Oracle Spithill win both the match racing and the fleet racing on the final day at the ACWS in San Francisco

Capsizing in Saturday’s fleet race did little but fire James Spithill up for Super Sunday, or so it seemed. Coming from behind is his team’s speciality as they demonstrated by winning both the match racing and the fleet racing.

Having fought his way through to the match racing final the Oracle Racing skipper dealt his opponents Emirates Team New Zealand a humbling blow at the start, blocking them at the line and stalling them out while he and his crew thundered off to the first mark. Although Kiwi skipper Dean Barker made some big gains on the yawning gap between the pair, it was never enough to threaten Spithill for the lead leaving Oracle Spithill to win the match racing series at this second AC World Series event in San Francisco.

In the fleet racing it was Ben Ainslie Racing that had showed the most consistent form throughout the series, leading from day one and dominating the front end of the field. But even that wasn’t enough to beat Spithill. The final day counts for double points and as Spithill took the lead in the fleet, Ainslie found himself buried in the pack early on and had to fight hard to claw his way back towards the front.

Ainslie Audio

In the end he made it to fourth, enough to finish on even points with Spithill, but losing on the tie break.

The end of the second 2012/13 ASWS leaves the America’s Cup defenders with yet another win but with Ainslie, who is also part of the Oracle Racing team when not involved with his day job at his own team, clearly learning very quickly in the cats.

Here’s the official report from the final day’s racing.

ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL wins second consecutive
America’s Cup World Series San Francisco

ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) rebounded from last place at the first turning mark of the “Super Sunday” fleet race finale to
win the America’s Cup World Series San Francisco Championship.
Spithill and crew Dirk de Ridder, John Kostecki, Jono MacBeth and Joe Newton were “dead last” off the start line, but fought their way back through the fleet. They rounded the last windward gate first and held on for a 17-second win over teammates ORACLE TEAM USA
COUTTS (Russell Coutts).

Spithill won 40 points for the race and totaled 79 points for the series. That put the crew in a tie with J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) for the series championship, which placed fourth in the final race. Spithill won the championship based on the final race finishes.

“The difference is the four guys on the front of the boat,” said Spithill, referencing his crew. “We were dead last off the start line but it didn’t faze these guys. We have a real team of fighters here. We’re really, really happy.”

ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL put an emphatic stamp on this regatta. Yesterday the crew won the Match Racing Championship after capsizing and breaking frames in the wingsail during a fleet race. The crew also won the August AC World Series San Francisco Championship by 1 point, previously the closest finish at an AC World Series event.

The tiebreaker surpasses that mark.

“We’ve always said we need to be able to come from behind and overcome adversity,” said Spithill, who skippered the team to victory in the 2010 America’s Cup. “I thought I gave them that yesterday with the capsize, but it’s really a sign of a strong team. The shore crew, our
coaches, it’s been a fantastic team effort.”

Artemis Racing – White (Terry Hutchinson) placed third in today’s race and finished third overall. Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) placed fourth overall and ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS fifth.

AC World Series San Francisco Fleet Racing Championship (After 7 of 7 races)

1. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) 8-1-6-5-DNF-2-1 – 79
2. J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) 1-3-1-2-4-1-4 – 79 points
3. Artemis Racing – White (Terry Hutchinson) 10-2-2-1-3-3-3 – 72
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) 2-8-5-6-1-4-7 – 57
5. ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (Russell Coutts) 3-5-8-7-8-10-2 – 56
6. Artemis Racing – Red (Nathan Outteridge) 4-4-4-4-9-8-5 – 52
7. Energy Team (Loick Peyron) 6-7-7-3-6-7-6 – 47
8. Team Korea (Peter Burling) 5-9-10-8-2-5-10 – 40
9. Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper) 9-6-3-10-10-6-9 – 36
10. China Team (Phil Robertson) 7-10-11-9-5-11-8 – 28
11. Luna Rossa Swordfish (Iker Martinez) 11-11-9-11-7-9-11 – 20

(Scoring, Races 1-6:
1st = 12 points,
2nd = 10,
3rd = 9,
4th = 8,
5th = 7,
6th = 6,
7th = 5,
8th = 4,
9th = 3,
10th = 2,
11th = 1;
Race 7: Double points

AC World Series San Francisco Match Racing Championship

2. Emirates Team New Zealand,
3. Artemis Racing -White,
4. Artemis Racing – Red,
6. Energy Team,
7. J.P. Morgan BAR,
8. Team Korea,
9. China Team,
10. Luna Rossa Piranha,
11. Luna Rossa Swordfish

The 2012-2013 racing season for the America’s Cup World Series continues in Europe in the spring of 2013.

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