Oracle Team USA Spithill win the 2011-12 AC World Series Championship
by Sail-World on 2 Jul 2012
The final day of racing in both the Match Racing and Fleet racing for the America's Cup World Series, was staged today in Newport, RI, USA. The regatta was also the final round in the the 2011-12 America's Cup World Series, sailed in AC45 catamarans.
America’s Cup World Series Newport 2012, Final Race Day ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/
Sailing off Fort Adams, Newport, both races were sailed in front of a large number of spectators, who lined the flat water, largely enclosed course.
In the match racing final
, Russell Coutts tied up the pre-start, and then accelerated away to never be headed by James Spithill - both racing for Oracle Team USA. Coutts and his new crew sailed well under pressure to take a surprising win in the Newport Match Racing Championship.
'It’s been quite a while since I’ve won anything,' Coutts joked with his crew as he crossed the finish line.
The Newport results mean Artemis Racing wins the overall 2011-12 AC World Series Match Racing Championship over Oracle Racing Spithill and Emirates Team New Zealand.
The bonus points fleet racing was a tighter affair. Emirates Team New Zealand got away to a very good start, with Russell Coutts just sliding through to leeward at the turning mark. Event though the water appeared to be flat, the wind strength was deceptive, with the AC45's hitting 20kts.
On the first, short downwind leg, Max Sirena’s Luna Rossa Swordfish team sped down the shoreline to challenge for the lead. On the first upwind leg, the racing was extremely close, with boats constantly ducking and diving as they tacked up along the shoreline to find some relief from the tidal current. Five boats rounded the top mark within 12-seconds, but Emirates Team New Zealand, who were close to the leaders early in the leg were not among them, sliding back to uncharacteristically trail the fleet with equipment problems.
In contrast, Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing made a strong move on the first leg to challenge for the lead. But at the end of the first lap of the course it was Coutts, followed by the two Luna Rossa boats and Energy Team. Chris Draper’s Piranha crew won what was a war of attrition on the second lap of the course to grab hold of second place behind Coutts. On the final lap of the course, Coutts pushed the edges too hard and was given a penalty for sailing out of bounds, allowing Draper to take a lead he would hold to the finish. Coutts fought hard on the final run to hold off the Swordfish crew for second place.
The win gave Draper’s Luna Rossa Piranha crew the Newport Fleet Racing title over Spithill
2011-12 AC World Series Overall Championship Leaderboard (Provisional)
1. Spithill…102 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand…93 points
3. Artemis Racing…82 points
4. Energy Team…74 points
5. Coutts…68 points
6. Team Korea…66 points
7. Luna Rossa Piranha…52 points
8. Luna Rossa Swordfish…31 points
9. China Team…31 points
Luna Rossa Piranha win the Newport Fleet Racing Championship
Newport - Fleet Race Five, finishing order
1. Luna Rossa Piranha
3. Luna Rossa Swordfish
4. Team Korea
6. Emirates Tea New Zealand
7. Artemis Racing
8. Energy Team
AC World Series Newport Match Racing Championship
AC World Series Newport Match Racing Championship Standings:
3. Luna Rossa Piranha
4. Artemis Racing
5. Energy Team
6. Emirates Team New Zealand
7. Luna Rossa Swordfish
8. Team Korea