the United States’ dramatic capsize before a race has been uncovered, pointing squarely at crew error. Data extracted from the team’s F50 shed light on the mishap, which unfolded during a practice session’s third fleet race, sending shockwaves through the sailing community.

The May 3 incident, during a crucial reach to Mark 1, saw the top of the wing invert abruptly, leading to the F50 overturning and five out of six crew members being thrown into the water. The data provided by the United States F50 unequivocally identified ‘user error’ as the root cause of the capsize.

Specifically, the mishap occurred when wing trimmer Victor Diaz de Leon inadvertently pressed a button, intended to flatten the wing, while stationed on the starboard side of the vessel. Regrettably, the action resulted in the wing inverting, a misstep that Diaz de Leon himself acknowledged with deep disappointment.

In his reflection on the harrowing incident, Diaz de Leon expressed remorse over his error, emphasizing the gravity of the situation and his gratitude for the safety of his teammates. His sentiments echoed those of the team’s CEO and strategist, Mike Buckley, who emphasized the collective responsibility and resilience of the team.

While acknowledging the mistake, Buckley underscored the team’s immediate understanding of the error and their commitment to learning from it. “Mistakes happen at any level,” he stated, emphasizing the team’s unwavering unity and dedication to improvement.

Despite the team’s swift recognition of the cause, the damage inflicted upon the U.S. F50’s wing proved insurmountable within the time constraints, rendering the vessel unfit for official racing. Consequently, the team’s absence from the competition in Bermuda served as a stark reminder of the unforgiving nature of the sport and the critical importance of precision and attentiveness at every turn.

The incident stands as a sobering reminder of the fine line between success and calamity in the high-stakes realm of competitive sailing.

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