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America's Cup champ Oracle returns after capsize

Photo: Robert Galbraith/Reuters

The Team Oracle USA boat capsized on Oct. 16, destroying its 131-foot wing sail.

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- America's Cup champion Team Oracle USA has returned to the water 3 1/2 months after its 72-foot catamaran was heavily damaged in a spectacular capsize on San Francisco Bay.

Skipper Jimmy Spithill says it was a "fantastic" day in about 10-12 knots of wind Monday.

The boat capsized on Oct. 16, tumbling stern over bow. It was caught in a strong ebb tide and swept more than four miles past the Golden Gate Bridge. The high-tech, 131-foot wing sail was destroyed.

Oracle had to wait for a new wing sail to arrive by ship from New Zealand before it could sail again.

The Louis Vuitton Cup for challengers starts July 4 on San Francisco Bay, with the winner facing Oracle in the 34th America's Cup beginning Sept. 7.

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