UPDATE 5: 1255 hours
Score a double for ORACLE TEAM USA, as Jimmy Spithill has won the fleet racing championship of ACWS San Francisco after stablemate Russell Coutts won the match racing championship earlier today.
Spithill had to claw his way back through the fleet to ensure the victory, which was by 1 point over Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper). Draper won the fleet race finale by 3 seconds over Spithill, which rounded the final reach mark in 3rd place. But Spithill was able to get a penalty on Team Korea (Nathan Outteridge), which was in 2nd place. Team Korea had to slow down and Spithill sailed through to leeward into second place and the winner’s circle.
UPDATE 4: 1210 hours
If you live in the U.S., tune in to your local NBC Network for the live national broadcast of the ACWS San Francisco Super Sunday Finale. If you live outside of the U.S. please watch the broadcast on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial restrictions). Viewers may also watch the action on Virtual Eye.
ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (Russell Coutts) has won his second consecutive ACWS match racing championship in San Francisco. Coutts defeated teammate ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) by 1 second with both boats screaming over the finish line at 20-plus knots.
Coutts won the start when he got Spithill pinned to leeward. Spithill had to pinch up and over the pin end committee boat to get onto the racecourse while Coutts led towards the reach mark. Coutts led at the beginning of the run but lost the lead when both boats jibed to port and Spithill gained the windward position. Spithill led by 7 seconds at the leeward gate but Coutts regained the lead on the upwind leg when he got inshore. Interestingly, Spithill kept his gennaker up for the beat while Coutts had his on the trampoline.
Coutts at one point led by 200 meters but Spithill steadily chipped away through the race and trailed by just 6 seconds at the second windward gate. On the last run to the final turning mark, Spithill sailed out of bounds and was assessed a penalty. But he waited until the short reach leg to the finish to slow down. He had gotten ahead of Coutts, but the penalty allowed Coutts to get through again and win the championship.
The fleet racing finale is next up, beginning at 12:15 pm PDT.
UPDATE 3: 1130 hours
If you live in the U.S., tune in to your local NBC Network for the live national broadcast of the ACWS San Francisco Super Sunday Finale. If you live outside of the U.S. please watch the broadcast on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial restrictions).
The match racing championship between ORACLE TEAM USA’s crews set to start at 11:45 am PDT, and the fleet race finale is scheduled for 12:15 pm PDT.
The wind is holding steady on San Francisco Bay. Recent reports indicate a steady 12-15 knots with gusts upwards of 20 knots. Fans are flocking steadily down to Marina Green to catch the action, which is beginning earlier today to accommodate the national broadcast on NBC.
UPDATE 2: 1100 hours
Track and field record-holder Michael Johnson will be among the guest racers taking part in today’s final day of racing at ACWS San Francisco. Johnson won four gold medals in a brilliant Olympic career that saw him set world records and earned him the reputation as the greatest long sprinter in the history of track and field.
Johnson is expected to sail with J.P. Morgan BAR, skippered by Ben Ainslie, considered the greatest Olympic sailor of all-time, during practice today and then join Russell Coutts’ ORACLE TEAM USA crew for the Fleet Race Finale.
Racing is set to begin in about 45 minutes.
UPDATE 1: 0940 hours
The wind on the Bay is cranking this morning. Under sunny skies, a W/WSW wind is gusting 15-20 knots with an ebb tide running. At the first event media briefing back on Tuesday, many of the skippers pointed to today’s tidal shift as being potentially hazardous to keeping the AC45s upright. The tide has been flooding for much of the week, but the tide against wind was a contributing factor to some capsizes during practice.
Racing starts earlier today, with the match racing championship between the two ORACLE TEAM USA crews is first on the schedule at 11:45 am PDT. After that, around 12:15 pm PDT, the Super Sunday Fleet Race Finale will be held. Bonus points are available for the fleet race – 40 points for 1st, 25 for 2nd, 20 for 3rd and 16 for 4th – meaning that any of the top four – ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (61 points), Energy Team (48), Team Korea (45) and Luna Rossa Piranha (45) – have a chance to pull out the victory.
“The first key is the start. You have to have a good start,” said Energy Team skipper Yann Guichard. “The start will be earlier on Sunday, so maybe the wind will be stronger. I’m happy to be 2nd place going into the final race.”
“We’ve had some really good fortune in the last few events where we won the last race and came through to win the fleet racing championship,” said Luna Rossa Piranha’s Chris Draper. “We’d love to emulate that, but we’re not going to lose sight of the fact that we have to sail a perfect race to do so.”
More information can be found at:
ACWS San Francisco Event Format
ACWS San Francisco Results
ACWS San Francisco Crew List
ACWS San Francisco Event Page
ORIGINAL POST: 0840 hours
It's Super Sunday at the AC World Series in San Francisco. Both the match racing and fleet racing championships will be decided today.
Racing starts early - the Match Racing Final between ORACLE TEAM USA Coutts and ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill begins at 11:45am PDT.
Then, the seventh and final fleet race is scheduled for a 12:15pm PDT start. This race is heavily weighted, meaning the winner stands to make big gains on the leaderboard, and may just win the overall championship.
In the United States racing will be broadcast on NBC, beginning at 11:30am PDT. (Live racing will not be on YouTube in the USA). Internationally, racing will be on YouTube as usual, beginning at 11:30am PDT.