Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Fisher's View- Day 4 ACWS San Francisco - Almost Jimmy's Day

by Bob Fisher on 26 Aug 2012
Oracle Spithill and Emirstes Team NZ in the Match Racing Semi-Final, America’s Cup World Series San Francisco 2012 August, Race Day 4 ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget http://photo.americascup.com/

Bob Fisher, one of the world's top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in San Francisco, CA, USA for the sixth round of the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having won the 1967 Little America's Cup, with Peter Schneidau on Lady Helmsman, and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

Dear Diary – Day 4 - America's Cup World Series - San Francisco, CA, USA

It was (almost) all Spithill on a Grade A grey day

Saturday was Spithill day on San Francisco Bay. The Oracle Team USA skipper won his match race semi-final and then placed second in the first of the fleet races before demonstrating total control in the second race to win by over a minute. He praised his local tactician, John Kostecki, for his contribution to the team's success: ' 'JK' knows the best way to go and I listen to him.'

In the first match of the day, in 12-15 knots of south-westerly breeze, Russell Coutts in Oracle Team USA - Coutts 'hooked' Terry Hutchinson in Artemis Racing - White at the start to claim the inside advantage at the first mark and when Hutchinson gybed at that mark, sailed down the shoreline in better breeze to lead by 12 seconds at the leeward gate.

Heading upwind at 14 knots, Coutts wobbled slightly when Hutchinson picked up a good shift inshore, but that was short-lived gain, and Coutts was 65 metres ahead as they approached the windward mark and rounded with a six second lead, heading off downwind at 21 knots to win by 20 seconds.

Next up was Spithill and Dean Barker with Emirates Team New Zealand. Spithill started to windward of the pair but Barker was inside and first to round the mark to begin the downwind leg. ETNZ led by nine seconds at the leeward gate and a tacking duel ensued with Spithill gaining inshore. Spithill led by four seconds at the windward gate and went on to win by 13 seconds to create and all-Oracle final tomorrow.

The fifth fleet race in the current regatta created its fair share of excitement, particularly when Coutts began his line-up in a similar manner to that of yesterday's first race! This time he avoided the committee vessel. Luna Rossa - Swordfish and Oracle Team USA - Spithill were penalised for premature starting and ETNZ led from the windward end of the line to the first mark.

As ETNZ went towards the city front shore, Yann Guichard took Energy Team down the middle in clear air, but ETNZ led at the leeward gate from Spithill and then the French team with Terry Hutchinson in Artemis Racing - White next. The inexperience in these boats for Ben Ainslie showed when he was forced outside the gate and was last around.

Upwind, Spithill worked the shore line while Energy took the offshore path and at the windward mark Energy Team was ahead by 19 seconds from Oracle Team - Spithill with ETNZ slipped to third. These positions were held to the finish with the two Luna Rossa boats next, ahead of Artemis Racing - White and then Oracle Team USA - Coutts.

For the next race, Barker chose the opposite (leeward) end of the line but it was Spithill, with a perfectly executed start who led at the first mark and then extended on every leg of the course to finish 1:11 in front of Team Korea, skippered by Nathan Outteridge. Energy Team was third to finish the day second on points, three ahead of Team Korea and Luna Rossa - Piranha, skippered by Chris Draper. If Energy wins tomorrow the French can take the overall trophy, so too can Team Korea, such is the importance of the final race win bonus.


Cheers,
Bob
NaiadPredictWind.com 2014Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

An interview with Ray Redniss about the STC’s annual Block Island Race
I caught up with Ray Redniss, the Block Island Race’s longtime PRO, via email to learn more about this classic event. I caught up with Ray Redniss, who has served as the PRO for the Block Island Race and the Vineyard Race (September 1, 2017) for the past twenty-plus years, via email to learn more about the state of this classic, early season New England event.
Posted on 22 May
An Q&A with Jeremy Pochman about 11th Hour Racing’s impressive efforts
I interviewed Jeremy Pochman of 11th Hour Racing to learn more about this forward-thinking environmental non-profit. 11th Hour Racing is doing some of the most forward-leaning environmental work in the entire marine sphere, and I wanted to learn more, so I reached out to Jeremy Pochman, 11th Hour Racing’s Strategic Director and Co-founder, to ask a few questions. All sailors are strongly encouraged to give this interview the time it deserves.
Posted on 15 May
A Q&A with Don Adams about Sail Canada’s plan to win Olympic medals
I caught up with Sail Canada CEO Don Adams to hear about Team Canada’s High Performance Plan for winning Olympic medals. Sail Canada, Canada’s national sailing authority, is implementing a new High Performance Plan with the aim of improving on their recent Olympic sailing performances. I caught up with Don Adams, CEO of Sail Canada, to learn more about this ambition plan for helping Canadian sailors win Olympic medals while also helping to inspire younger generations to pursue the Olympic-sailing dream.
Posted on 8 May
America's Cup - Southern Spars AC50 build for Emirates Team NZ + Video
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map 27 years after Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, Southern Spars were called on to build Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup Challenger. Here's a look behind the scenes at the composite engineering process Southern Spars employ on projects ranging from Volvo OR spars, to Olympic bike wheels to an AC50
Posted on 1 May
She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
A Q&A with Nicole Breault about women’s match racing in the USA
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about women’s match racing in the USA and about her upcoming Clinegatta. I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women’s match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Posted on 17 Apr
America's Cup - Team NZ return fire at Coutts' social media bullets
Emirates Team New Zealand have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers Emirates Team NZ have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers in a media release on Thursday (NZT) over the team's daggerboard use. In the release, replayed by America's Cup Events Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO Sir Russell Coutts on his Facebook page. It was claimed that the Kiwi team had an issue with daggerboards and were using a rule they had not supported to keep sailing
Posted on 2 Apr