ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill has often spoken about the risks inherent in pushing the boundaries of the sport.
The team had another reminder of that on Wednesday when grinder Graeme Spence went overboard in front of the main beam, and fell in the water between the two hulls. Spence was in a vulnerable position, crossing the boat in a tack, when the boat rapidly decelerated, throwing him forward.
“Any time you see or hear someone go over the front it’s a real bad feeling,” said Spithill. “That time from when he goes over the front to when you see him pop back up on the surface and see the thumbs up, always takes too long.”
“You’re very aware of everything that’s around you – the four foils in the water with you,” Spence said. “I just sort of froze a little bit and then was quite relieved to realize I was out the back of it.”
“Every day we are constantly reminded of pushing the limits and learning from them,” Spithill concluded.