AC World Series: ORACLE TEAM USA primed for a Super Sunday

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Sunday, 26 August 2012 17:08

Sunday’s match racing final will be an all-ORACLE TEAM USA affair after helmsmen Russell Coutts and Jimmy Spithill each notched wins in the semis at the America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco on Saturday, Aug. 25. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL followed with second- and first-place finishes in the day’s fleet races to hold onto the top spot on the leaderboard.

 

“This is the second event in a row that we’ve both made the final in match racing, so we’re happy with that,” said Coutts. “We defended well, and in a close match race it’s good to come out on top. After the events of yesterday, I expect it to be a very aggressive race tomorrow.”

At the 2011-12 America’s Cup World Series finale in Newport, R.I., ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS and ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL also faced off, with Coutts coming out on top. Coutts set the stage for a re-match on Sunday with a win vs. Artemis Racing White in the day’s first semifinal match. In the second match, ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL came from behind, passing Emirates Team New Zealand heading into the third gate, to win.

Spithill and crew continued to dominate the fleet racing, even after taking a penalty on off the start in the first of the day’s two races. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL made up ground to sit in the lead just past mid-way on the course, but Energy Team pulled ahead to win the first by just 16 seconds.

In the second fleet race – the penultimate of seven fleet races on the ACWS schedule this week – Spithill took the lead around the second mark. He gradually extended to open a wide gap and finish 1 minute, 11 seconds ahead of second-place Team Korea. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL has 61 points in the fleet standings, with Energy Team in second with 48.

“We put a big emphasis on boat handling in this regatta, and I think it’s showed,” said Spithill. “Every day you go out sailing you sharpen your skills and get better, and JK [John Kostecki] just had another fantastic day. We’re really having a blast sailing out in front of these crowds. We have thousands of people down here cheering us on – it’s awesome.”

ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS finished seventh and sixth in the day’s two fleet races, respectively, to sit in eighth place overall with 29 points in the fleet standings.

“Russell is still not talking to me,” Spithill joked as he looked ahead to Sunday’s match racing final. “He’s got plenty of incentive from yesterday, so it will be like a bare-knuckle brawl out there.”

FLEET RACING

Team (Country): R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6 (PTS) – Total

  1. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (USA): 2(10), 1(12), 6(6), 1(12), 2(11), 1(12) – 61
  2. Energy Team (FRA): 4(8), 7(5), 3(9), 7(5), 1(12), 3(9) – 48
  3. Team Korea (KOR): 7(5), 4(8), 4(8), 2(10), 8(4), 2(10) – 45
  4. Luna Rossa Piranha (ITA): 3(9), 8(4), 2(10), 5(7), 4(8), 5(7) – 45
  5. Artemis Racing White (SWE): 5(7), 3(9), 6(6), 9(3), 6(6), 4(8) – 39
  6. Luna Rossa Swordfish (ITA): 9(3), 10(2), 1(12), 6(6), 5(7), 7(5) – 35
  7. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL): 8(4), 9(3), 5(7), 3(9), 3(9), 9(3) – 35
  8. ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (USA):  1(12), 6(6), DNF, DNS, 7(5), 6(6) – 29
  9. Artemis Racing Red (SWE): 6(6), 2(10), 8(4), 8(4), 9(3), 11(1) – 28
  10. J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR): 10(2), 5(7), 9(3), 4(8), 10(2), 8(4) – 26
  11. China Team (CHN): 11(1), 11(1), 10(2), 10(2), 11(1), 10(2) – 9

(Scoring: 1st place = 12 points, 2nd = 10, 3rd = 9, 4th = 8, 5th = 7, 6th = 6, 7th = 5, 8th = 4, 9th = 3, 10th = 2, 11th = 1)

MATCH RACING QUARTERFINALS – AUGUST 25

Match 1: ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS d. Artemis Racing White

Match 2: ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL d. Emirates Team New Zealand

MATCH RACING LEADERBOARD (first and second determined Sunday)

3. Artemis Racing White

4. Emirates Team New Zealand

5. Energy Team

6. Luna Rossa Piranha

7. Luna Rossa Swordfish

8. J.P. Morgan BAR

9. Team Korea

10. China Team

11. Artemis Racing Red