Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik ZKG

Fisher's View- Fleet Race Final - The End at San Diego

by Bob Fisher on 21 Nov 2011
San Diego America’s Cup World Series - Racing Day 5 - Fleet Race ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/

Bob Fisher, one of the worlds top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in San Diego for the Third round of the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having competed for Britain in the Little America's Cup and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

Dear Diary – Day 7 - America's Cup World Series - San Diego, California, USA


Just as he had promised the boss, Larry Ellison, Jimmy Spithill delivered the double championship victory in San Diego when he added the winner-takes-all Fleet Racing Championship to the Match Racing Championship that he had won the previous day, taking Oracle Racing 4 (Spithill) to within a point of Emirates Team New Zealand in the overall season’s standings.

'We really wanted the double,' said Spithill after the race, 'and having Larry with us was a bonus. When he’s with us the crew gets a lift. I’ve raced against him [in RC-44s] and he is a fierce competitor, and it spills over when he’s on board.' When it came to the 'Moet Moment' and the champagne was being sprayed, Ellison came in for a fair amount of the horseplay.

A session of speed trials preceded the fleet race and with around 18 knots of breeze the times were fast. Oracle Racing Teams were the stars of that too, but Jimmy Spithill’s performance was eclipsed by his new team-mate, Darren Bundock with Russell Coutts’ vintage crew (for whom 50 is the new 30) in Oracle Racing 5 by just one tenth of a second at a speed of 26.87 knots over the 500-metre course.

It was the fastest time so far recorded over the course at any of the America’s Cup World Series regattas so far. That, possibly, was due to a steady and for San Diego, breeze that peaked around 20 knots. Certainly the Oracle Racing Team had the hammer down when the breeze was at its best.


Then came a pause while we all waited for the big event of the day, but the sight of nine AC-45s charging for the line was, or would have been to a lesser scribe, totally indescribable. However, the colourful wings of the nine catamarans carving white wakes toward the starting line, all in a row athwartships, with not one breaking the line early, was indeed one that will be remembered.

Dean Barker with Emirates Team New Zealand (third in the speed trials) was the early leader. Jimmy Spithill had attempted to come up from leeward but Barker and his crew held firm and while the Oracle Racing team called a protest for water at the first mark, the umpires ruled in ETNZ’s favour. Downwind they went to the first gate (Mark 2) where the Kiwis still led from Oracle Racing 4, Aleph, Energy Team and Artemis Racing.


Energy Team tacked early to go to the right and Artemis Racing went with her. Darren Bundock, the speed king, was penalised for tacking too close and went to the back of the pack. Artemis made big gains to lead through the weather gate from Energy Team, Oracle Racing 4 and Aleph with ETNZ just hanging on to the leaders.

Oracle Racing 4 moved to the front early on the next downwind leg as the wind temporarily dropped from 18 to 15 knots, and led through the leeward gate from Artemis, Team Korea and Energy Team. Hutchinson ad his team on Artemis had a nasty foul-up with the jib and failed to clear it with a tack and was forced to gybe away to clear the top two battens in the sail from the forestay. Painful. They lost places wholesale.


Oracle Racing 4 opened a 300-metre lead amounting to 28 seconds through the downwind gate and then gained more on the right had side of the upwind leg, although ETNZ struck back on this beat and held second place from Team Korea and the Energy Team.

Spithill and his crew were untroubled for the rest of the race and finally finished 48 seconds clear of ETNZ, but behind them there was a nail-biting finish between the two French boats with Energy Team, skippered by Yann Guichard, sneaking across the line one second ahead of Pierre Pennec with Aleph in fourth place. Team Korea who had been challenging for the podium, dropped back to fifth. The surpise was that Oracle Racing 5, skippered by Darren Bundock was last.





InSunSport - NZBarz Optics - Melanin LensesZhik Yachting 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
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
Terrific battle in Oyster Regatta Antigua finale
On the final day, two of the three Classes were so close that the winners were decided on the last race. On the final day, two of the three Classes were so close that the winners were decided on the last race. Spectacular sailing conditions prevailed with a brisk 20 knots of wind from the south east. Oyster yachts are built to sail the oceans and revelled in the conditions.
Posted on 12 Apr
34th America's Cup - Oracle pumping claims are flawed - Update
Claims that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 34th America's Cup are seriously flawed Claims by an American journalist, Bruce Knecht that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 2013 America's Cup are seriously flawed. The allegations received considerable airplay in New Zealand on Friday and over the weekend.
Posted on 6 Mar
America's Cup - Another win for Oracle Team USA in California Courts
America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away another complaint America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away a complaint brought by former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell. Mitchell's complaint against his former team was dismissed by a San Francisco Court on Wednesday. The amount of damage/injury claimed was stated as $400,000.
Posted on 12 Feb
America's Cup - No action against Kiwi sailor, but rule changes made
The International Sailing Federation has changed the process for Rule 69 Hearings in line with CAS recommendations One of the Oracle Team USA crew members found by the International Jury to have been involved in boat tampering activities with the America's Cup World Series regattas ahead of the 34th America's Cup has not been further penalised by the International Sailing Federation.
Posted on 19 Nov 2015
America's Cup - ISAF and Cup Jury summonsed by California Court
Five members of the AC34 Int Jury and the Int Sailing Federation have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court The International Sailing Federation, the controlling body for world sailing, and the five individuals who made up the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court, to answer a lawsuit.
Posted on 9 Sep 2015
Dean Barker's Blog - Back into the racing
Five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on his split with Team New Zealand and life since Writing on his blog at Kiwi Yachting Consultants' websites, of which he is a substantial shareholder and director, five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on life since Team NZ. This is my first blog for quite some time. In fact since September last year when I was still a part of Team NZ racing in Istanbul for the Extreme Sailing Series.
Posted on 20 Apr 2015
America's Cup- Mitchell fires new salvo at ISAF Jury Officials
Matthew Mitchellhas advised that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members Matthew Mitchell, previously a member of Oracle Team USA, has issued a media release advising that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members with the sport's International governing body (ISAF). This action follows on from his recent claims about the actions of another team member Simeon Tienpont, now with Challenger Luna Rossa.
Posted on 5 Feb 2015
America's Cup- Oracle crew mate lodges ISAF complaint against Tienpont
Last Friday, former OTUSA's Matthew Mitchell issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the ISAF Last Friday, former Oracle Team USA team member, Matthew Mitchell issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the International Sailing Federation over the actions of a fellow crew member, Simeon Tienpont, and inaction by the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup, in San Francisco.
Posted on 28 Jan 2015