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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bundy Blows Spithill Out Of The Water - Oracle Racing Update ACWS Naples Day 2

Sailing today on a relatively calm Bay of Naples, ORACLE Racing Bundock advanced to the semi final round of the ACWS Naples Match Racing Championship by defeating stable mate ORACLE Racing Spithill.
Photo: © Guilain Grenier/Team USA
 The two crews have spent hours training and testing against each other on San Francisco Bay, where the America’s Cup will be staged in 2013. Today the friendly rivalry turned fierce with the added dimension of points for the ACWS Overall Championship at stake.

“I suppose we can thank the shore crew for the victory against Jimmy,” said skipper Darren Bundock. “We’re very happy to walk away with the win from that one. I guess it’s all that training they’ve given us the past couple months.”
Photo: © Guilain Grenier/Team USA
That Bundock’s boat No. 5 even made the start was a testament to the ORACLE Racing Shore Team. In yesterday’s racing the No. 5 boat was damaged in the rough seaway when a crack developed around a deck hatch.

The shore team, led by Andrew Henderson and including “The Three A’s” – Andrew Walker, Aaron Hunter and Andrew Rhodes – pulled an all-nighter to complete the repair job, which required grinding, new core sections and laminating.
Photo: © Guilain Grenier/Team USA
No one was quite certain if the boat would be ready until the heat guns were turned up at full blast about an hour before the start of the race to accelerate the laminate curing process.

“Lucky for us the shore crew did a fantastic job overnight. They had four repairs to make: two cracks in the hull and a little damage from a RIB when we came dockside,” said Bundock. “Probably an hour before the race start they still had the heat guns going to set the carbon off. It was all touch and go, but lucky for us they got us out there.”
Photo: © Guilain Grenier/Team USA
Besides the four cracks on ORACLE Racing Bundock, the shore crew also had to repair some broken frames in Spithill’s wingsail.

“It just wasn’t an issue,” said Spithill. “It goes to show, I think we have best shore team here. It gives you confidence knowing they can get both boats out there, full credit to them.”

The victory puts ORACLE Racing Bundock into the match racing semifinals where the crew will race Luna Rossa Piranha, steered by Chris Draper, with the winner advancing to the match racing final. ORACLE Racing Spithill is assigned seventh place for the match racing championship. Under the new regatta format, you must win to advance.

The match racing was followed by two fleet races of 30 to 40 minutes. ORACLE Racing Spithill placed 7-4 and holds second for the fleet racing championship behind Emirates Team New Zealand. ORACLE Racing Bundock placed 4-8 and holds seventh in the standings after having to sit out yesterday’s second fleet race due to the hull damage.

Spithill said the crew battled all day: “We really want to pride ourselves on being consistent, and today we really weren’t. That is sport, but we have to learn from it and move forward. There’s plenty of racing left, we just have to come out tomorrow firing.”

America’s Cup World Series Naples Fleet Racing Overall Standings

Team (Country) R1 – R2 – R3 – R4 — Total
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 3 (8) – 1 (10) – 1 (10) – 1 (10) — 38 points
2. ORACLE Racing Spithill (USA) 1 (10) – 3 (8) – 7 (4) – 4 (7) — 29
3. Luna Rossa – Piranha (ITA) 6 (5) – 6 (5) – 2 (9) – 3 (8) — 27
4. Team Korea (KOR) 4 (7) – 2 (9) – 5 (6) – 6 (5) — 27
5. Energy Team (FRA) 2 (9) – 4 (7) – 8 (3) – 5 (6) — 25
6. Luna Rossa – Swordfish (ITA) 7 (4) – 5 (6) – 6 (5) – 2 (9) — 24
7. ORACLE Racing Bundock (USA) 5 (6) – DNC – 4 (7) – 8 (3) — 16
8. Artemis Racing (SWE) DNF – DNC – 3 (8) – 7 (4) — 12
9. China Team (CHN) DNF – DNC – 9 (2) – 9 (2) — 4
(Note: Standings reflect race finish and (points scored) in parenthesis)

America’s Cup World Series Naples Match Racing Championship
Qualifier 1 // April 12
Artemis Racing d. China Team

Quarterfinal 1 // April 12
ORACLE Racing Bundock d. ORACLE Racing Spithill

Quarterfinal 2 // April 12
Luna Rossa Piranha d. Team Korea

Quarterfinal 3 // April 13
Emirates Team New Zealand v. Artemis Racing

Quarterfinal 4 // April 13
Energy Team vs. Luna Rossa Swordfish

Semifinal 1 // April 14
Emirates Team New Zealand/Artemis winner v. Energy Team/Luna Rossa Swordfish winner

Semifinal 2 // April 14
ORACLE Racing Bundock vs. Luna Rossa Piranha

Final // April 14
Semifinal 1 winner v. Semifinal 2 winner

Tim Jeffery

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