by Tim Jeffery
In the America’s Cup World Series Plymouth, brisk winds ensured that the 10,000-plus crowds were treated to seven matches and some slick racing, especially from Team Korea who are mounting their country’s first-ever America’s Cup challenger.
America’s Cup World Series 2011 - ORACLE Racing - Racing Day 5- match Racing
'It’s fantastic seeing such a large crowd,' said Oracle Racing skipper Jimmy Spithill. 'With Chris Draper and the Team Korea guys doing well, you can tell the crowd is cheering for them.'
Team Korea continued its hot run of late by taking down Artemis Racing in the semis and advancing to the final against Emirates Team New Zealand. In another race one crew was scored 'did not finish' for failing to sail the proper course.
After Artemis Racing lost in the semis it met up with Oracle Racing Coutts in the match for third and fourth.
Artemis Racing led early, but Oracle Racing Coutts made a passing move on the second upwind leg. Moments later Artemis Racing had regained the upper-hand when skipper Russell Coutts on port tack opted to dip behind Artemis to get to the right side. But Oracle Racing Coutts strayed outside of the course boundary while preparing to tack.
'In hindsight we should have seen that (the boundary) coming,' said Coutts.
'It was a poor race from us,' he said. 'That’s the tough thing about this game. You think you’re making improvements but when you’re tested your weakness is exposed again. But you saw the top teams in the final, and Team Korea is definitely one of them this week.'
In the match for fifth and sixth, Oracle Racing Spithill defeated France’s Energy Team. Skipper Jimmy Spithill got the better of rival Loick Peyron when he trapped the French catamaran to windward. Spithill luffed Energy Team to a halt and then bore away to take an eight second advantage onto the racecourse. Oracle Racing Spithill went on to win by more than two minutes.
'We sailed a good race, definitely improved,' said Spithill. 'At the start we just tried to get the best jump we could. It was a tricky race track and we sought the best jump we could get. It was never really over until the end.'
Both crews return to action tomorrow at 3:00 pm local in the ACWS Plymouth Championship, a fleet race of approximately 40 minutes in length.
ACWS Plymouth Match Racing Championship
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) – 10 points
2. Team Korea (KOR) – 9
3. Artemis Racing (SWE) – 8
4. Oracle Racing Coutts/Russell Coutts (USA) – 7
5. Oracle Racing Spithill/James Spithill (USA) – 6
6. Energy Team (FRA) – 5
7. Green Comm Racing (ESP) – 4
8. China Team (CHN) – 3
9. Aleph (FRA) – 3
Oracle Racing Coutts: Russell Coutts (helm), Murray Jones (wing trim), Matthew Mason (middleman), Simon Daubney (trimmer), Simeon Tienpont (bow)
Oracle Racing Spithill: James Spithill (helm), John Kostecki (tactician), Dirk de Ridder (wing trim), Joe Newton (trimmer), Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (bow)
Oracle Racing website