Port Cities Challenge results in second, seventh for Oracle + Video

ORACLE Racing - America’s Cup World Series San Diego 2011: Port Cities Challenge
In the America’s Cup World Series Port Cities Challenge taking place in San Diego, Oracle Racing’s Jimmy Spithill and his crew consisting of John Kostecki, Dirk de Ridder, Joe Newton and Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen finished with 42 points, which left them seven points behind winner Emirates Team New Zealand. Spithill, however, pointed to the crew’s performance on the start line as an area for improvement.

'We never nailed a start,' said Spithill. 'We were OK, conservative, mid-pack. I thought the guys sailed very well in the pack. Every time we were able to climb forward and get out of it. Boat handling was really physical today and JK did good job on the wind. I was happy with our damage control but we have to do a better job on the line to win races.'

Today’s weather was in marked contrast to yesterday’s steady, soaking rain. Brilliant sunshine and a nice eight to ten knot westerly greeted the sailors for the scheduled start at 1:10 p.m. Four races – one of approximately forty minutes and three at 18-20 minutes – were held with the wind topping out around fourteen knots in some puffs.

The weather enticed many fans to visit Broadway Pier where they had a front row seat to the action. The leeward gate was placed right in front of the pier and fans were able to watch the sailors as they furled the massive gennakers and rounded the gate, often times within feet of each other.

Oracle Racing Coutts finished the regatta in seventh place with 33 points. New skipper Darren Bundock, an accomplished multihull sailor, said it was an average day where nothing seemed to go their way.

'We didn’t have good starts and when we made up a bit of ground we would generally lose it,' said Bundock. 'We also had an OCS and a penalty. I guess if you can get those sorts of things out of the way in one day that’s the way to do it; practice race is the time to get it wrong.'

Racing for the ACWS San Diego begins in earnest on Wednesday with three fleet races scheduled. The races will help determine the seeding order for the match racing championship, scheduled Thursday through Saturday. A final, winner-take-all fleet race is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 20. Speed Trials also are scheduled for Wednesday and next Sunday.

America’s Cup World Series San Diego – Port Cities Challenge:

1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 2-3-1-7-2-2 — 49 points
2. ORACLE Racing Spithill (USA) 3-8-2-5-3-3 — 42
3. Artemis Racing (SWE) 1-4-6-9-1-5 — 41
4. Energy Team (FRA) 7-5-3-4-6-1 — 40
5. ALEPH (FRA) 8-7-5-1-5-4 — 36
6. Team Korea (KOR) 6-9-4-2-4-7 — 35
7. ORACLE Racing Coutts (USA) 4-2-8-3-8-8 — 33
8. China Team (CHN) 5-1-7-8-7-6 — 32
9. Green Comm Racing (ESP) 9-6-9-6-9-9 — 22

(Scoring: first = 10 points, second = 9, third = 8, fourth = 7, fifth = 6, sixth = 5, seventh = 4, eighth, ninth = 3)

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