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Friday, August 31, 2012

Near capsize for Groupe Edmond de Rothschild

Game On In Gusty Cardiff - Extreme Sailing Series - Day 2

The forecast for the second day of Act 5 in Cardiff was for lighter winds but the breeze over-delivered again on Cardiff Bay.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
If the increase in wind pressure was unexpected, the pressure on the teams as they battled for their position on the leaderboard was exactly as expected. The nine boats fought tooth and nail for the best position off the start line and gave no quarter in the close racing that unfolded on Cardiff Bay in front of the public and VIP guests.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Eight races in total were staged on the second day and, once again, good starts and slick boat handling was demanded in the gusty conditions – the French team Groupe Edmond de Rothschild came very close to capsizing at the downwind bearaway mark in the sixth race of the day but escaped unscathed, although the onboard cameraman only just managed to hang on (see today’s Race of the Day).
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The eight races produced six different winners including the Swiss team Alinghi, GAC Pindar and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. “If we had more space to play, the wind would not be so much of a problem as we are finding in such a small and constrained environment,” said Alinghi skipper, Ernesto Bertarelli.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Morgan Larson’s Oman Air pushed the Austrian team of Red Bull Sailing Team hard, coming within 2 points of the Act 5 leaders after 6 races. Despite the close competition, Red Bull Sailing Team remain top of the rankings ahead of Oman Air and overall Series leaders The Wave, Muscat are back in contention now lying third in the rankings at the halfway point of Act 5.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“Maybe we were a little conservative at times but generally we were safe, in control and trying to sail cleanly, so we can’t complain and we’re moving up the leaderboard as we always do after a bad day,” said British skipper Leigh McMillan. “We’ve got two more days of getting back into Red Bull’s points, we took a little bit out of them today and we will continue to do that.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
GAC Pindar dropped a place, now lying in fourth but skipper Andrew Walsh is pinning his hopes on his crew’s improving performance: “We had a real rough start to the day with three bad ones shall we say, but then we pulled our fingers out and got back to starting really well. The guys crew work has been brilliant and it’s really puffy wind conditions out there, so if you’ve got good boat handling it just means your tactics become so much easier and it felt like if we weren’t having a good race we could just overtake a few boats through really good crew work.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Pierre Pennec’s all-French team had the most rewarding day finishing in fifth place, climbing two places from yesterday. “Tonight, we are just 10 points off the podium. Even if we have the impression that we have sailed under our best level, we still are very close and gained two places overall,” said Pennec.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
For the local entry, Team Wales backed by the King of Shaves, who enjoyed the support of the home crowd, the biggest cheer came in the first race when they led the fleet around the tight race course only being overhauled by Red Bull Sailing Team in the final phase of the race. "The circuit style racing is not what we are used to, but it's great,”said Team Wales skipper Dave Evans, who at 26 is the youngest skipper in the fleet at Cardiff.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“Friends and family are down watching, and everyone seems to have a smile on their face. All of us have done our individual sailing, so when we knew our jobs it was a case of just communicating it. The communication sounds easy to do, but actually it is the hardest bit in sailing I think."
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The pace of the Extreme 40 racing is unforgiving with each race lasting just 10 minutes or so With a few minutes rest in between it is full on physically for the five crew as they throw their 40-foot speed machines around the tight, demanding courses.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It's all pretty frantic at the front, but it's been great,” said Team GB 470 sailor and London 2012 silver medalist, Hannah Mills who works the bow on board Team Wales. "The fleet is generally having a right-old battle. It's just wicked racing. So close and so short, and so exciting all the time."

Tomorrow’s forecast is for 15 knots as crews going into the penultimate day of Act 5 in Cardiff.

Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 5, Cardiff, Wales, UK standings after Day 2, 16 races (31.8.12)
Position / Team / Points

1. Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Pierre Le Clainche, Graeme Spencer 102 points
2. Oman Air (OMA), Morgan Larson, Will Howden, Charlie Ogletree, Andy Maloney, Nasser Al Mashari 93 points
3. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Bleddyn Mon, Hashim Al Rashdi 91 points
4. GAC Pindar (GBR), Andrew Walsh, Anna Tunnicliffe, Mark Bulkeley, Adam Piggot, Richard Peacock 86 points
5. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Christophe André, Romain Petit, Romain Motteau 83 points
6. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN), Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Jonas Hviid 80 points
7. Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli, Jean-Christophe Mourniac, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 78 points
8. Team Wales, Dave Evans, Torvar Mirsky, Tudur Owen, Hannah Mills, Ed Powys 56 points
9. ZouLou (FRA), Erik Maris, Philip Mourniac, Jean-Sébastien Ponce, Patrick Aucour, Bruno Jeanjean 50 points

Extreme Sailing Series Media

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Team Wales dismasts in Wild Start to Act 5 in Cardiff - Extreme Sailing Series

Breezy and gusty conditions on Cardiff Bay ensured that the opening day of Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Cardiff, Wales delivered an action-packed day for the nine Extreme 40s. Austria’s Red Bull Sailing Team blasted round the tight courses, reaching speeds of 29mph (25.4 knots) relishing the conditions that put Roman Hagara’s men at the top of the rankings at the end of day one.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“This was racing on the edge up to 25 knots of wind but we never lost control of the boat. It’s nice to be in first place but there are still three days to go. We have to focus and to concentrate and we can win,” Hagara said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
For local entry, Team Wales, skippered by young Welsh talent Dave Evans and with Team GB 470 Olympic silver medallist Hannah Mills calling tactics, the day ended in drama when the 62ft mast came crashing down. A component failure in the rig caused the mast to fall but it remained intact and the team expects to be back on the water tomorrow after what is sure to be a long night for their shore team.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Today was about supreme boat handling and minimizing mistakes and both Oman Air and GAC Pindar in the main did just that to end the day in second and third respectively. “It was a wild day, things happened quick and it was some of the tightest courses and some of the strongest wind we’ve had and that made it pretty exciting,” said US skipper Morgan Larson.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It was kind of hectic, there were tight corners, it was gusty, shifty, and basically we’re happy to have got through that day without any damage. The racing today was tactical, but boat handling was really the key today, that is really what got us through, sharp boat handling by all the guys.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Eight short and sharp races were staged today, that saw the nine-boat Extreme 40 fleet power reach off the start, flying to the top mark. As always the start was key and The Wave Muscat skipper, Britain’s Leigh McMillan will be kicking himself for his false starts today.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
But the Omani team may be down but they are certainly not out as they are determined to make Act 5 their fourth straight win: “We’ve had lots of bad days and always bounced back. Sometimes you need a back day to sort yourself out,” said McMillan. “We’re going to make sure we’re on top again, particularly after today. It makes me more determined to come back and try to get back to the top.”
Luke Patience Photo: © Lloyd Images
The nine strong Extreme 40 fleet were joined by a host of sports stars today that turned their hands to Extreme 40 racing for the first time. Ex-England cricket captain Michael Vaughan got extreme joining Andrew Walsh’s team on GAC Pindar, while some of Britain’s top sailing talent including Team Volvo sailors and Olympic silver medallists Luke Patience and Saskia Clark, 2008 Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison and Team GB match racer Kate MacGregor traded in their dinghies for Extreme 40s.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The event officially opens to the public tomorrow with thousands expected to descend on Cardiff Bay to witness the stadium style racing for the first time. All the action will be streamed live on the official event website with expert commentary from sailing expert Richard Simmonds from 1500 local time.

Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 5, Cardiff, Wales, UK standings after Day 1, 8 races (30.8.12)
Position / Team / Points

1.Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Pierre Le Clainche, Graeme Spencer 55 points
2. Oman Air (OMA), Morgan Larson, Will Howden, Charlie Ogletree, Andy Maloney, Nasser Al Mashari 50 points
3. GAC Pindar (GBR), Andrew Walsh, Anna Tunnicliffe, Mark Bulkeley, Adam Piggot, Richard Peacock 50 points
4. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN), Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Pete Cumming, Mikkel Røssberg, Jonas Hviid 44 points
5. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Bleddyn Mon, Hashim Al Rashdi 43 points
6. Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli, Jean-Christophe Mourniac, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 39 points
7. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Christophe André, Romain Petit, Romain Motteau 36 points
8. ZouLou (FRA), Erik Maris, Philip Mourniac, Jean-Sébastien Ponce, Patrick Aucour, Bruno Jeanjean 22 points
9. Team Wales, Dave Evans, Torvar Mirsky, Tudur Owen, Hannah Mills, Ed Powys 20 points

Extreme Sailing Series Media

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tight Racing On Super Sunday at AC World Series - San Francisco

ORACLE TEAM USA today captured the two championships of AC World Series San Francisco, thrilling the capacity crowds who had front row seats to close-quarter, fast-paced racing on San Francisco Bay.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
The day began with Russell Coutts, the four-time America’s Cup winner, taking out teammate Jimmy Spithill in the Match Racing Championship. In a race that saw the lead change hands three times, Coutts eked out a 1 second victory with both boats screaming across the finish line overlapped at 20-plus knots.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Then, about 40 minutes later, Spithill found himself in another charge to the finish line. This time he needed to overcome Team Korea (Nathan Outteridge) to capture the Fleet Racing and Event Championship.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Spithill rounded the last mark slightly overlapped on Outteridge’s stern and then got a penalty on his rival skipper. Outteridge was forced to slow down by the umpires, and Spithill sailed through to leeward and into second place for the race and a 1-point victory in the overall event standings.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“This is a fantastic result for ORACLE TEAM USA, to win the match racing, fleet racing and overall championship,” said Spithill, the reigning ACWS champion. “I can’t emphasize how much the boys fought around the race track. We battled our way back to the top in each event and were rewarded for it.”
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
For Coutts, the match racing title was his second consecutive, coming on the heels of a victory in Newport at the beginning of July, which wrapped the 2011-12 racing season. He has developed a fine touch for starting the AC45, which he displayed again today.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“It’s been a fantastic event for our team,” said Coutts, the CEO of ORACLE TEAM USA. “To get both teams in the match racing final is a great result, and Jimmy and the boys continue to be superb. It looked like the fans were having fun on the shore and that’s what it’s all about. We were certainly having fun on the water.”
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper) won the fleet race finale by three seconds over Spithill, who had sailed through Outteridge into second place. As has become his custom, Draper was solid off the start line and steady around the racecourse.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
At one point the crew led by 200 meters approaching the second leeward gate, but they almost gave it all away when they nearly capsized on the finish line. But the wingsail got eased just in time to avert disaster, and the finish gun fired a split-second after the windward hull slammed down into the water as the boat stabilized.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“We’ve seen in last few days that people who’ve been doing high-speed boat racing all their life – Nathan, myself, Yann (Guichard, Energy Team) and Jimmy, who has practiced here a lot – have done well,” said Draper. “But everybody’s going to improve, so we can’t rest on our laurels. We’ll train hard and come back in October with an eye towards winning.”
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
The next ACWS regatta in San Francisco is scheduled during Fleet Week, Oct. 2-7, when the ACWS fleet will share the Bay alongside the naval ships of the Pacific Fleet in one of the largest annual events held in San Francisco.

AC World Series San Francisco – Fleet Racing Championship Results

Race 1234567Total Points

ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL
217121286

Luna Rossa Piranha
382545185

Team Korea
744282365

Energy Team
4737131055

Luna Rossa Swordfish
9101657451

Artemis Racing White
536964848

Emirates Team New Zealand
895339943

ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS
16DNFDNS76542

Artemis Racing Red
6288911738

J.P. Morgan BAR
10594108637

China Team
1111101011101115

AC World Series San Francisco – Race Day Five
Match Racing Final
ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS beat ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL, 1-0

AC World Series San Francisco – Match Racing Championship
1. ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS
2. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL
3. Artemis Racing White
4. Emirates Team New Zealand
5. Energy Team
6. Luna Rossa Piranha
7. Luna Rossa Swordfish
8. J.P. Morgan BAR
9. Team Korea
10. China Team
11. Artemis Racing Red

Go to ACWS San Francisco Results for the full standings

America's Cup Media

Artemis Racing Update - America's Cup World Series - San Francisco - Grand Finale

America's Cup World Series - San Francisco - Grand Finale
26 August 2012

It was a perfect day for racing on San Francisco Bay.
Photo: Sander van der Borch/Artemis Racing Team
ORACLE Team USA's two AC45s lined up for the Match Racing Finals. It was America's Cup legend Russell Coutts who won the start off teammate Jimmy Spithill, and sailed a perfect race to win the title.
Photo: Sander van der Borch/Artemis Racing Team
In the Super Sunday fleet race, Skipper Terry Hutchinson had a brilliant start and led the fleet for the first three legs before catching an anchor rode on the downwind near Fort Mason which cost Artemis Racing - White valuable places. Luna Rossa - Piranha moved into the lead and stretched to win, with ORACLE Team USA - Spithill just a split second behind. Artemis Racing - White wrapped up the event 3rd overall in the Match Racing and 6th in the Fleet Racing, while Artemis Racing - Red was 9th in the fleet racing.
Photo: Sander van der Borch/Artemis Racing Team
"Some highlights followed by some lowlights, unfortunately. So, we have to continue to trust in ourselves and trust that we have the right process in place. We put a lot of effort into getting off the start line leading up to this event, but all in all a bit disappointed having had the start we had today. There's a lot of work to do and I can't say enough about the effort onboard," said Hutchinson at the conclusion of the America's Cup World Series - San Francisco.

The sailing team returns tonight to Alameda where the design and shore teams are putting the finishing touches on the Artemis Racing AC72.

AC45 action will return to Marina Green from 2-6 October for the next Ameria's Cup World Series event, which takes place during San Francisco Bay's famous Fleet Week.

Artemis Racing Team Media

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Zhik Nautica 2012 Moth Worlds - Day 7, Finals.

Josh McKnight Wins 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships

Campione del Garda, 26 August 2012

The 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships went down to the wire  Joshua McKnight kept his calm, sailed nearly flawlessly and prevailed over fellow countryman Scott Babbage with two bullets in three races. Rob Gough had a very good last day and snatched third place overall from Anthony Kotoun in the last race.
Josh McKnight and Scott Babbage Photo: ThMartinez.com
If Scott Babbage capsizes at the first weather mark then words are not enough to describe the tough, demanding but equally spectacular conditions on a race course. The Pelèr, the morning northerly breeze on Lake Garda, was blowing furiously from early on and with a violent storm forecast to hit Campione del Garda in the afternoon, the race committee had scheduled a 10am start. That gave the 60-strong Gold fleet of moths the opportunity to sail three exciting races that saw Josh McKnight prevail, practically from start to finish.
Scott Babbage Photo: ThMartinez.com
When the race committee fired the gun for the day’s first race, the 20-25 knots of Pelèr and one-metre waves were guaranteed to pressure the sailors and their boats. Both Babbage and McKnight had a clean start in the middle of the line and headed to the right-hand side of the course, as close to the eastern shore of Lake Garda as possible. Babbage was in the lead at the first top mark with McKnight hot on his heels. That’s when opportunity knocked on McKnight’s door. A few hundred metres after the distance marker Babbage capsized and went for a swim. Not only did McKnight assume control of the race, he stretched his lead and won with ease, ahead of Babbage and fellow Australian Rob Gough.
Rob Gough Photo: ThMartinez.com
In the second race of the day, conditions weren’t as brutal however 20 boats had to either abandon racing due to gear failure or opt for the safety of the marina. Without any doubt, the man of the race was Rob Gough whose bold tactical call paid a huge dividend and handed him the victory. On the northern race area, the eastern shore of Lake Garda is usually favored. However, Gough saw a big left shift coming, split from the bulk of the fleet and like the lone ranger, approached the first weather mark from the left. The move paid off and Gough rounded the first mark in third place, behind McKnight and Babbage. He stuck to his strategy and overtook the leading pair while Babbage snatched second place from McKnight right on the finish line.
Photo: ThMartinez.com
As the sky cleared and temperatures rose the Pelèr abated in the third race. McKnight and Babbage were still separated by just two-points and all McKnight had to do was to avoid having two boats between him and his sparring partner. Not only did he achieve it, he had a commanding lead from the start, crossing the finish line in front of Babbage. Rob Gough finished third to snatch the final podium place from Anthony Kotoun who struggled in the conditions.
Anthony Kotoun Photo: ThMartinez.com
Sunday’s races conclude the 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships that saw a record-setting number of 125 competitors from 20 countries. Conditions were on the lighter side at the beginning of the event but then Lake Garda delivered the goods and the Moths put wow factor back into sailing.

Quotes
Josh McKnight Photo: ThMartinez.com
Josh McKnight (AUS): “I’m pretty relieved because a lot of effort and money has been going into this program. I sailed a little bit more consistently when there was less breeze and Scott was a bit more unfortunate in one race where he got a 16th but that’s sailing. It’s really unfortunate for him. He probably put more time into this regatta than anybody else. I feel kind of bad taking it away from him but at the same time I’m happy and relieved I did it.
Josh McKnight Photo: ThMartinez.com
"It wasn’t all easy today. Scott was ahead in the first mark but I had a two-point lead coming into the day so I knew I had to take less risks than him in order to win. I tried to sail safely and even if he did beat me in the second race on the finish line, I figured it was just one point. Scott and I train a lot in these type of conditions and he’s the one that usually gets away and waits for me. So, for me to win in these conditions is really surprising.”
Scott Babbage Photo: ThMartinez.com
Scott Babbage (AUS): “I’m pretty disappointed although I’m happy for Josh because he sailed very well. As I said before, we have been training together all winter and it’s good to see that training paid off. The start of the week was good, I had a very good qualifying series but I had a bad day in the final that cost me.”
Rob Gough Photo: ThMartinez.com
Rob Goough (AUS): “The last day of the worlds was fantastic with very good breeze and good waves. I had a good day, I sailed around pretty comfortably and I could see the battle between Josh and Scott. When I came to the worlds my goal was to make the top three. I was eighth coming into this morning, so I’m pretty happy.”

2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships
Final Top 10 results after 9 races (1 discard) and qualifying rank

1. Joshua McKnight (AUS), 2+2+(4)+1+2+4+1+1+3+1=17
2. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+2+(16)+5+4+2+2+2=20
3. Rob Gough (AUS), 12+4+3+5+(11)+10+10+3+1+3=51
4. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 4+3+2+10+(33)+1+2+7+16+8=53
5. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 7+7+12+8+7+(34)+3+5+7+5=61
6. Bora Gulari (USA), 3+5+11+3+8+2+8+(36)+20+6=66
7. Chris Rashley (GBR), 5+12+9+11+13+9+(61 DSQ)+4+4+7=74
8. Julian Salter (AUS), 8+9+6+7+(38)+3+7+16+13+16=85
9. Simon Payne (GBR), 11+(31)+16+12+4+11+14+10+8+11=97
10. Brad Funk(USA), 18+6+10+4+1+8+5+(61 DNC)+14+33=99

Moth Worlds Media

Zhik Nautica 2012 Moth Worlds - International Moth Class Association (IM...

Highlights August 25 - ACWS San Francisco

Artemis Still In The Mix - ACWS San Francisco - Update

America's Cup World Series - San Francisco
24 August 2012

Today was Giant’s Day at the America’s Cup World Series with a full fleet sail by at the AT&T Giant’s Stadium before the Match Racing Semi-finals got underway, followed by two fleet races.
Photo: Sander van der Borch/Artemis Racing Team
Terry Hutchinson and the crew on Artemis Racing – White lined up against ORACLE Team USA Coutts in the first match race. Four-time America’s Cup winner, Russell Coutts won the pre-start and the AC45s battled around the course. At the windward gate Coutts beat Hutchinson into the three boat length circle, protecting the American team from having to give way to Artemis on starboard. Both boats sailed a good race, but the win went to Coutts who will now race stable mate Jimmy Spithill in the finals tomorrow.
Photo: Sander van der Borch/Artemis Racing Team
“It was a tough day. As we expected, Russell (Coutts) was feisty in the pre-start. We left just a little too much room,” said Skipper Terry Hutchinson. “In the fleet racing, we weren’t as quick today as we were yesterday. It was about as shifty and as tricky as you see it on San Francisco Bay at this time of year. Hats off to Jimmy and those guys who sailed well today.”
Photo: Sander van der Borch/Artemis Racing Team
In the fleet racing, Artemis Racing - White took a 6th and 4th, while Artemis Racing – Red was 9th and 11th.

Racing wraps up tomorrow with the Super Sunday final fleet race which counts for triple points. “We definitely are in the hunt, it’s all to play for tomorrow,” said Dave Perry, Artemis Racing’s Rules Advisor.

Artemis Racing Team Media

Spithill Blitzes Fleet Racing, Match Racing All USA Final - ACWS San Francisco

After pitching a strike down the middle when he threw out the first pitch on America’s Cup day at the San Francisco Giants’ baseball game, ORACLE TEAM USA’s Jimmy Spithill had a great day on the racecourse at the America’s Cup World Series on Saturday.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Spithill started his afternoon with a win over his arch-rival, Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand, to advance to the Match Racing Final. He followed it up with two strong fleet racing performances and leads the field heading into Sunday’s grand finale.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“The first fleet race was probably the best one for us,” said Spithill, who broke the start line (OCS) before the signal. “We were under a lot of pressure. It was my fault for breaking the line, but every challenge I throw at these guys they somehow claw us back. The key is when we get behind we fight the whole way around the track and the guys are rewarded for it.”
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Yann Guichard’s Energy Team won the opening fleet race, coming from behind to pass Spithill and Barker late in the race and steal the win. Spithill was second after being OCS while Barker, the early race leader, was forced to settle for third place after leading at the first four mark roundings.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
In the second race, a pile-up at the bottom gate allowed Spithill’s team on one side, and Team Korea on the other, to break free and escape the pack.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Given a clear path, Spithill raced away, building the biggest lead of the week en route to his fourth win in six fleet races – a dominant performance. Team Korea’s Nathan Outteridge, more than 1 minute behind, recovered from a poor opening race with a second place finish, while Guichard, in third, posted his second podium finish of the afternoon to lift Energy Team into second place on the leaderboard.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“Today was a big day for us. It wasn’t easy because the wind is really shifty, but I’m so happy for my team because they did a fantastic job,” said Guichard. “This morning we changed the setup of the headsail and found some extra speed. It’s so much easier to have good tactics with good speed.”

The fleet racing concludes on Sunday with the seventh and final race of the Championship. The Super Sunday race is weighted more heavily in the scoring, meaning at least four teams are in the mix to win the championship tomorrow.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
In the semifinals of the match racing championship, ORACLE TEAM USA Coutts (Russell Coutts) sprinted off the starting line with a small lead that the veteran skipper was able to extend further on the first downwind leg. But Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing White narrowed the gap on the race upwind, closing right up to where the boats nearly collided at the top mark. Coutts held his nerve, sailing over the top of the Swedish boat to lead through to the finish and a spot in the Final on Sunday.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Coutts’ teammate, Spithill, then took the opportunity to make the Final an all ORACLE TEAM USA affair by winning his match against Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand. Barker timed his run to the starting line to perfection, crossing at top speed on the inside track to the first mark. The Kiwis led through the bottom gate, but Spithill chipped away with tiny gains up the next leg, before finally making the pass right at the top mark and holding on for a come-from-behind win.
Photo: © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
The AC Village at the Marina Green was bustling with an enthusiastic weekend crowd and the racecourse boundaries were marked by a large spectator fleet all afternoon. After racing, a free concert by Dr. Dog closed Saturday’s activities in the race village.

Coverage of Sunday’s racing begins at 11:30 am PDT and will be broadcast live around the world on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial broadcast restrictions).

AC World Series San Francisco - Fleet Racing Championship Provisional Results

Race 1234567Total Points

ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL
21712161

Energy Team
47371348

Team Korea
74428245

Luna Rossa Piranha
38254545

Artemis Racing White
53696439

Luna Rossa Swordfish
910165735

Emirates Team New Zealand
89533935

ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS
16DNFDNS7629

Artemis Racing Red
628891128

J.P. Morgan BAR
1059410826

China Team
1111101011109
AC World Series San Francisco – Race Day Four
Match Racing Quarterfinals – Results
ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS beat Artemis Racing White, 1-0
ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL beat Emirates Team New Zealand, 1-0

Match Racing Leaderboard (First and second to be determined on Sunday)
3. Artemis Racing White
4. Emirates Team New Zealand
5. Energy Team
6. Luna Rossa Piranha
7. Luna Rossa Swordfish
8. J.P. Morgan BAR
9. Team Korea
10. China Team
11. Artemis Racing Red

America's Cup Media