Friday, September 16, 2011

Korea and Kiwis Have a Good Day At ACWS - Plymouth

Six teams were knocked out of contention for the Plymouth Match Racing Championships title including both ORACLE Racing boats.
Photo: © Ricardo Pinto ACEA
After beating China Team in the day's opening match of the day, Chris Draper and Team Korea pounced on ORACLE Racing Spithill when the Australian Skipper's team struggled with a faulty jib clutch. Once Spithill fell behind, the Korean team were never going to let go of their lead and took victory. The Koreans kept their momentum going beating Energy Team to move into the semi-final phase tomorrow which will see them meet Artemis Racing in a best-of-three match.
Photo: © Gilles Martin-Raget ACEA
The first Semi-Final between Emirates Team New Zealand and ORACLE Racing Coutts, brought two former team mates head to head, Russell Coutts and his fellow Kiwi and former apprentice Dean Barker. With each team scoring a come-from-behind win in the first two matches, it went down to the third before Dean Barker and the Kiwi team prevailed over the Defender in a close deciding race, to sail into the Final.
Photo: © Ricardo Pinto ACEA
"We made it hard,” Barker said. “Those guys are pretty quick and start the boat well, and it was pretty close in all three races. But we're a lot happier with the way we finished off the last race.”

Green Comm Racing’s defeat of Aleph sees by the Spanish team move to the next phase.
Photo: © Ricardo Pinto ACEA
Aleph now sit out the racing tomorrow, and will be scored as ninth place in the Match Racing Championship. Green Comm Racing sailed well against Spithill, but never really threatened the reigning America’s Cup skipper. The Spanish team goes up against China in tomorrow’s matches to decide seventh and eighth.
Photo: © Gilles Martin-Raget ACEA
Team Korea dominated China Team in their match, leading from start to finish. Then Draper came from behind to win his next two races, first against Spithill and then against Energy Team. Loick Peyron’s start was excellent but handling errors allowed the Koreans back into the game. Draper seized his chance to earn his spot in the Semi-Finals.
Photo: © Gilles Martin-Raget ACEA
Three victories from three matches was a perfect score for a team with very little match racing experience. It also marks the second time that Chris Draper has handed out a match racing lesson to the Defender, having also toppled Russell Coutts in Cascais a month earlier. "I've nothing against ORACLE,” said Draper. “We are trying to improve our match racing skill. The changing format has given us some more opportunity. Our experience in match racing is limited but we have some smart guys on board."
Photo: © Ricardo Pinto ACEA
Spithill was generous in defeat: “Certainly Korea has caused some problems to ORACLE Racing but full credit to those guys. They hung in there. We had a few issues with the gear and we made a tactical error on the run. We got what we deserved.”
Photo: © Gilles Martin-Raget ACEA
Tomorrow is another busy day as the Plymouth Match Racing Championships reaches its climax. First up is the best-of-three Semi Final between Team Korea and Artemis Racing, who sat out today’s competition after winning the fleet racing phase yesterday. Then come the matches to decide the minor placings, and then a best-of-three Finals.

Friday’s Results

Green Comm Racing defeated Aleph; 1-0
Team Korea defeated China Team; 1-0
ORACLE Racing Spithill defeated Green Comm Racing; 1-0
Team Korea defeated ORACLE Racing Spithill; 1-0
Team Korea defeated Energy Team; 1-0

Emirates Team New Zealand defeated ORACLE Racing Coutts; 2-1

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