Traveling between 150 and 200 mph, a driver lost control during a qualifying heat on Mission Bay. The boat broke apart.
The driver, 50-year-old Mark Porter, was inside a capsule that shot away from the boat on impact.
"That's probably the first time I've seen a capsule go into the water open, which is just terrible," said witness Mike Hancock.
The driver was rescued immediately and is recovering in the hospital.