by Tim Jeffery
In the America's Cup World Series, the two crews led by helmsmen James Spithill and Russell Coutts, placed third and fourth behind Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing after three qualifying fleet races to set up a one race showdown between the pair.
Americas’s Cup World Series 2011: Oracle Racing - Racing Day 4
Again the racing was tight, with newcomers such as Team Korea and China Team proving capable of leading a race. The first of the three fleet races was abandoned and then re-started as light winds prevailed off Cascais. Oracle Racing Spithill recorded a 3-2-3 scorecard and Oracle Racing Coutts a 2-3-7.
This seeded the team’s two crews against each other in a match race for third and fourth, with the honors going to the Oracle Racing Spithill crew. Coutts and crew looked poised for a great start down at the pin end of the line, but were judged to be just over line.
The act of re-starting gave the Oracle Racing Spithill crew a commanding lead that they rode to the finish line to capture third place. Both crews struggled to get consistently good starts, the split second timing of the acceleration on the line being the vital factor.
'We been over the line four races out of seven,' said Coutts of today’s and yesterday’s races. 'That’s not good in any kind of boat. You can’t expect to score well if you do that. We’ve got to work together at racing the boat better.'
Earlier Spithill had his own early start worries but recovered from last in the third fleet race finish third. 'We were slow to get off the start line today but had a fantastic day around the course,' said Spithill. 'That gives us huge confidence going into tomorrow.'
The racing continues tomorrow with a similar format. At the end of Friday the top two pairs get a bye into Saturday’s knock-out match race semifinals while the next four crews will reach the semifinals after a quarterfinal round.
ACWS – Cascais Match Racing Championships day two
1. Emirates Team New Zealand/Dean Barker 1-1 – 20 points
2. Oracle Racing Spithill/James Spithill 2-3 – 17
3. Artemis Racing/Terry Hutchinson 5-2 – 15
4. Team Korea/Chris Draper 3-5 – 14
5. Oracle Racing Coutts/Russell Coutts 6-4 – 12
6. Energy Team/Loick Peyron 4-6 – 12
7. China Team/Mitch Booth 8-7 – 7
8. Aleph/Alain Gautier 7-8 – 7
9. Green Comm/Vasilij Žbogar 9-9 – 3
(Scoring: 1st = 10 points, 2nd = 9, 3rd = 8, 4th = 7, 5th = 6, 6th = 5, 7th = 4, 8th-9th = 3)
Oracle Racing website
America's Cup World Series website