Saturday, August 13, 2011

ORACLE Racing Spithill Crowned Match Race Championship

Cascais, Portugal, 13 August 2011

James Spithill and his ORACLE Racing crew dominated Emirates Team New Zealand to win the Cascais AC Match Race Championship today, as the AC World Series Cascais enters the final weekend of racing.
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA
There was action aplenty with close starts, gnarly speed runs to the first turning mark and early passing lanes. The race course boundaries were crowded with spectator boats, Spithill and his crew sailed near flawless races on Saturday, with good starts, strong crew work, and winning decision-making.
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA
“I feel like we’ve ramped up as we’ve gone through the week,” Spithill said, after the victory. “We’ve peaked at the right time. I’m very happy. It feels fantastic.”

For Emirates Team New Zealand it was a disappointing day, after the team dominated the competition to this point.
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA
“Like any day there’s a list of things you can do a lot better, we have a lot of improvement left to make and things to develop,” Barker said. “We’re looking for an improvement tomorrow.”

Artemis Racing was forced to settle for third place after withdrawing from their Semi Final against Spithill when their giant gennaker sail came tumbling down on deck before it could be furled. Rather than risk more damage to the equipment, skipper Terry Hutchinson decided to pull out of the race.

“We had a little bit of an issue in which the gennaker came down and it was quickly going to start doing a lot of damage to the boat so we took the decision of retire and protect the asset,” Hutchinson explained. “But we did a lot of things really, really, well.”
Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/ACEA
Fourth place went to an elated Team Korea. Chris Draper and his crew opened the day with a win over ORACLE Racing Coutts, to make it into the semis.

“We’re over the moon to finish where we have,” Draper said. “It’s surpassed our expectations. We were very pleased to have beaten Russell Coutts, so it was a bit difficult to control our emotions, but we’re over the moon.”

The top three teams were honoured in a podium ceremony following the last match, where winning skipper James Spithill was presented with a Louis Vuitton Watch by Yves Carcelle, the Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton.

On Sunday, the focus shifts back to fleet racing. All nine teams will be on the water for the AC World Series Cascais Championship, a winner-takes-all, single fleet race, for ranking points that will carry forward throughout the America’s Cup World Series. Start time is 1500 local time (GMT+1).

Cascais AC Match Race Championship – Final points after Saturday’s races


Place Team Points
1 ORACLE Racing Spithill 10
2 Emirates Team New Zealand 9
3 Artemis Racing 8
4 Team Korea 7
5 ORACLE Racing Coutts 6
6 Team Energy 5
7 Green Comm Racing 4
8 Aleph 3
9 China Team 3

Match Race Results

Final – ORACLE Racing Spithill def Emirates Team New Zealand, 2-0

Semi Final 1 – ORACLE Racing Spithill def Artemis Racing 1-0
Semi Final 2 – Emirates Team New Zealand def Team Korea 1-0

Quarter Final 1 – Artemis Racing def Team Energy, 1-0
Quarter Final 2 – Team Korea def ORACLE Racing Coutts

America's Cup Media

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