ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL win the 2011-12 AC World Series Championship
2011-12 AC World Series Overall Championship Leaderboard (Provisional)
1. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL…102 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand…93 points
3. Artemis Racing…82 points
4. Energy Team…74 points
5. ORACLE TEAM USA 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
Russell Coutts burst out of the starting blocks in the final fleet race in Newport grabbing an early advantage, but 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 gives Draper’s Luna Rossa Piranha crew the Newport Fleet Racing title over ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL
Newport – Fleet Race Five, finishing order
1. Luna Rossa Piranha
2. ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS
3. Luna Rossa Swordfish
4. Team Korea
5. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL
6. Emirates Tea New Zealand
7. Artemis Racing
8. Energy Team
AC World Series Newport Match Racing Championship
ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS beat ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL 1-0
The old master had one more trick up his sleeve as Russell Coutts made a deft move late in the pre-start to hook in behind Jimmy Spithill and hold his younger team mate out from the starting line. From there, Coutts sped off to the first mark with a handy lead. He would need every inch of it as Spithill continued to challenge, probing for weaknesses, and looking for an opportunity to pass. But in the end, Coutts and his new crew were too strong, and 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.
AC World Series Newport Match Racing Championship Standings:
1. ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS
2. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL
3. Luna Rossa Piranha
4. Artemis Racing
5. Energy Team
6. Emirates Team New Zealand
7. Luna Rossa Swordfish
8. Team Korea
The Newport results mean Artemis Racing wins the overall 2011-12 AC World Series Match Racing Championship over ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL and Emirates Team New Zealand.