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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tight Sailing in Tricky Conditions - AC45 World Series San Diego

The America’s Cup World Series – San Diego started on Saturday with the opening fleet races in the Port Cities Challenge. It was a challenging start to the event for the nine race crews as they competed in light, shifty and very wet conditions.
Photo: © 2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
Emirates Team New Zealand lead the fleet after the first day and only one point separates the top four boats. Artemis Racing is tied with the Kiwis, while China Team and ORACLE Racing Coutts are just one point back. The win in race two by the Chinese was their first win in the AC World Series.

Only two of the three scheduled races were sailed, but there was still plenty of action to keep the crowds entertained. The shifty winds provided endless opportunities for changes up the leaderboard in the first race.
Photo: © 2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand both shot up the race course in the final moments of race one from deep among the fleet. Artemis Racing won followed by the Kiwis in second place, ahead of ORACLE Racing Spithill – who had led much of the race – and ORACLE Racing Coutts, with new skipper Australia's Darren Bundock at the helm.

“It was tough,” said Kiwi skipper Dean Barker. “The first race we were pretty fortunate to hook into a nice pressure line of wind at the end. It's swings and roundabouts, but if you get the last one right it's a good feeling. In the second one we sailed a much better race.”
Photo: © 2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
After waiting for the wind to build, the second race was sailed on a shorter race course. ORACLE Racing Spithill and Team Korea both jumped the start line and copped a penalty while China Team sailed flawlessly race to take the bullet.

“That’s our first win,” said China Team skipper Charlie Ogletree. “It’s a great feeling. We’ve been working hard and I think the whole team deserves it, from shore team to management, to everyone. It’s huge. Everyone has been doing double duty, working really hard, so it’s a very positive thing for us.”

The Port Cities Challenge continues on Sunday with three additional fleet races scheduled. Representatives from the member cities will be aboard the race boats on Sunday. The event culminates with a public prize-giving ceremony at the AC Village following racing.

Results – Day One – Port Cities Challenge

Place

Team

Race 1

Race 2

Points

1.

Emirates Team New Zealand
2
3

17

2.

Artemis Racing

1

4

17

3.

China Team

5

1

16

4.

ORACLE Racing - Coutts

4

2

16

5.

ORACLE Racing - Spithill

3

8

11

6.

Energy Team

7

5

10

7.

Green Comm Racing

9

6

8

8.

Team Korea

6

9

8

9.

ALEPH

8

7

7

Lulu Roseman

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