Please select your home edition
Edition
The Water Shed - 4

America's Cup World Series Newport - Oracle Team USA provides thrills

by Tim Jeffery on 30 Jun 2012
Oracle Team USA - America’s Cup World Series Newport 2012 Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA © http://www.oracleteamusamedia.com/
America's Cup World Series 2011-12 final event is currently underway in Newport, RI. Racing before another enthusiastic crowd estimated at nearly 9,000 people, Oracle Team USA kept providing thrills for its American fans.

Helmsmen Jimmy Spithill and Russell Coutts advanced their crews to Sunday’s match racing championship by beating Artemis Racing (Terry Hutchinson) and Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper), respectively. Both Oracle Team USA sailors gained advantages on the start line that they wouldn’t relinquish.

In the second fleet race of the event, sailed after the match race semifinals, Spithill staged a late comeback to overtake longtime rival Emirates Team New Zealand on the short ninth and final leg to the finish line to win by seven seconds.

'It was a fantastic race track, very, very challenging,' said Spithill. 'There were a lot of opportunities out there. I thought our boathandling was very sharp and our speed was good. It was a very polished performance from the guys onboard. They have a never-give-up attitude, fought their way around the track and were rewarded. It’s very satisfying.'

Coutts, the four-time America’s Cup winner, did a masterful job in the pre-start of his match race against Luna Rossa Piranha. Coutts pushed Draper to the start line and positioned himself to leeward of his rival, a setup that allowed Coutts to sail Draper to the course boundary after the first reach mark and gain control of the match.

'I had a plan to push him. Because of the way the current was setting up it was going to be hard for him to defend, and he was just a bit too early,' said Coutts. 'Taking him out to the boundary was the safe option because you close his avenues off.'

Coutts’ fortune turned a bit sour in the fleet race. He had a poor start and then encountered a penalty halfway through the race that relegated him to seventh.

'With 30 seconds to go we were setup nicely for the start, and then I messed up the timing from there,' said Coutts. 'We also got a stupid penalty halfway through the race. You can’t make those types of mistakes and expect to win in this fleet. The level’s just too great.'

Spithill had his own troubles in his match racing pre-start versus Artemis Racing. He was late into the start box, but quickly regained control when Artemis Racing received a time penalty for starting too early. The match was close for the first two legs, but Spithill and crew gained control on the third leg, and upwind leg, and covered to the finish.


In the fleet race, Spithill had a good start near the windward end of the line and quickly settled into a battle with Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing. All three crews showed fine form in extending from the fleet and settled into a battle of nip and tuck, each taking turns making gains.

Spithill and the Kiwis swapped the lead a couple of times before Team New Zealand settled in at the front on the last downwind leg, Leg eight of nine. Spithill took the left side of the racecourse (looking downwind), opposite from Team New Zealand.

The two crews converged from opposite sides of the course within 100 meters to the last turning mark, but Team New Zealand had to jibe while Spithill came in with speed. He was able to sail through the lee of Team New Zealand as they completed their maneuver, and then sped to the finish for the satisfying victory.

'We liked that side of the course downwind all day,' said Spithill. 'They had to do one more maneuver to get around the mark, which also factored in our decision making. We had a real enjoyable battle with them and Artemis; it was just a case of never giving up.'

Two fleet races are scheduled tomorrow afternoon, after the ACWS – Newport Speed Trials. The match racing championship is slated for Sunday, before the fleet race finale from which the Newport champion and first-ever ACWS overall champion will be crowned.


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), Kyle Langford (wingsail trimmer), Simon Daubney (headsail trimmer), Matt Mitchell (runners), Sam Newton (bowman).

2011-12 ACWS – Newport Fleet Racing Championship
Team (Country) R1-R2 — Total Points
1. Oracle Team USA Spithill (USA) 1-1 — 20
2. Artemis Racing (SWE) 4-3 — 15
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 6-2 — 14
4. Oracle Team USA Coutts (USA) 2-7 – 13
5. Energy Team (FRA) 5-4 — 13
6. Luna Rossa Piranha (ITA) 3-8 — 11
7. Luna Rossa Swordfish (ITA) 7-5 — 10
8. Team Korea (KOR) 8-6 — 8
(Scoring: first place = 10 points, second = 9, third = 8, fourth = 7, fifth = 6, sixth = 5, seventh = 4, eighth = 3)

Match Racing Championship – Semifinal Results
Match 1: Oracle Team USA Spithill d. Artemis Racing, 1-0
Match 2: Oracle Team USA Coutts d. Luna Rossa Piranha, 1-0

Related Articles

Will NZ's most successful Olympic Sailing event cop the Selection axe?
New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain in September 2014. In two of those the RS:X Windsurfing event, New Zealand is unlikely to be represented in the Men's event, and in the Women's event, Natalia Kosinska would appear to be a borderline selection.
Posted today at 2:58 am
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
Kosinska to hit out against the Hyeres heavy metal in 2016 Olympic bid
Natalia Kosinska (NZL) will face a star-studded field in the Womens RS:X event at Hyeres later this week. 2016 Olympic aspirant, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) will face a star-studded field in the Womens RS:X event at the third round of the Sailing World Cup Hyeres.
Posted on 26 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Rio2016 - Winther hits ball firmly into Olympic selectors' court
2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has made a strong bid for inclusion in the 2016 NZ Olympic Sailing Team 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has made a strong bid for inclusion in the 2016 NZ Olympic Sailing Team finishing 11th in the 2016 Laser Radial World Championships in Mexico. Running a self-funded campaign which took in the Princesca Sofia Regatta in Palma, Spain followed by the World Championship on Banderas Bay, Mexico, Winther placed 11th overall and 10th country.
Posted on 21 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Kosinska flies out in RS-X Olympic bid
Women's RS:X Windsurfer sailor, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) flew out of Auckland today for the Sailing World Cup Hyeres Women's RS:X Windsurfer sailor, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) flew out of Auckland today for the Sailing World Cup Hyeres, in her final attempt to gain NZ Olympic selection. Kosinska has been training in her own program in New Zealand with the 2015 Women's World Champion, Chen Peina (CHN) in the RS:X Windsurfer, and Zhichao Zhang the Men's #4 at the 2015 Worlds in Oman
Posted on 18 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther makes top three in final Qualifying race
2012 Olympic Representative, Sara Winther continues to improve at the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds 2012 Olympic Representative, Sara Winther continues to improve at the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds and has moved up the leaderboard to be in 12th place at the end of the shortened Qualifying Round. She placed third in the only race sailed today and continues to improve as the regatta progresses, and her confidence builds.
Posted on 18 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther scores three single digit places - Day 3
New Zealand 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has advanced three places up the points table New Zealand 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has advanced three places up the points table at the 2016 Laser radial Worlds being sailed in Mexico. She now lies in 15th place overall after three days of racing. She achieved single digit scores in the three races sailed today, despite hitting marks in two races and having to perform penalty turns.
Posted on 17 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Kiwis locked in Olympic selection fight - Day 2
The points gap has narrowed between the two elading New Zealand contenders for 2016 Olympic selection The points gap has narrowed between the two lading New Zealand contenders for 2016 Olympic selection in the Womens Singlehanded Laser Radial class.
Posted on 16 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther off to a handy start in light airs
Sara Winther has got away to a handy start to the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds, being sailed in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Sara Winther has got away to a handy start to the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds, being sailed in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. She is best placed of the three New Zealand competitors in the regatta, lying in 22nd overall after two races were sailing the Qualifying Round.
Posted on 15 Apr
T Clewring - GenericLancer Not EqualThe Water Shed - 3