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AC World Series San Francisco - Spectacular day on San Francisco Bay

by Paul Cayard on 8 Oct 2012
Artemis Racing - 2012 America’s Cup World Series San Francisco Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing © http://www.sandervanderborch.com
Artemis Racing’s Paul Cayard reports from San Francisco, California at America's Cup World Series.

Another spectacular day on the Bay of San Francisco. The Blue Angels were working up in the air and the America's Cup sailors were working at sea level. It was a historical day too because I think that today was the largest crowd to ever watch a sailboat race in person. It would be hard to get an official count with all the offices, apartments, houses, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, bridges, Marin headlands not to mention fans along shorelines of Crissy field, Marina Green, Pier 39, plus about 500 boats out on the bay, but I would not be surprised if it wasn't 500,000. And if you think that's impressive, wait for Super Sunday!

The format of the day was the same as the preceding days with two match races followed by two fleet races. The only difference for the day was that the final of the Match Racing took place after the fleet races which made for a long day for those two boats.

Both Artemis Racing teams qualified for the Match Race semifinals but unfortunately both Artemis boats lost their races. Onboard Red, we had a great start against ETNZ, led at the first mark but did not get into the boundary far enough to maintain 'protection' when ETNZ came at us on starboard. Lesson learned. Thereafter the track was pretty one sided with the current on the change from flood to ebb therefore rendering a 'split' very low likelihood of success. So we followed and kept it close in case the Kiwis made a mistake, we would be able to capitalize. But they did not so we lost by 10 seconds or so. In the other match which featured Artemis White against Oracle Spithill, Oracle had a better start and maintained the lead for the 13 minute duration of the race.

Next the whole fleet got onto the track and competed in two races. Artemis White had a very good day with a pair of thirds but we on Artemis Red had our worst day with a 9, 8. In the first of the two races, we did not have a good start and then our gennaker got wrapped and could not be used for the last two downwind legs. We fought hard without the sail and managed to beat on boat plus Oracle Spithill who had capsized in spectacular fashion at the first mark right in front of St Francis Yacht Club and 50,000 spectators.

Today is 'Super Sunday' named that way because there is just one fleet race and it is for all the marbles. Typically, any of the top five boats can win the event if they can win on Super Sunday. This makes Sunday, 'Super Exciting' The points on offer for Sunday are: 40 for first place, 25 points for second and 20 for third, 16 for fourth and 12 for fifth. So the event is very winnable for Artemis White who is in second place with 52 points trailing BAR who is leading with 63. It would be a big stretch but also possible for Artemis Red, currently on 39 points, to win if we win the race and BAR is fifth.

In sport, you can’t ever ask for more than that...a shot to win it all on the last day! And that's where we are with both Artemis boats! Americas Cup website

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