Match Racing semifinals set and fleet racing continues at America’s Cup World Series San Francisco

© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


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


UPDATE 7: 1810 hours

The third day of racing at America’s Cup World Series San Francisco featured the completion of the quarterfinal round of the match racing championship and races three and four of the fleet racing championship.

In the match racing, ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) defeated J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) and Artemis Racing – Red (Nathan Outteridge) beat ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (Russell Coutts).

Both matches featured penalties in the pre-start that favored the ORACLE TEAM USA crews. But while Spithill was able to convert the win, Coutts lost his match when he rounded the wrong mark before heading to the finish line.

In tomorrow’s semifinal round, Spithill will race Artemis Racing – White (Terry Hutchinson) and Outteridge will take on Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker).

After the two match races all 11 boats sailed the two fleet races and Ainslie put a stranglehold on that championship. The five-time Olympic medalist posted a 1-2 to his scoreline and leads with 43 points. Second is held by Hutchinson, who scored a 2-1 and has 34 points, and third by Outteridge, who scored a pair of fourths and has 32 points.

Full report to follow.

AC World Series San Francisco Fleet Racing Championship (After 4 of 7 races)
1.
J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) 1-3-1-2 – 43 points
2. Artemis Racing – White (Terry Hutchinson) 10-2-2-1 – 34
3. Artemis Racing – Red (Nathan Outteridge) 4-4-4-4 – 32
4. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) 8-1-6-5 – 29
5. Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) 2-8-5-6 – 27
6. Energy Team (Loick Peyron) 6-7-7-3 – 25
7. ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (Russell Coutts) 3-5-8-7 – 25
8. Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper) 9-6-3-10 – 20
9. Team Korea (Peter Burling) 5-9-10-8 – 16
10. China Team (Phil Robertson) 7-10-11-9 – 11
11. Luna Rossa Swordfish (Iker Martinez) 11-11-9-11 – 6

Match Racing Standings (5th – 11th)
5.
ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS, 6. Energy Team, 7. J.P. Morgan BAR, 8. Team Korea, 9. China Team, 10. Luna Rossa Piranha, 11. Luna Rossa Swordfish

Go to AC World Series San Francisco Results

UPDATE 6: 1635 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) has advanced to the semifinals of the match racing championship after defeating J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie). Spithill earned a penalty on Ainslie in the pre-start, when Ainslie was the windward boat and hit Spithill’s starboard hull. Spithill led around the course and won by 8 seconds. In the semifinals, Spithill will race Artemis Racing – White (Terry Hutchinson) while Artemis Racing – Red (Nathan Outteridge) will square off against Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker). Outteridge advanced to the semis when his quarterfinal opponent, ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS, was scored DNF for rounding the wrong reach mark while in the lead before heading to the finish line. Next up are two fleet races, scheduled to start at 4:50.

UPDATE 5: 1625 hours

Artemis Racing – Red (Nathan Outteridge) has scored a confusing win over ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (Russell Coutts) in their quarterfinal race in the match racing championship. Coutts seemed to win the race on the water, but was later scored DNF by the principal race officer for apparently sailing the wrong racecourse. More to come.

UPDATE 4: 1600 hours

Racing is now live on the America’s Cup YouTube channel.

UPDATE 3: 1520 hours

Approximately 40 minutes remain to the start of the day’s racing program and the wind is starting to pick up on San Francisco Bay, with the forecast of a west/west-southwesterly wind 15-18 knots coming to life. There’s a heavy fog bank sitting offshore, which for the time being has not invaded the Bay.

The completion of the quarterfinal round of the match racing championship is first up on the schedule, with Artemis Racing – Red (Nathan Outteridge) taking on ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (Russell Coutts) at 4:05 pm PDT and J. P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) meeting ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) at 4:22 pm PDT. After that, fleet races three and four are scheduled, from 4:50 to 5:55 (see standings below).

Today is Healthy Ocean Project at the America’s Cup World Series, continuing the Cup’s commitment to a sustainable event. At each World Series event crews participate in beach clean-ups or other environmentally friendly activities. Today representatives from ACEA and Cup teams participated in a clean-up of Fort Mason.

AC World Series San Francisco Fleet Racing Championship (After 2 of 7 races)
1. J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) 1-3 – 21 points
2. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) 8-1 – 16
2. Artemis Racing – Red (Nathan Outteridge) 4-4 – 16
2. ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (Russell Coutts) 3-5 – 16
5. Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) 2-8 – 14
6. Artemis Racing – White (Terry Hutchinson) 10-2 – 12
7. Energy Team (Loick Peyron) 6-7 – 11
8. Team Korea (Peter Burling) 5-9 – 10
9. Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper) 9-6 – 9
10. China Team (Phil Robertson) 7-10 – 7
11. Luna Rossa Swordfish (Iker Martinez) 11-11 – 2
(Scoring: 1st = 12 points, 2nd = 10, 3rd = 9, 4th = 8, 5th = 7, 6th = 6, 7th = 5, 8th = 4, 9th = 3, 10th = 2, 11th = 1)

Go to AC World Series San Francisco Results

UPDATE 2: 1400 hours

As fans of the America’s Cup wait for the afternoon racing program to commence, they sit along the shores of the Bay watching the action overhead. San Francisco’s annual Fleet Week is scheduled this weekend, and the aircraft participating in the show are practicing their maneuvers some 24 hours ahead of showtime.

The skies are due to clear by 4:00, when the AC World Series fleet takes to the Bay. The remaining two quarterfinal races of the match racing championship are planned, followed by the third and fourth fleet races. Will Ben Ainslie continue his onslaught? Will Jimmy Spithill show the form that’s seen him dominate past regattas? Or will young Kiwi Peter Burling take Team Korea to the top? Tune in to the America’s Cup YouTube channel at 4:00 pm PDT to find out.

Yesterday, Christine Oneto got to experience the ride of her life as Guest Racer aboard Luna Rossa Swordfish. Oneto was randomly selected to win the America’s Cup Facebook contest “Battle of the Bay.” In winning the contest Oneto also received a two-night stay at the St. Regis San Francisco, a Garmin nüvi 3490LMT automotive GPS receiver and $200 worth of official America’s Cup merchandise from PUMA, and a trip for two to Napa Valley that included accommodation, a $200 meal credit for one of Napa’s Michelin-starred restaurants, a $250 credit for spa treatments and two private VIP wine tasting and tour experiences.

Read more at Bay area resident wins America’s Cup “Battle for the Bay” contest.

UPDATE 1: 1100 hours

Big matches in store

The big match race on tap today is between Ben Ainslie's JP Morgan BAR team and ORACLE TEAM USA's Jimmy Spithill. This is a preview of next year's Defender Trials, when Ben Ainslie joins ORACLE TEAM USA and is slated to go head-to-head with Spithill in the AC72.

Spithill spoke yesterday about the friendly competition between the two and how Ainslie fits into the team's plans: "I'm excited. We've got to build an incredible in-house racing program. It was a no brainer when Russell (Coutts) and I were talking about it. 'Who do we bring in to help us win and defend the Cup?' Well we hire the best sailor in the world. To be pushed, you have to work with the best and Ben and I get along really well. We both crave competition and enjoy going out and pushing each other."

For his part, Ainslie is talking down his chances in the match racing, saying he still has a lot to learn about match racing the AC45s.

"It's a really different style compared to what I've done before," he said. "The start period is much shorter and it all comes down to one or two key manoeuvres in the pre-start and then good boat-handling throughout the race, so that's what we'll focus on."

Don't believe him. This will be a great match.

The other match should be good too, with Nathan Outteridge looking to step up his match racing form against the old master Russell Coutts.

In both matches, the winner advances to the Semifinals, the loser is out. The match races are first up today, just after 4pm local time.

ORIGINAL POST: 0900 hours

With ORACLE TEAM USA sailors holding down three of the top four spots on the fleet racing leaderboard (Ben Ainslie 1st, Jimmy Spithill 2nd, Russell Coutts 4th), the Defender made an impressive debut on the first day of Championship Racing. New Artemis Racing sailor Nathan Outteridge is the only 'outsider' to break into a podium position. The other teams will have to step up their performances or Jimmy Spithill may just fulfil his goal of having all three ORACLE skippers on the podium.

Today, all three ORACLE TEAM USA boats open the day with quarterfinal matches, before the full fleet comes out for fleet races three and four. Racing is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm PDT and will be broadcast from 4pm to 6pm.

Quarterfinal Races
Artemis Racing Red takes vs. ORACLE TEAM USA Coutts
J.P. Morgan BAR vs. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill.

The forecast is for similar weather to yesterday, with Southwest winds in the 14-18 knot range.