Danger levels high for America's Cup sailors

Associated Press + More

By PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The margin for error is exceedingly small for a sailor sitting three stories above the San Francisco Bay on the side of a high-tech catamaran as it leans toward the water literally flying along the surface like a giant stingray at 40 mph.

That's why these America's Cup sailors are suited up in padded body armor and crash helmets. And it's the reason they carry emergency oxygen tanks.

New safety regulations proposed last week following the death of a sailor during a training run addressed capsizes at length and eased competitive rules in favor of assisting a capsized yacht.

But sailors aren't taking any chances with their safety.

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