Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spithill Stakes His Claim To Win Fleet Racing at ACWS Plymouth

Sailing fans were treated to plenty of high drama and antics in 30 knots of wind on the final day of the ACWS on Plymouth Sound.
Photo: © Gilles Martin-Raget ACEA
ORACLE Racing Spithill won the Plymouth Fleet Racing Championship and Aussie skipper James Spithill was back on top of his game after a lame showing in the Match Race Championship yesterday.

“It’s redemption after the match racing,” said Spithill.  “I still think we had a bit left in the tank to be honest. The puffiness and change in direction made it challenging, but what a fun race.” 
Photo: © Gilles Martin-Raget ACEA
Just before the start Energy Team capsized while trying to dodge Team Korea, but Loick Peyron’s crew got the boat upright in record time so they could race. Minutes later Artemis Racing collided with Green Comm Racing, riding up over the back of the boat. Skipper Vasilij Zbogar fell off the back of the Spanish boat and injured his hand and with their boat now damaged Green Comm were forced to retire. 
Photo: © Gilles Martin-Raget ACEA
Steering clear of trouble in the pre-start, both ORACLE Racing boats and Emirates Team New Zealand flew off the start line with the other teams in close pursuit. China Team capsized at the first mark but quickly got sorted. 

The boats reached speeds in excess of 50km/h. Emirates Team New Zealand fought tooth and nail with both ORACLE boats, Spithill moved clear on the final lap and Dean Barker had to settle for second place ahead of Russell Coutts. 
Photo: © 2011 ACEA/Ricardo Pinto
“Today it was racing and survival,” said Barker. “When the wind cranked up it was full on. The hard thing was not the wind speed but the big puffs which were unpredictable. We always like to win, but nice to get past Russell and take second.”

Sunday’s Results

STANDINGS – PLYMOUTH FLEET RACING CHAMPIONSHIP
1. ORACLE Racing Spithill
2. Emirates Team New Zealand
3. ORACLE Racing Coutts
4. Aleph
5. Team Korea
6. Energy Team
7. China Team
8. Artemis Racing
8. Green Comm Racing

PLYMOUTH MATCH RACING CHAMPIONSHIP (Saturday) 

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

Lulu Roseman

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