America's Cup boat capsizes during practice race in San Francisco Bay 

A 45-foot catamaran owned by Oracle Racing capsized Monday afternoon during a practice race in San Francisco Bay, injuring a crew member.

The crew member, Shannon Falcone, fell through the boat’s sail. He did not appear to be seriously injured.

The accident happened during an event promoting the America’s Cup races, which are being held in San Francisco. The two boats on display today were running practice races at the Golden Gate Yacht Club. The vessels, both owned by Oracle Racing, will be used in the first two seasons of the America’s Cup World Series.

The boat tipped over before the practice race even began as the vessels jockeyed for position, sources said.

Accidents are not uncommon in boat racing. In March, Craig Thompson, CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority, even boasted that the high-speed action would make for good TV.

“It’s dangerous, and television is going to love it,” Thompson said. “These guys are getting catapulted into the air, big time.”

According to Bob Benjamin, forecaster for the National Weather Service, a small craft advisory is in effect for coastal and bay waters. Benjamin said the Golden Gate Bridge is experiencing winds of up to 20 mph and Angel Island is reporting winds up to 28 mph.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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