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(Rich) “Boys and their toys…”

… or just Karma?

Oracle Team USA will be without a full-sized boat until at least February, after the $8 million racing craft flipped in San Francisco Bay on Tuesday, and currents carried the cutting-edge craft out to sea. The article has 15 dramatic photos, including some of the 72-foot boat getting towed back to Pier 80 under the lights of the Golden Gate Bridge, after dark! Fortunately, $8 million watercraft can be repaired – none of the 11 sailors on the vessel were seriously injured.

“Larry, Prince of Darkness,” (LPOD) is the nickname given to Oracle co-founder and CEO, Larry Ellison, by the open source java community after Oracle sued Google for the use of java technology in Android. Larry was (tellingly) a close “friend” of Steve Jobs. Friendship is a rare commodity in high tech and Silicon Valley, but even ENTJs need it.

Ethics and consistency aren’t exactly the LPOD’s reputation: he’s famously a fan of a quote attributed to Genghis Khan: “It’s not enough that we win; all others must lose”.  – James Gosling

The radical boat is capable of slicing through the water at TWICE the wind speed, and had THIS to say:

“No question it’s a setback for us,” said Jimmy Spithill, the boat’s skipper. “You come across challenges from time to time in this sport. It’s going to be a real test for our team, but we’ll bounce back. These guys are professionals. How we move forward from this will be how our team is judged. This won’t stop us from winning the America’s Cup.”

Spithill said it will take at least six months to fashion a new sail, while a backup boat won’t be ready until February. In the meantime, he said, the team will prepare for the fall 2013 cup race in a smaller, 45-foot boat.

Utility boats traveled 5 miles outside the Golden Gate to tow the chewed-up, upside-down AC72 catamaran back under the bridge to San Francisco‘s Pier 80 early Wednesday. There, a giant crane hauled it up to dry land a full 18 hours after it pitch-poled near the St. Francis Yacht Club, tossing some of the 11 sailors into the bay.

As the crews worked, some sailors and race fans wondered if the Oracle team had driven too hard in a radical boat capable of slicing through the water at twice the wind speed.

“I am no expert and this isn’t for me to say, but a lot of people have been wondering if they were maybe pushing the envelope too far,” said Andy Turpin, the managing editor of Latitude 38, a respected Bay Area sailing magazine. “That’s a question that is on the minds of a lot of sailors.”

The “wing,” the long, mast-like device that shoots into the air to catch the wind, was destroyed, according to team officials. However, Spithill’s assessment was that, “The wing is badly damaged, but so far from what we have seen on the boat, it’s actually in relatively good shape.”

After the boat capsized Tuesday night and pitched forward, a 5-knot current, one of the heaviest ebb tides of the year

“The misfortune really was that there was an outgoing sea current that swept the boat into a bigger seaway, which caused a lot of damage,” <team tactician John> Kostecki said.

He added, “It is the first time one of these AC72s capsized. It is kind of new territory for everybody.”

“We really have to look through a lot of the data we’ve only just started downloading,” Spithill said.

Nature abhors man’s arrogance almost as much as it does a vacuum.

-Bill at

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