AC World Series San Francisco Day 3 - Korea, Coutts make impression

ACWS San Francisco - August Day 3 © ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


UPDATE 5: 1555 hours

After placing 7th in the day’s first fleet race, ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) cemented his lead in the fleet race standings with a come-from-behind win in the day’s second fleet race, the fourth fleet race of the series.

Spithill was over the start line early, but the penalty hardly hurt. He jibed around the first reach mark and was in fourth by the leeward mark. Spithill moved up to third by the windward mark and second, behind Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) at the second leeward mark.

Up the second beat Spithill and Barker traded the lead two times, but Spithill gained it on the last approach to the windward mark a second time and then sped down the run and the short reach to the finish. Meanwhile, Barker was overtaken for second by Team Korea (Nathan Outteridge), which was top crew on the day with a 4-2.

“It was a great race, the boys really dug back off the start line. JK (John Kostecki) did a great job, one of best races I’ve seen him sail,” said Spithill. “I felt the first race we sailed ordinary, out of sorts, making mistakes. The second race we stayed smooth and that’ll give us a lot of confidence. No doubt the New Zealanders will be worried after that.”

UPDATE 4: 1520 hours

The fleet race standings were shook up after the first fleet race of the day, when Luna Rossa Swordfish (Paul Campbell-James) won the race while the two ORACLE TEAM USA boats, placed 1-2 after yesterday, were back in the pack or not on the racecourse at all, as was the case with Russell Coutts.

Coutts hit the starboard quarter of the committee boat during the start and badly damaged the starboard bow of his AC45 to the point where he had to return to shore for repairs. Stablemate ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) placed 7th in the race.

Luna Rossa Swordfish was in a tight battle with Team Korea (Nathan Outteridge) for the lead when Korea tried to cross on port. But Campbell-James, on starboard, had to duck to avoid hitting Outteridge about two-thirds of the way up the second windwad leg. The penalty gave Campbell-James the lead which he held to the finish, crossing 12 seconds ahead of teammates Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper).

ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL still leads the standings with 27 points, but Luna Rossa Piranha has moved into second with 4 points and Energy team into third with 22 points, the same amount as Artemis Racing White.

Go to ACWS San Francisco Results for the full standings.

UPDATE 3: 1440 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (Russell Coutts) has advanced to the semifinal round of the event match racing championship by defeating Energy Team of France (Yann Guichard). In an entertaining race, Coutts led by a small margin around the leeward mark, but Guichard got to the outside of him on the upwind leg. Holding starboard, Guichard crossed ahead of Coutts by less than 5 feet when Coutts was forced to duck behind. But then Coutts regained the lead on the outside and held it to the finish. After yesterday’s racing Coutts explained how he felt there was more wind pressure offshore but tidal relief inshore, and the key was to balance the two options.

ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS will meet Artemis Racing White (Terry Hutchinson) in tomorrow’s semifinal round.

Next up are two fleet races, with the first one scheduled to start at 2:50 pm PDT. The wind on the Bay has been reported at 265 degrees at 18 knots.

UPDATE 2: 1420 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) defeated J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) in their quarterfinal match. Barker left Ainslie well behind off the start line. Both crews were well below the layline to the pin end and had to put two tacks in to get up to and across the line. Barker led by 5 or 6 lengths off the line. Although Ainslie closed up a bit beginning the windward leg, Barker steadily pulled away for the 33-second victory. Emirates Team New Zealand moves onto the semifinal round where it’ll meet ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill).

UPDATE 1: 1315 hours

About 50 minutes remain to the start of the day’s racing program and the wind is up on San Francisco Bay. A weather buoy on the Bay near the racecourse has been recording wind gusts in excess of 20 knots for 90 minutes.

Emirates Team New Zealand has announced a crew change. Skipper Dean Barker welcomes back James Dagg in the trimmer’s role, replacing Jeremy Lomas. Dagg has recovered from the head injury he suffered at ACWS Newport.

Dagg will be thrust into action as Emirates Team New Zealand contests the first race of the day, against J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) in the quarterfinal round of the event match racing championship. The warning signal is scheduled for 2:00 pm PDT and the start 5 minutes later.

The racing will be broadcast live around the world on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial broadcast restrictions). It will also be broadcast live on television in the Bay Area on NBC Bay Area 11.2 and throughout California on Comcast SportsNet California.

More information can be found at:
ACWS San Francisco Event Format
ACWS San Francisco Crew List
ACWS San Francisco Event Page

ORIGINAL POST: 1045 hours

Patches of fog are hovering over San Francisco Bay this morning, but the sun is shining on Day 3 of AC World Series San Francisco, Healthy Ocean Project Day.

Today’s schedule sees the completion of the match racing quarterfinals followed by two fleet races.

First up at 2:05 pm PDT is the quarterfinal match between J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) and Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker). Ainslie advanced to the match by defeating Team Korea, 2-0, in the qualifying round. Barker earned the No. 3 seed based on the 2011-12 match racing season championship and this will be his first match race of the regatta.

The winner of the one race match advances to meet ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) in tomorrow’s semifinal round.

That is followed at 2:22 by the fourth quarterfinal match, featuring ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (Russell Coutts) versus Energy Team (Yann Guichard). These teams placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 2011-12 season match racing standings. Coutts won the final match racing event of the 2011-12 season, in Newport, R.I., and Guichard placed runner-up in the San Diego match racing championship last November.

The winner of the one race match advances to meet Artemis Racing White (Terry Hutchinson) in tomorrow’s semifinal round.

After the two match races, at approximately 2:50 pm PDT, the first of the day’s two planned fleet races is scheduled to start and the races could be lively. The sunny skies portend strong winds than yesterday, and a weather buoy on San Francisco Bay near the racecourse is recording WSW winds around 10 knots with gusts up to 15-17 knots. The forecast calls for WSW winds around 20 knots with stronger gusts – typical weather for late August on San Francisco Bay.

Today is Healthy Ocean Project Day at the America’s Cup, with activities in the Race Village at Marina Green intended to educate visitors on saving the planet’s oceans. View more at: http://youtu.be/1I0w4AbnoJ4