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ACWS San Francisco - Team USA Spithill claw back from slow start

by Lisa Ramsperger on 8 Oct 2012
America’s Cup World Series San Francisco 2012 Oracle Team USA© http://www.oracleteamusa.com
America’s Cup World Series San Francisco - Oracle Team USA Spithill clawed back from a slow start to win today’s Super Sunday fleet race and take home the fleet racing overall championship. With the win, Oracle Team USA Spithill captured both the match racing and fleet racing titles at the regatta. Oracle Team USA Coutts crossed the line in second in the final of seven fleet races on the week to finish fifth overall.

'We were dead last off that start line, but it didn’t even faze this team,' skipper Jimmy Spithill said. 'We’ve got a real team of fighters here, and we’re very, very happy. I’ve got a great group of guys behind me.

'We’ve always said that we need to be able to come back from behind, and we need to be able to face some adversity. I thought I gave them some of that yesterday with the capsize,' Spithill joked. 'It really is a sign of a strong team. From our support crew, our coach Philippe [Presti] and all of our shore crew, it was a fantastic team effort.'

Oracle Team USA Coutts rounded the first mark today in third place with Oracle Team USA Spithill in last. While helmsman Russell Coutts and crew held position, Spithill gradually made up ground. At the fourth gate, Coutts and Spithill were sitting first and second, respectively, before Spithill took the lead down the fifth leg.


With bonus scoring on the table, Oracle Team USA Spithill finished tied with J.P. Morgan BAR, skippered by Ben Ainslie, at 79 total fleet points, but won the overall title with a first-place finish in the final race. It was the second consecutive ACWS fleet racing title for Spithill. Oracle Team USA Coutts closed out the week with 56 points in fifth place and also finished fifth in the match race standings.

'I changed my strategy today, changed the way we set up into the starting line, and we had a really good start – exactly what we wanted. We positioned the boat a bit differently, got in a really nice spot early on,' Coutts said. 'To be honest, I didn’t feel that great about how we were sailing going into the week. Sometimes you feel really good, and sometimes you just can’t really get it together. But, no excuses. It was a good week of racing overall, and good to be part of Fleet Week festivities. And, Jimmy and Ben are both sailing really well.'

On Saturday, Oracle Team USA Spithill claimed the match racing championship. The team bounced back from capsizing in the fleet races to return to the race course and defeat Emirates Team New Zealand.

Oracle Team USA now turns its attention to sailing the new AC72 in the coming weeks. The next ACWS will take place in Spring 2013.


The 11 boat fleet for this week’s regatta also included: Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper), Team Korea (Peter Burling), Energy Team (Loick Peyron), Luna Rossa Swordfish (Iker Martinez), Artemis Racing – White (Terry Hutchinson), Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker), Artemis Racing – Red (Nathan Outteridge), J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) and China Team (Phil Robertson).

Crew Lists:
Oracle Team USA Spithill– Jimmy Spithill (helmsman), Dirk de Ridder (wing trimmer), John Kostecki (tactician), Joe Newton (headsail trimmer), Jonathan MacBeth (bowman).
Oracle Team USA Coutts – Russell Coutts (helmsman), Sam Newton (wing trimmer), Tom Slingsby (tactician), Rome Kirby (headsail trimmer), Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (bowman).


Fleet Racing:
Team (Country): R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7 – Total
Oracle Team USA Spithill (USA): 8(4), 1(21), 6(6), 5(7), DNF, 2(10), 1(40) - 79
J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR): 1(12), 3(9), 1(12), 2(10), 4(8), 1(12), 4(16) - 79
Artemis Racing White (SWE): 10(2), 2(10), 2(10), 1(12), 3(9) 3(9), 3(20) - 72
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL): 2(10), 8(4), 5(7), 6(6), 1(12), 4(8), 7(10) - 57
Oracle Team USA Coutts (USA): 3(9), 5(7), 8(4), 7(5), 8(4), 10(2), 2(25) - 56
Artemis Racing Red (SWE): 4(8), 4(8), 4(8), 4(8), 9(3), 8(4), 5(13) - 52
Energy Team (FRA): 6(6), 7(5), 7(5), 3(9), 6(6), 7(5), 6(11) - 47
Team Korea (KOR): 5(7), 9(3), 10(2), 8(4), 9(4), 10(2), 10(7) - 40
Luna Rossa Piranha (ITA): 9(3), 6(6), 3(9), 10(2), 10(2), 6(6), 9(8) - 36
China Team (CHN): 7(5), 10(2) , 11(1), 9(3) , 5(7), 11(1), 8(9) - 28
Luna Rossa Swordfish (ITA): 11(1), 11(1), 9(3), 11(1), 7(5), 9(3), 11(6) - 20
(Super Sunday Scoring: first place = 40 points, second = 25, third = 20, fourth = 16, fifth = 13, sixth = 11, seventh = 10, eighth = 9, ninth = 8, 10th = 7, 11th = 6)


Oracle Team USA website

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