The noise of the impact was heard over 500 metres away in the race village, and a crewman from each of the boats was hurled into the water:
"It was a massive and very loud crash," said Gaebler. "It was scary, its 1.2 tons of boat crashing into each other. It's so loud you cannot imagine. It's like driving a car going from 200km/h to zero, the boat stopped in a second."
From Alinghi, Yves Detrey, was taken off the boat just after the crash with an injury to his left arm but this was soon confirmed as not serious. "We started the day under pressure after two bad races," said Alinghi skipper Tanguy Cariou (FRA). "We tried to bear away, we lost control of the boat and had big collision. I fell in the water and the bowman hit the winch. We are of course disappointed and sorry for Team Extreme, we had a big crash, but its part of the game."
With a long night in the pitlane, both boats still hope to make tomorrow's start line.
Watch the extraordinary video footage here.
With a large hole in the back of the port hull, Team Extreme was kept afloat by a support RIB. They were towed to the technical area and craned out immediately. Both Alinghi, with bowsprit damage, and Team Extreme were out of the game for the rest of the day. The pitlane will be buzzing tonight as the support teams battle to get the boats back racing tomorrow.
The Extreme 40 fleet contested more races today than ever before - there will be some tired pro sailors tonight. The demanding conditions and intense competition in the Stadium Sailing format, produced plenty of scrapes and bumps.
Alinghi were hit at the start of the first race by Emirates Team New Zealand and again by Artemis Racing and the umpires were kept busy refereeing the 11-boat fleet.
Terry Hutchinson's Artemis Racing were leading this morning but after losing and regaining the lead several times, they have now been relegated to second place overall by France's Groupe Edmond de Rothschild as Pierre Pennec's (FRA) team put in a strong performance with two first places and two second places.
There is just one point in it though, and very close behind in third, just eight points back, is Dean Barker's Emirates Team New Zealand, "Each day is like a regatta, if you're in the top four at the end of the day then you have a chance of winning," said Ray Davies, coaching Emirates Team New Zealand at Act 3.
Luna Rossa now lie in fourth place after 22 races as The Wave, Muscat and Red Bull Extreme Sailing climb one place each. The top six boats all still have a real chance of climbing on the podium on Sunday night - with as many as 200 points potentially still up for grabs.
It's been the best Act so far this year for Team GAC Pindar, with a well earned 7th place, as Ian Williams' team continue to find their groove, followed by Oman Air and Niceforyou tied on 112 points. Alinghi are now on 111 points and Team Extreme on 88 but with possible redress to come after being taken out by Alinghi in the big crash of the day.
Position / Team / Points
1 - Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA) - 171 points
2 - Artemis Racing (SWE) - 170 points
3 - Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) - 163 points
4 - Luna Rossa (ITA) - 156 points
5 - The Wave, Muscat (OMA) - 153 points
6 - Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT) - 140 points
7 - Team GAC Pindar (GBR) - 121 points
8 - Niceforyou (ITA) - 112 points
9 - Oman Air (OMA) - 112 points
10 - Alinghi (SUI) - 111 points
11 - Team Extreme (EUR) - 88 points