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Oracle’s Spence thrown overboard

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Oracle Team USA member Graeme Spence had a scare this week when he was thrown overboard during practice aboard its new America's Cup Class boat 17 on the Great Sound.

Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team skipper, has often spoken about the risks associated with pushing the boundaries of the sport, especially at high speed.

The 35th America's Cup defender had another reminder of that on Wednesday when Spence, the grinder, 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 forwards.

“Any time you see or hear someone go over the front it's a real bad feeling,” Spithill said. “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 realise I was out the back of it.

“Every day we are constantly reminded of pushing the limits and learning from them.”

Oracle Team USA held a ceremony this month at their base to reveal 17, the foiling catamaran the team will race in Bermuda this summer.

“This is the boat we're racing to win the America's Cup,” Spithill said.

Scary moment: Spence goes overboard on the Great Sound

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Published February 25, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated February 24, 2017 at 10:43 pm)

Oracle’s Spence thrown overboard

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