The United States’ dramatic pre-racing capsize was caused by crew error, according to data provided by the team’s F50.

The incident occurred during the third fleet race of practice day when the U.S. team was on the reach to Mark 1. The top of the wing inverted - or bent the wrong way - resulting in the F50 suddenly flipping over and five of six crew-members falling overboard.

Data provided by the United States F50 defined the cause of the capsize as ‘user error’. Specifically, the capsize occurred when wing trimmer Victor Diaz de Leon pressed a button which inverts the wing by accident when he was positioned on the starboard side of the boat. It is understood that Diaz de Leon’s intention was to flatten the wing, not to invert it.

Season 4 // United States capsize in Bermuda with Emirates GBR in background

SailGP’s data team highlighted that the button was pressed a total of seven times before the capsize, meaning it was not defective and had been used successfully before the incident.

Reflecting on the incident, Diaz de Leon said he was ‘disappointed’ in himself for making the error.

Season 4 // USA after capsize in Bermuda

“While operating the wing, I chose the wrong function on my control panel, which caused our boat to flip. It was very scary and I’m thankful all my teammates are safe,” he said.

Team CEO and strategist Mike Buckley added that the team ‘knew right away what went wrong’ but said ‘mistakes happen at any level’.

Season 4 // Damage caused to USA wing by Bermuda capsize

“We compete as a team and whatever the outcome is - whether it’s what we want - we win and lose as a team and we learn from it.”

Damage caused to the U.S. F50’s wing was too significant to repair in time for official racing, which meant the team was unable to compete in Bermuda.