The final day’s match racing in San Diego saw the big team win but not without being pushed hard by smaller teams

In conditions that were frequently light and patchy and at the end of a week when both French teams regularly hit the headlines, it was the current America’s Cup holders that eventually won the match racing series in San Diego. Oracle-Spithill won the series beating the French Team Energy 2-0 in the final day of match racing.

But while the overall winner was a familiar one, the final results from the San Diego leg of the AC World Series revealed a shake up. With Team Energy finishing second, the Kiwis were forced to take third and Artemis fourth. Behind them the second French team, Aleph finished the match racing part of the regatta in fifth, a major improvement from their lacklustre performance in Plymouth in September.

I’m happy because we did a good job during the week,” said Aleph’s new skipper Yann Guichard. “It was really difficult today as the conditions were shifty, but I made a small mistake in the last race and there was no opportunity to come back. But I’m still really happy for my team.”

In sixth place Oracle-Coutts, with Darren Bundock at the helm, was another of the big names to find themselves further down the pecking order than they would have expected.

We worked pretty hard after the last regatta,” said James Spithill. “Energy have had great boat speed during the whole regatta. We’ve done a lot of work with our sails and I think our composure was good, especially when we were behind. When we were in the lead we kept it tight and that’s what gets you home at the end of the day.”

With the fleet racing final tomorrow (Sunday) Spithill’s focus was on more glory.

“We want the double. We want to be the first team to win both events,” he said.

Today’s result narrows the gap between Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Racing Spithill who are just one point behind in the overall points for the AC World Series. But for Barker, who had been frustrated at some of the mistakes his team had made on the previous day, his win against Artemis today had clearly bolstered his confidence.

“We feel much better about today,” said Barker. “We addressed some of our previous mistakes.”

Of the other races today, Aleph took a big scalp in beating Oracle Racing Coutts with Darren Bundock on the helm.

Results – San Diego Match Racing Championship

Team Korea (7th) beat Green Comm Racing (8th)
Aleph (5th) beat ORACLE Racing Coutts (6th)
Emirates Team New Zealand (3rd) beat Artemis Racing (4th)

Final -ORACLE Racing Spithill beat Energy Team 2-0