Laurence Scott reports on the high drama on the high seas as Team New Zealand's boat takes an unplanned dip sending two men into the Bay.
In a sailing race that basically had only one competitor, the series opener of the Louis Vuitton Cup finals Saturday had moments of high drama when the call of "man overboard" was made by Team New Zealand.
The Emirates 72 foot boat plunged momentarily into the chilly bay waters as it made a tight turn. Two men were tossed into the bay. The dive also tore the tarp in the center of the massive catamaran.
The incident didn't cost the Kiwis the race as they easily beat the Italian Team Luna Rossa who barely got off the starting line.
The announcers of the race were clearly shaken as the hull of the sailboat went under water followed by the alert "man overboard."
Both crew members were lifted out of the water by a rescue boat within a minute and Emirates finished the race with nine men, instead of 11.
The two men who went overboard were not hurt.
"We're thankful all the guys are OK. It's just part of racing,'' Emirates skipper Dean Barker said.
Team New Zealand won the first race of the day. The second planned race was cancelled due to high winds.
The Italians weren't ever in race Saturday, and benefited by the second race cancellation.
Team Luna Rossa scrambled to repair lines around the right dagger board of their 72-foot catamaran just before the start.
During the race, Luna Rossa's broken board wobbled up-and-down within seconds, and the team fell far behind as they made more repairs.
The Kiwis quickly had their boat foiling above the water, and they seemed to be flying away with the win until the front of the hulls dipped under water and two men tumbled overboard during a sharp turn.
The crew members could've been crushed by the hulls that crashed down after they tumbled overboard.
Both teams will work long hours overnight trying to make repairs ahead of the 1 p.m. start.
The winner of the best-of-13 Vuitton Cup advances to the America's Cup match against Oracle Team USA.