America’s Cup World Series - Oracle Team USA hold on to top spot

Fleet - ACWS 2012 San Francisco
America’s Cup World Series match racing final on Sunday will be an all Oracle Team USA affair after helmsmen Russell Coutts and Jimmy Spithill each notched wins in the semis in San Francisco on Saturday, 25th August. Oracle Team USA Spithill followed with second and first place finishes in the day’s fleet races to hold on to the top spot on the leaderboard.

'This is the second event in a row that we've both made the final in match racing, so we're happy with that,' said Coutts. 'We defended well, and in a close match race it’s good to come out on top. After the events of yesterday, I expect it to be a very aggressive race tomorrow.'

At the 2011-12 America’s Cup World Series finale in Newport, R.I., Oracle Team USA Coutts and Oracle Team USA Spithill also faced off, with Coutts coming out on top. Coutts set the stage for a re-match on Sunday with a win vs. Artemis Racing White in the day’s first semifinal match. In the second match, Oracle Team USA Spithill came from behind, passing Emirates Team New Zealand heading into the third gate, to win.

Spithill and crew continued to dominate the fleet racing, even after taking a penalty on off the start in the first of the day’s two races. Oracle Team USA Spithill made up ground to sit in the lead just past mid-way on the course, but Energy Team pulled ahead to win the first by just 16 seconds.

In the second fleet race – the penultimate of seven fleet races on the ACWS schedule this week – Spithill took the lead around the second mark. He gradually extended to open a wide gap and finish one minute, 11 seconds ahead of second-place Team Korea. Oracle Team USA Spithill has 61 points in the fleet standings, with Energy Team in second with 48.

'We put a big emphasis on boat handling in this regatta, and I think it’s showed,' said Spithill. 'Every day you go out sailing you sharpen your skills and get better, and JK [John Kostecki] just had another fantastic day. We're really having a blast sailing out in front of these crowds. We have thousands of people down here cheering us on – it’s awesome.'

Oracle Team USA Coutts finished seventh and sixth in the day’s two fleet races, respectively, to sit in eighth place overall with 29 points in the fleet standings.

'Russell is still not talking to me,' Spithill joked as he looked ahead to Sunday’s match racing final. 'He's got plenty of incentive from yesterday, so it will be like a bare-knuckle brawl out there.'

The Super Sunday match racing final begins at 11:45 AM PDT. The fleet race follows at 12:15 PM PDT with bonus points available for the final race, opening the door for the potential of big changes on the leaderboard.

Tune in to race action throughout the week on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial broadcast restrictions). On television in the U.S., coverage is available Thursday through Saturday in the Bay Area on NBC Bay Area 11.2, and in California on Comcast SportsNet California. The Sunday finale will be broadcast live, coast to coast in the United States, on NBC from 11:30 AM PDT.

Oracle Team USA - ACWS 2012 San Francisco

Crew Lists
Oracle Team USA Spithill– Jimmy Spithill (skipper/helmsman), John Kostecki (tactician), Dirk de Ridder (wingsail trimmer), Joe Newton (headsail trimmer), Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (bowman)
Oracle Team USA Coutts – Russell Coutts (skipper/helmsman), Murray Jones (wingsail trimmer), Shannon Falcone (trimmer), Kinley Fowler (trimmer), Sam Newton (bowman)

Fleet Racing
Team (Country): R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6 (PTS) – Total
Oracle Team USA Spithill(USA): 2(10), 1(12), 6(6), 1(12), 2(11), 1(12) – 61
Energy Team (FRA): 4(8), 7(5), 3(9), 7(5), 1(12), 3(9) – 48
Team Korea (KOR): 7(5), 4(8), 4(8), 2(10), 8(4), 2(10) – 45
Luna Rossa Piranha (ITA): 3(9), 8(4), 2(10), 5(7), 4(8), 5(7) – 45
Artemis Racing White (SWE): 5(7), 3(9), 6(6), 9(3), 6(6), 4(8) – 39
Luna Rossa Swordfish (ITA): 9(3), 10(2), 1(12), 6(6), 5(7), 7(5) – 35
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL): 8(4), 9(3), 5(7), 3(9), 3(9), 9(3) – 35
Oracle Team USA Coutts (USA): 1(12), 6(6), DNF, DNS, 7(5), 6(6) – 29
Artemis Racing Red (SWE): 6(6), 2(10), 8(4), 8(4), 9(3), 11(1) – 28
J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR): 10(2), 5(7), 9(3), 4(8), 10(2), 8(4) – 26
China Team (CHN): 11(1), 11(1), 10(2), 10(2), 11(1), 10(2) – 9
(Scoring: first place = 12 points, second = 10, third = 9, fourth = 8, fifth = 7, sixth = 6, seventh = 5, eighth = 4, ninth = 3, 10th = 2, 11th = 1)

Match Racing Quarterfinals – August 25
Match 1: Oracle Team USA Coutts d. Artemis Racing White
Match 2: Oracle Team USA Spithilld. Emirates Team New Zealand

Match Racing leaderboard (first and second determined 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

Oracle Team USA - ACWS 2012 San Francisco

The Duchess of Cambridge in front of the America's Cup
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