Spithill and Barker in Match Race Final; Ainslie leads fleet racing

© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


© Guilain GRENIER / ORACLE TEAM USA


© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


© ACEA 2012 / Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget


UPDATE 6: 1800 hours

J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) dominated the second fleet race of the day, winning by 41 seconds over ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill). Ainslie rounded the first reach mark in the lead and stretched out to a 10-second lead at the leeward gate. From there the five-time Olympic medalist put the pedal down and opened a 300 meter lead on the racecourse. Spithill rebounded from his capsize in the first race for a solid second place, winning a battle with Artemis Racing – White (Terry Hutchinson) and Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker). Spithill even overcame a port-starboard penalty at the top of the second windward leg to hold on for second. Hutchinson was third, 46 seconds behind, and Barker fourth, 51 seconds behind. In the overall standings, Ainslie lead with 63 points followed by Hutchinson with 52 points, Barker with 47 points and Spithill with 39 points, in a tie with Artemis Racing – Red (Nathan Outteridge).

(Results are provisional.)

UPDATE 5: 1730 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) won the fifth fleet race of the AC World Series and moved into third place in the standings. J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) placed fourth in the race and still leads overall with 51 points, but lost a point to Artemis Racing – White (Terry Hutchinson), who placed third and now has 43 points. The race was marked by a spectacular capsize by ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill). Spithill was in second at the first reach mark when he bore off in a strong puff. His bows dug in and the boat stood straight up before rolling over onto its port side. The crew was forced to withdraw from the race, but has plans to sail Fleet Race 6, scheduled to start at 1735, and also the match racing championship, scheduled for 1810.

UPDATE 4: 1655 hours

Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) will meet ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) in the match racing championship. Barker and crew scored a 18-second victory over Artemis Racing – Red (Nathan Outteridge) in the second semifinal match.

Outteridge had the better start, leaving Barker slow on the line while powering away to the reach mark. On the ensuing run Outteridge tried to jibe to port but ran afoul of Barker on starboard tack. Outteridge had to jibe back to starboard and was also penalized for a port-starboard incident. Barker gained the lead when he jibed to port, and led by 10 seconds at the leeward gate. Barker controlled the match from there for the victory. The fleet racing is up next, with two races planned. The match racing championship will follow, at approximately 6:10 pm PDT.

UPDATE 3: 1637 hours

ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) has advanced to the match racing championship after a 9-second win over Artemis Racing – Red (Terry Hutchinson). Hutchinson got the leeward position off the start line, but Spithill powered over the top on the short sprint to the first reach mark. Spithill opened a lead of 8 seconds at the leeward gate, which he largely maintained to the finish.

UPDATE 2: 1600 hours

Racing is underway on San Francisco Bay following a spectacular (and loud!!) Fleet Week show.

The crowds have flocked to Marina Green this afternoon and will now be treated to AC World Series racing of the highest order.

You can watch the Match Race Semifinals and Fleet Races 5 and 6 live today. The Match Race final will be shown as part of tomorrow's Super Sunday broadcast.

UPDATE 1: 1430 hours

Tens of thousands of people are in the vicinity of the AC Race Village at Little Marina Green watching the Fleet Week air show. The stars of the show, the US Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron, are due to perform in about 30 minutes. After that, the America’s Cup World Series fleet retakes the Bay for the completion of the match racing semifinals and championship and two more races of the fleet racing championship.

The racing continues to impress the guests riding the aft trampoline on the AC45s. Yesterday, 12-time Olympic swimming medalist Natalie Coughlin found peaceful romanticism in the experience.

“Even though we were going so fast, I was amazed at how peaceful it was,” said Coughlin. “It was really peaceful, between the sunset and the incredible view. I was just enjoying the fresh air and the water. It was really cool. I was just taking a ride.”

Read more Natalie Coughlin: Swimmer-cum-sailor

ORIGINAL POST: 0910 hours

Saturday's America's Cup Village schedule

10:00  America’s Cup Village opens
11:00  Fleet Week Parade of Ships
12:30  Fleet Week Air Show
16:00  Live broadcast starts on YouTube.com/americascup and international broadcasters
16:00  Team introductions / commentary
16:05  Match Race Semifinals (Artemis Racing White vs ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill; Emirates Team New Zealand vs Artemis Racing Red)
16:50  Fleet Races 5 and 6
18:10  Match Race Final (until 18:25)
18:45  America’s Cup Dock-in Show and Prizegiving (after racing)
19:00  America’s Cup Village closes

It's Fleet Week weekend in San Francisco, bringing an estimated million visitors to the city, many of them to the Marina Green area where the America's Cup Village is located.
If you're planning to join us on site this weekend, please consider taking transit, walking or riding a bike to the site. You can use 511.org to help plan your journey.

Today's racing features the Match Race semifinals, followed by fleet races five and six. Then it's the match race final, which will be recorded and shown as part of the Super Sunday broadcast on NBC.

Racing begins at 4pm PDT today - don't miss it!!