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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

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