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Oracle Racing catamaran capsizes in San Francisco Bay

By Augie Martin, CNN
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America's Cup catamaran capsizes
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Oracle says one crewman suffered minor injuries
  • Coutts: These boats "test the best sailors in the world"
  • Oracle is trying to attract more interest in sailing in the United States

San Francisco (CNN) -- If the exhibition on the waters of San Francisco Bay Monday is anything to go by, the 34th America's Cup to be held on these waters in 2013 is going to be fast, exciting, and potentially dangerous.

Racing their two futuristic and expensive multi-hull catamarans on a very windy San Francisco Bay, Oracle Racing managed to end-over-end capsize one of the two stealthy-looking, hard-sail equipped racers.

Oracle Racing says one crewman suffered minor rib injuries and was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

Oracle Racing, practicing publicly for the first time on their home waters with their new AC45 class boats, seemed to take it all in stride.

"The boats are spectacular, hard to sail. They're gonna test the best sailors in the world," said Russell Coutts, the four-time America's Cup winner and helmsman of the boat that capsized. "Luckily I had the crash helmet on."

Oracle Racing, begun and backed by software billionaire Larry Ellison, is hoping to attract more widespread interest in the sport of sailing in the United States.

Oracle Racing has praised the natural amphitheater provided by San Francisco Bay in the hopes that it will allow many more people to witness the capabilities and technology of these boats and their crews. Monday certainly seemed to prove that true.

The catamarans will continue their trials in San Francisco Bay through June, and eventually the 45-foot yachts will yield to the AC72 class boats, which will be the actual yachts sailed in the 34th America's Cup.