Monthly Archives: August 2012

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Oracle Team USA score the double

 

 

America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco – Overall

 

Both Oracle Team USA teams neck & neck at the finsish © Christophe Favreau / www.christophefavreau.com

 

Oracle Team USA captured the two championships of AC World Series San Francisco, thrilling the capacity crowds who had front row seats to close-quarter, fast-paced racing on San Francisco Bay.

The day began with Russell Coutts, the four-time America’s Cup winner, taking out teammate Jimmy Spithill in the Match Racing Championship. In a race that saw the lead change hands three times, Coutts eked out a 1 second victory with both boats screaming across the finish line overlapped at 20-plus knots.

Then, about 40 minutes later, Spithill found himself in another charge to the finish line. This time he needed to overcome Team Korea (Nathan Outteridge) to capture the Fleet Racing title.

Spithill rounded the last mark slightly overlapped on Outteridge’s stern and then got a penalty on his rival skipper. Outteridge was forced to slow down by the umpires, and Spithill sailed through to leeward and into second place for the race and a 1-point victory in the overall event standings.

“This is a fantastic result for Oracle Team USA, to win the match racing, fleet racing and overall championship,” said Spithill, the reigning ACWS champion. “I can’t emphasize how much the boys fought around the race track. We battled our way back to the top in each event and were rewarded for it.”

The first AC World Series event in San Francisco, host city for the 2013 America’s Cup, was hailed as a success by Mayor Edwin M. Lee, who presented the prizes to the top three crews in the Match Racing and Fleet Racing Championships.

“This is the first of many races to come and we look forward to the second event (Oct. 2-7) when all of these teams will be back,” Lee said. “Thank you to all of the teams for being here and to all of the city agencies who have worked in collaboration with the event.”

Local officials estimated that more than 150,000 people visited the AC Village at Marina Green over the course of the event. Both of the ticketed seating areas were sold out each day, and Regatta Director Iain Murray said that a larger than expected spectator fleet turned out on the water to watch the racing.

 

Throughout the week the fans were treated to racing within reaching distance of the shoreline. They could listen to the sailors talking tactics on the water, and the sailors could hear them cheering and rooting. The close racing continued today when both championships were decided by mere seconds.

For Coutts, the match racing title was his second consecutive, coming on the heels of a victory in Newport at the beginning of July, which wrapped the 2011-12 racing season. He has developed a fine touch for starting the AC45, which he displayed again.

“It’s been a fantastic event for our team,” said Coutts, the CEO of Oracle Team USA. “To get both teams in the match racing final is a great result, and Jimmy and the boys continue to be superb. It looked like the fans were having fun on the shore and that’s what it’s all about. We were certainly having fun on the water.”

 

Double celebration © Gilles Martin-Raget / ACEA 2012

 

Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper) won the fleet race finale by 3 seconds over Spithill, who had sailed through Outteridge into second place. As has become his custom, Draper was solid off the start line and steady around the racecourse.

At one point the crew led by 200 meters approaching the second leeward gate, but they almost gave it all away when they nearly capsized on the finish line. But the wingsail got eased just in time to avert disaster, and the finish gun fired a split-second after the windward hull slammed down into the water as the boat stabilized.

“We’ve seen in last few days that people who’ve been doing high-speed boat racing all their life – Nathan, myself, Yann (Guichard, Energy Team) and Jimmy, who has practiced here a lot – have done well,” said Draper. “But everybody’s going to improve, so we can’t rest on our laurels. We’ll train hard and come back in October with an eye towards winning.”

The next ACWS regatta in San Francisco is scheduled during Fleet Week, Oct. 2-7, when the ACWS fleet will share the Bay alongside the naval ships of the Pacific Fleet in one of the largest annual events held in San Francisco.

 

AC World Series San Francisco – Fleet Racing Championship Results:

  1. Oracle Team USA Spithill – 86pts
  2. Luna Rossa Piranha – 85pts
  3. Team Korea – 65pts
  4. Energy Team – 55pts
  5. Luna Rossa Swordfish – 51pts
  6. Artemis Racing White – 48pts
  7. Emirates Team New Zealand – 43pts
  8. Oracle Team USA Coutts – 42pts
  9. Artemis Racing Red – 38pts
  10. JP Morgan BAR – 37pts
  11. China Team – 15pts

 

Match Racing Final

Oracle Team USA Coutts beat Oracle Team USA Spithill, 1-0

 

AC World Series San Francisco – Match Racing Championship

1. Oracle Team USA Coutts
2. Oracle Team USA Spithill
3. Artemis Racing White
4. Emirates Team New Zealand
5. Energy Team
6. Luna Rossa Piranha
7. Luna Rossa Swordfish
8. J.P. Morgan BAR
9. Team Korea
10. China Team
11. Artemis Racing Red

 

Visit www.americascup.com for full results

By America’s Cup media

Josh McKnight wins Moth Worlds

 

 

Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships at Club Vela del Campione

 

Josh McKnight wins the 2012 Moth Worlds – c ThMartinez

 

The 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships went down to the wire and were decided in the very last race in fabulous conditions. Josh McKnight (AUS) kept his calm, sailed nearly flawlessly to prevail over fellow countryman Scott Babbage with two bullets in three races. Another Australian, Rob Gough had a very good last day to snatch third place overall from Anthony Kotoun (ISV) in the last race.

If Scott Babbage capsizes at the first weather mark then words are not enough to describe the tough, demanding but equally spectacular conditions on a race course. The ‘Pelèr’, the morning northerly breeze on lake Garda, was blowing furiously from early on and with a violent storm forecast to hit Campione del Garda in the afternoon, the race committee had scheduled a 10am start. That gave the 60-strong Gold fleet of the opportunity to sail three exciting races that saw Josh McKnight prevail, practically from start to finish.

 

Scott Babbage sailed a superb series but just fell short on the final day – c ThMartinez

When the race committee fired the gun for the day’s first race, the 20-25 knots of Pelèr and one-meter waves were guaranteed to put a big strain on the sailors and their boats. Both Babbage and McKnight had a clean start in the middle of the line and headed to the right-hand side of the course, as close to the eastern shore of lake Garda as possible. Babbage was in the lead at the first top mark with McKnight hot on his heels. That’s when opportunity knocked on McKnight’s door. A few hundred meters after the distance marker Babbage went for a swim. Not only did McKnight assume control of the race, he stretched his lead and won with ease, ahead of Babbage and fellow Australian Rob Gough who would start his best day of the regatta.

In the second race of the day, conditions weren’t as brutal but no less than 20 boats had to either abandon due to gear failure or opt for the safety of the marina. Without any doubt, the man of the race was Rob Gough whose bold tactical call paid a huge dividend and handed him the victory. On the northern race area, the eastern shore of Lake Garda is usually favoured. However, Gough saw a big left shift coming, separated from the bulk of the fleet and seemed like the lone ranger, approaching the first weather mark from the left. The move paid off and Gough rounded the first mark in third place, behind Mcknight and Babbage. He stuck to his strategy and overtook the leading pair while Babbage would snatch second place from McKnight right on the finish line.

As the sky cleared and temperatures rose the Pelèr abated in the third race. McKnight and Babbage were still separated by a two-point cushion and all McKnight had to do was to avoid having two boats between him and his sparring partner. Not only did he achieve it, he had a commanding lead from the start, crossing the finish line in front of Babbage. Rob Gough came in third and snatched the final podium place from Anthony Kotoun who struggled in these conditions.

Sunday’s races conclude the 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships that saw record-setting numbers both in terms of participating sailors (117) as well as countries (20). Conditions were on the lighter side in the beginning of the event but then Lake Garda delivered and the Moths brought the “wow” factor back into sailing. The Moths will now fly again in the 2013 World Championship that will take place in the month of October on Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

 

Rob Gough provided a storming finish to take third on the podium – ThMartinez

 

Quotes of the day

Joshua McKnight (AUS): “I’m pretty relieved because a lot of effort and money has been going into this program. I sailed a little bit more consistently when there was less breeze and Scott was a bit more unfortunate in one race where he got a 16th but that’s sailing. It’s really unfortunate for him. He probably put more time into this regatta than anybody else. I feel kind of bad taking it away from him but at the same time I’m happy and relieved I did it.

It wasn’t all easy today. Scott was ahead in the first mark but I had a two-point lead coming into the day so I knew I had to take a lot less risk than he did in order to win. I tried to sail safely and even if he did beat me in the second race on the finish line, I figured it was just one point. Scott and I train a lot in this type of conditions and he’s the one that usually gets away and waits for me. So, for me to win in these conditions is really surprising.”

Scott Babbage (AUS): “I’m pretty disappointed although I’m happy for Josh because he sailed very well. As I said before, we have been training together all winter and it’s good to see that training paid off. The start of the week was good, I had a very good qualifying series but I had a bad day in the final that cost me.”

Rob Gough (AUS): “The last day of the worlds was fantastic with very good breeze and waves. I had a good day, I sailed around pretty comfortably and I could watch the battle between Josh and Scott. When I came to the Worlds my goal was to make the top three. I was eighth coming this morning, so I’m pretty happy.”

2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships
Final Top 10 results after 9 races (1 discard) and qualifying rank

1. Joshua McKnight (AUS), 2+2+(4)+1+2+4+1+1+3+1 =17pts
2. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+2+(16)+5+4+2+2+2 =20pts
3. Rob Gough (AUS), 12+4+3+5+(11)+10+10+3+1+3 =51pts
4. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 4+3+2+10+(33)+1+2+7+16+8 =53pts
5. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 7+7+12+8+7+(34)+3+5+7+5 =61pts
6. Bora Gulari (USA), 3+5+11+3+8+2+8+(36)+20+6 =66pts
7. Chris Rashley (GBR), 5+12+9+11+13+9+(61 DSQ)+4+4+7 =74pts
8. Julian Salter (AUS), 8+9+6+7+(38)+3+7+16+13+16 =85pts
9. Simon Payne (GBR), 11+(31)+16+12+4+11+14+10+8+11 =97pts
10. Brad Funk(USA), 18+6+10+4+1+8+5+(61 DNC)+14+33 =99pts

Oracle Team USA on form in Fleet & Match racing

 

America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco

 

Busy startline – c Carlo Borlenghi

After pitching a strike down the middle when he threw out the first pitch on America’s Cup day at the San Francisco Giants’ baseball game, Oracle Team USA’s Jimmy Spithill had a great day on the racecourse at the America’s Cup World Series on Saturday.

Spithill started his afternoon with a win over his arch-rival, Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand, to advance to the Match Racing Final. He followed it up with two strong fleet racing performances and leads the field heading into Sunday’s grand finale.

“The first fleet race was probably the best one for us,” said Spithill, who broke the start line (OCS) before the signal. “We were under a lot of pressure. It was my fault for breaking the line, but every challenge I throw at these guys they somehow claw us back. The key is when we get behind we fight the whole way around the track and the guys are rewarded for it.”

Yann Guichard’s Energy Team won the opening fleet race, coming from behind to pass Spithill and Barker late in the race and steal the win. Spithill was second after being OCS while Barker, the early race leader, was forced to settle for third place after leading at the first four mark roundings.

 

All action onboard Oracle Team USA & Luna Rossa Piranha – c Carlo Borlenghi

In the second race, a pile-up at the bottom gate allowed Spithill’s team on one side, and Team Korea on the other, to break free and escape the pack.

Given a clear path, Spithill raced away, building the biggest lead of the week en route to his fourth win in six fleet races – a dominant performance. Team Korea’s Nathan Outteridge, more than 1 minute behind, recovered from a poor opening race with a second place finish, while Guichard, in third, posted his second podium finish of the afternoon to lift Energy Team into second place on the leaderboard.

“Today was a big day for us. It wasn’t easy because the wind is really shifty, but I’m so happy for my team because they did a fantastic job,” said Guichard. “This morning we changed the setup of the headsail and found some extra speed. It’s so much easier to have good tactics with good speed.”

The fleet racing concludes on Sunday with the seventh and final race of the Championship. The Super Sunday race is weighted more heavily in the scoring, meaning at least four teams are in the mix to win the championship tomorrow.

In the semifinals of the match racing championship, Oracle Team USA Coutts (Russell Coutts) sprinted off the starting line with a small lead that the veteran skipper was able to extend further on the first downwind leg. But Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing White narrowed the gap on the race upwind, closing right up to where the boats nearly collided at the top mark. Coutts held his nerve, sailing over the top of the Swedish boat to lead through to the finish and a spot in the Final on Sunday.

Coutts’ teammate, Spithill, then took the opportunity to make the Final an all Oracle Team USA affair by winning his match against Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand. Barker timed his run to the starting line to perfection, crossing at top speed on the inside track to the first mark. The Kiwis led through the bottom gate, but Spithill chipped away with tiny gains up the next leg, before finally making the pass right at the top mark and holding on for a come-from-behind win.

The AC Village at the Marina Green was bustling with an enthusiastic weekend crowd and the racecourse boundaries were marked by a large spectator fleet all afternoon.

 

San Fran shorline – c Carlo Borlenghi

 

AC World Series San Francisco – Fleet Racing Championship

1 Oracle Team USA Spithill: 2,1,7,1,2,1 = 61pts

2 Energy Team: 4,7,3,7,1,3 = 48pts

3 Team Korea: 7,4,4,2,8,2 = 45pts

4 Luna Rosa Piranha: 3,8,2,5,4,5 = 45pts

5 Artemis Racing White: 5,3,6,9,6,4 = 39pts

6 Luna Rossa Swordfish: 9,10,1,6,5,7 = 35pts

7 Emirates Team New Zealand: 8,9,5,3,3,9 = 35pts

8 Oracle Team USA Coutts: 1,6,DNF,DNS,7,6 = 29pts

9 Artemis Racing Red: 6,2,8,8,9,11 = 28pts

10 JP Morgan BAR: 10,5,9,4,10,8 = 26pts

11 China Team: 11,11,10,10,11,10 = 9pts

 

Match Racing Quarterfinals – Results:

ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS beat Artemis Racing White, 1-0
ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL beat Emirates Team New Zealand, 1-0

 

Match Racing Leaderboard: (First and second to be determined on Sunday)

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

Go to ACWS San Francisco Results for the full standings.

 

Josh McKnight grabs the lead

 

Day 6 – Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds at Vela Club Campione del Garda 

 

Josh McKnight’s consistency grabs him the overall lead – c ThMartinez

 

To say that Saturday’s racing at the 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championship was a tricky one and full of surprises and upsets would be the week’s biggest understatement. The first and most decisive race of the day, turned the tables and saw some of the leaders with scores in the teens, twenties or even thirties! It is clear that consistency and committing the least amount of errors are the keys in this regatta and that’s exactly what Josh McKnight of Australia has shown all week.

The overcast skies and lower temperatures meant that lake Garda’s afternoon wind, the ‘Ora’, wouldn’t be as steady as in the previous days, especially with a start one hour earlier than Friday. The right side of the course, as close to the rocks as possible, always paid handsomely this week but this was the one and only race where it wouldn’t. The left turned out to be so favoured that US sailor, Brad Funk saw it coming and would be ahead by a mile.

When the trailing boats on the right saw it and went to the left, the breeze died and turned right. Some of the top ten sailors – Babbage, Kotoun, Salter and McDougall – got the double whammy “right when it’s left and left when it’s right”, rounding the first top mark well in the bottom of the fleet. Babbage managed to climb up to 16th but McKnight had yet another consistent race, finishing fourth.

 

Rob Gough AUS keeping the pace on – c Th Martinez

 

As the breeze got fresher and steadier, the second race would be “about boat speed, without a lot of tricks”, as Anthony Kotoun stated. The sailor from the British Virgin Islands nailed his start, got off to the rocks and was able to build an immense lead at the first top mark. Bora Gulari (USA) couldn’t do anything to catch up with Kotoun and crossed the finish line in second place, ahead of Julian Salter (AUS) and Josh McKnight. It surely was a turnaround for Kotoun after scoring a 33rd in the previous race.

The day’s final race was again a demonstration of flawless sailing by Josh McKnight. He got the start right with full pace and rounded the first weather mark in second place, trailing Julian Salter. McKnight has shown his strength upwind all week long and overtook Salter in the second beat. Once again, Anthony Kotoun kept his calm, weaved through the fleet and bagged another second place.

 

Anthony Kotourn ISV holds on to 3rd overall  – c Th Martinez

 

Quotes of the day

Josh McKnight (AUS): “I don’t know whether I’m leading, I’m not sure about the results. In any case, Scott it still the favourite to win this regatta, I’m just trying to sail well and get some solid results. My aim is to be at the top five in each race and I’ve been working hard to achieve that. At the first top mark of the first race I was probably 7th or 8th or even deeper but since it was quite choppy quite a few around me fell in the first downwind. I sailed more conservatively and finished the race in 2nd place.”

Joshua McKnight (AUS), on whether Scott Babbage should be training with him from Monday: “[Laughs] Whatever happens in this world championship we will always be equal. However, you should never forget we still have another three races to go, so we still have a long way to go.”

Scott Babbage (AUS): “In the first race I didn’t get off the start line well. Then the breeze went really light at the top mark and I was just on the layline with lots of boats. I couldn’t get around the top foiling, so I was deep in the pack, without really many opportunities to get through the fleet. So, I had a really bad one and then probably a fifth and another fifth. Josh might have passed me in the leaderboard with his three good results.”

Scott Babbage (AUS), on whether he learned something today that will not be repeated tomorrow: “I haven’t quite figured that out yet.”

 

Final Series Results after Day 6: (top ten, qualifying + 6 races, 1 discard)

1. Joshua McKnight (AUS), 2+2+(4)+1+2+4+1=12pts
2. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+2+(16)+5+4=14pts
3. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 4+3+2+10+(33)+1+2=22pts
4. Bora Gulari (USA), 3+5+(11)+3+8+2+8=29pts
5. Julian Salter (AUS), 8+9+6+7+(38)+3+7=40pts
6. Brad Funk(USA), 18+6+(10)+4+1+8+5=42pts
7. Rob Gough (AUS), 12+4+3+5+(11)+10+10=44pts
8. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 7+7+12+8+7+(34)+3=44pts
9. Eric Aakhus (USA), 17+8+(15)+6+10+6+11=58pts
10. Chris Rashley (GBR), 5+12+9+11+13+9+(20)=59pts

 

You can follow all the exciting action from Lake Garda on the official website at www.mothworlds.org, Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mothworlds  Twitter page at www.twitter.com/mothworlds

Coutt’s crashes out in spectacular fashion

 

Day 3 – Americas Cup World Series in San Francisco

By 34th America’s Cup media

 

 

Oracle Team USA Coutts (Russell Coutts) crashed out of the America’s Cup World Series races in spectacular fashion on Friday, hitting the Race Committee boat at speed during the start of fleet race number three.

The veteran had been trying to squeeze into a narrow gap between the start boat and his stablemate, Oracle Team USA Spithill (Jimmy Spithill), but there wasn’t enough room and a violent collision resulted.

“I thought there might be a gap there, and there wasn’t,” said Coutts. “It was a tough break. I didn’t think it was that risky. I thought they were going to turn down and start the race and they just kept turning up and shut the door.”

The top performer on the day was Nathan Outteridge and his Team Korea crew. In the first race, Outteridge battled Paul Campbell-James and his Luna Rossa Swordfish crew for the lead before penalty trouble dropped the Koreans back to fourth place. In the meantime, the Italian Piranha crew grabbed second place and Yann Guichard’s Energy Team sailed their best race to place third.

“It was a big day today. There was a bit of breeze and we were usually at the front of the fleet, which is great for us,” said Outteridge, the recent Olympic gold medalist. “A fourth and second, you’re going to take that any day. Consistency is the key for the first three days and then on the last day you’ve got to send it pretty hard.”

 

 

In the day’s second fleet race, Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) was able to power off the starting line to lead into the first mark but on the second upwind leg, Oracle Team USA Spithill pushed into the lead to win the race. Outteridge again performed well, stealing second place from the Kiwis on the final sprint to the finish. Ben Ainslie had his best result of the fleet races, taking fourth place.

“JK (John Kostecki, tactician) has spent a lot of hours on this Bay,” said Spithill. “I don’t think anyone can know the Bay completely, but it certainly helps for him having spent a lot of hours out there. It was incredible racing. It feels like you’re in a stadium and I think that’s what we’ve created here. We appreciate the support and are looking forward to an even bigger turnout over the weekend.”

The results leave Spithill at the head of fleet, with Outteridge and Team Korea vaulting into second place. Coutts, after a strong opening day in the fleet races, tumbles down the leaderboard to 10th place.

The afternoon started with the final two pairs of the match racing quarterfinals, and following the first match J.P. Morgan BAR skipper Ainslie apologized to his crew after mistiming the start. That allowed Emirates Team New Zealand to romp to an easy win and advance to the semifinals. “Sorry about the start guys, still getting used to it,” Ainslie said when he crossed the finish line, as the most successful Olympic sailor of all-time works to find his feet on the AC45 circuit.

The second match was closer. Coutts won the start and led for much of the first lap. But Energy Team’s Yann Guichard found favorable conditions offshore to cross ahead early on the upwind leg. Coutts then regained the lead and aggressively covered his French opponent, protecting a narrow advantage to the finish line.

 

 

AC World Series San Francisco – Fleet Racing Championship Provisional Results:

1 Oracle Team USA Spithill   2,1,7,1 = 39pts

2 Team Korea   7,4,4,2 = 31pts

3   Luna Rossa Piranha   3,8,2,5 = 30pts

4   Energy Team   4,7,3,7 = 27pts

5   Artemis Racing White   5,3,6,9 = 25pts

6   Artemis Racing Red   6,2,8,8 = 24pts

7   Emirates Team New Zealand   8,9,5,3 – 23pts

8   Luna Rosa Swordfish   9,10,1,6 = 23pts

9   JP Morgan BAR   10,5,9,4 = 20pts

10  Oracle Team USA Coutts   1,6,DNF,DNS = 18pts

11  Team China   11,11,10,10 = 6pts

AC World Series San Francisco – Match Racing Quarterfinals Results:

Emirates Team New Zealand beat J.P. Morgan BAR, 1-0
Oracle Team USA Coutts beat Energy Team, 1-0

 

Match Racing Leaderboard: (first to fourth still to be determined)

5. Energy Team
6. Luna Rossa Piranha
7. Luna Rossa Swordfish
8. J.P. Morgan BAR
9. Team Korea
10. China Team
11. Artemis Racing Red

 

Go to ACWS San Francisco Results for the full standings.

Australian pack lead first day of final series

 

Day 5 – Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds at Vela Club Campione del Garda

It might have taken four days for lake Garda’s famous afternoon breeze to come but it was surely worth the wait. The ‘Ora’ kicked in on time, blew up to 15 – 18 knots and brought the best out of the Moths, piercing through the short chop. The race committee was able to hold three spectacular races with the best breeze yet.

The fleet has now been split into Gold and Silver and as Scott Babbage mentioned earlier in the morning, competition has stepped up a level as he has to face twice as many top boats as in the qualifying series. However that doesn’t seem to prevent him from scoring two more bullets.

 

 

The first race of the Gold fleet had three protagonists, all of them Australians. Scott Babbage and Josh McKnight clearly dominated in conditions that are slowly approaching the ones they are used to in Sydney, even if Babbage still finds them “pretty light”. The two sparring partners were a long way in front of the fleet with McKnight leading three quarters of the way. However, Babbage was faster downwind and crossed the finish line ahead.

Joe Turner, the third Australian, stole the spotlight in that first race but, unfortunately, for the wrong reason.

While on the top reach to the wing mark he lost control of his boat and pitchpoled right in front of fellow countryman John Harris. Harris had no time or room to react and crashed into him. As a result, Turner’s boat suffered serious damage that, although repairable, puts an abrupt end to his aspirations to the world title.

 

 

 

Although he likes the strong breeze, Babbage did equally well, in the softening conditions of the second race. He led from the outset and extended his cushion over second-placed Anthony Kotoun (ISV) to a dozen boat lengths at the second weather mark. There was nothing Kotoun could do to bridge the gap but still held on to his position, crossing the finish line ahead of Rob Gough (AUS)  and Josh McKnight (AUS).

In the day’s last race Babbage and McKnight reversed their positions with the younger Australian taking the win. It didn’t come so easy though. McKnight was in the lead at the first top mark but Babbage got him at the bottom mark. Still, McKnight was again faster upwind and overtook him.

 

 

Quotes of the day

Scott Babbage (AUS): “Josh and I have been sailing a lot in Sydney this winter. He has been my training partner during the off season. I think we have done a bit too much and he now is a threat. When the wind is up a little bit we are much, much faster. The stronger it gets the faster we will be but this is still pretty light.”

Joshua McKnight (AUS): “I was leading the first race by a long way but Scott got me on the downwinds, he seems to be little quicker downwind. I had a tough one at the first race. I was eighth or ninth at the bottom mark but still managed to climb to fourth at the top mark. It was a good day overall and a good start to the finals.”

Joe Turner (AUS), on his crash: “In the first top mark of the first race I was going across the top reach to the distance marker and I basically lost control of the boat when I was just above John Harris and put it straight in ahead of him. He basically had nowhere to go, no room or time to keep clear and ran into me. It was my fault. I was sailing too high, lost control of the boat and pitchpoled in front of him. It is unfortunate it happened, when and where it did. The regatta is basically over for me but hopefully another Australian will win it.”

Results after Day 5: (top ten, qualifying position + 3 finals races, 1 discard)

1. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+(2  =3pts
2. Joshua McKnight (AUS), 2+2+(4)+1 =5pts
3. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 4+3+2+(10) =9pts
4. Bora Gulari (USA), 3+5+(11)+3 =11pts
5. Rob Gough (AUS), 12+4+3+(5) =19pts
6. Julian Salter (AUS), 8+(9)+6+7 =21pts
7. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 7+7+(12)+8 =22pts
8. Chris Rashley (GBR), 5+(12)+9+11 =25pts
9. Jason Paul Belben (GBR), 9+13+5+(22) =27pts
10. Brad Funk(USA), 18+6+(10)+4 =28pts

Full results can be found here

For more details visit:  www.mothworlds.org

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Twitter page at www.twitter.com/mothworlds.

Oracle Team USA keep the locals happy

 

 

Day 2 – America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco

 

 

by 34th America’s Cup media

 

The home team, Oracle Team USA, put on a show for its fans in San Francisco on Thursday, grabbing the top two spots in the first race and leading the fleet racing standings at the AC World Series San Francisco at the end of the day two.

Conditions were good for racing, with winds in the 12 – 16 knot range and fans flocked down to the Marina Green to watch the action. The racecourse boundary was so close to the shoreline and the teams often came within spitting distance of the crowds as they pushed the boundary to find relief from the flood tide.

“This racing is awesome. It’s the best I’ve ever done in any boat. I’m so happy to be here and it’s really what sailing should be about,” said Artemis Racing’s Santiago Lange, a two-time Olympic bronze medalist in the Tornado class who is making his ACWS debut this week. “I’m still getting used to steering while looking around to see the marks and the boundaries and all the lights, but this is really great racing.”

In the opening fleet race of the championship, the veteran Russell Coutts made an extraordinary start, accelerating powerfully a few moments before the start gun fired, hitting the line with pace and speeding past his rivals for an early lead he would hold to the finish. His stablemate Jimmy Spithill wasn’t far behind, putting two American boats at the top of the table.

“The start of the first race was critical, it was great to lead the fleet around that first mark,” said Coutts. “But it was a tough racecourse… you had to keep eyes open and pick your lanes well.”

In the second race, the two youngest skippers in the fleet began to make their mark. On Youth Day at the AC World Series, China Team’s Phil Robertson and Team Korea’s Nathan Outteridge, were up among the leaders early in the race, with Robertson leading around the first mark before falling back into the fleet. Outteridge was challenging for top spot as well until a penalty temporarily dropped him back. He would rally to finish fourth in the race, just ahead of J.P. Morgan BAR steered by Ben Ainslie.

 

 

After placing second in the first race, Oracle Team USA’s Spithill put his stamp on the second contest, grabbing the lead from China Team at mark two and fighting off both Artemis Racing crews to hold on for the win and top spot at the end of the day.

“We had a bit of a battle with the Artemis boats, but the boys stretched us out there at the end,” said Spithill. “There’s a definite tide line up the course and the wind was difficult to read at the top end of the course. Our manoeuvers were flawless. We’re very happy with today and are looking forward to tomorrow.”

Earlier, in the first set of sudden-death Match Racing Quarterfinal matches, both Luna Rossa crews were in tough pairings, scheduled against two of last season’s top teams. First, Swordfish (Paul Campbell-James) fell to the 2011-12 Match Racing champions, Terry Hutchinson and his Artemis Racing White crew in a race the Swedish team controlled from the start.

Then, Chris Draper’s Piranha team came up against the overall season title-holders in Oracle Team USA Spithill. The American team timed the start to perfection and protected its early lead well, fending off a mid-race attack from the Italians, to earn a spot in the semifinals.

 

AC World Series San Francisco – Fleet Racing Championship Provisional Results:

 

1 Oracle Team USA Spithill   2, 1 = 22 pts

2 Oracle Team USA Coutts   1, 6 = 18 pts

3 Artemis Racing Red   6, 2 = 16 pts

4 Artemis Racing White   5, 3 = 16 pts

5 Team Korea   7, 4 = 13 pts

6 Energy Team   4, 7 = 13 pts

7 Luna Rossa Piranha   3, 8 = 13 pts

8 JP Morgan BAR  10, 5 = 9 pts

9 Emirates Team New Zealand  8, 9 = 7 pts

10 Luna Rossa Swordfish  9, 10 = 5 pts

11 China Team  11, 11 = 2 pts

 

 

AC World Series San Francisco – Race Day Two:

Match Racing Quarterfinal:

Artemis Racing White beat Luna Rossa Swordfish, 1-0

Oracle Team USA Spithill beat Luna Rossa Piranha, 1-0

 

For more details visit; www.americascup.com

 

Two bullets for Bora but Scott Babbage claims qualifying series

 

Day 4 – Zhik Nautica Moth Wolrds at Vela Club Campione del Garda

 

Scott Babbage dominates the Qualifying series – c ThMartinez

 

By Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds media

 

It certainly was a tricky day for the 125-strong fleet on lake Garda. Although the African heat wave has now receded, day temperatures are still too high for the afternoon Ora breeze to build up and let the Moths fly with the typical breezes ranging from 15 to 18 knots. As a result, the breeze comes later and is much more unstable.

The first race got underway with 10 – 12 knots of breeze and Bora Gulari (USA) showed his form and dominated the Yellow fleet, finishing ahead of Scott Babbage (AUS). In the Blue fleet, Australian Josh McKnight confirmed he’s an up-and-coming young gun, scoring his third victory in nine races. Anthony Kotoun (ISV) continues to show good speed finishing close behind.

The second race took place in the fading Ora that once again forced the race committee to shorten it. It was a tactically tough race with big wind holes everywhere. Still, once again, Bora Gulari led the Yellow fleet.

 

Bora Gulari closes the gap with two bullets – cTh Martinez

 

Was he lucky? They say that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Gulari must certainly have had both. Another young gun, Great Britain’s Chris Rashley, was first in the Blue fleet, scoring his first victory this week. Despite this being his first world championship, the current UK Moth Champion has shown remarkable consistency, never finishing worse than seventh.

The boats will now be split into two fleets, based on their ranking in the qualifying series, with the top half going into the Gold fleet and the remainder in the Silver fleet. Each skipper’s rank in the qualifying series will be counted as a non-discardable race score for the final series and his score for the regatta will be the total of his final series race scores together with the non-discardable qualifying series rank.

As a result, going into the finals, the score table isn’t reset to zero but Babbage’s advantage will be no more than a few points over his closest competitors, exactly what we need for another three day of red-hot racing off Campione del Garda.

The schedule calls for 9 races in the final series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 

 

Quotes of the day

Bora Gulari (USA):
“I had a good day with two wins thanks to a bit of luck and a bit of skill. My end goal is to win this one. A few days ago I stated my goal was to finish in the top five because I wanted to be humble but after listening to all the Australians claiming they wanted to win I will also state that my end goal is to win the worlds!”

Chris Rashley (GBR):
“I’ve had some races I could have done better but across the board I’m really happy. These are my first worlds and I’m well inside the top ten going into the final series. So, I’m quite happy with my performance so far.
My goal now is to sail as well as I can, start well, be fast, hopefully not make too many mistakes and we’ll see how it goes when it comes to the end of the week.”

Results after Day 4: (top ten, 9 races, 2 discard)
Merged results from the two fleets (Blue and Yellow)

1. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+1+1+1+(11)+2+(6)=8pts
2. Joshua McKnight (AUS), (6)+1+1+2+4+3+(12)+1+5=17pts
3. Bora Gulari (USA), 2+2+(7)+(14)+4+4+3+1+1=17pts
4. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 3+3+2+(11)+2+2+3+2+(9)=17pts
5. Chris Rashley (GBR), 4+(7)+4+4+2+5+(7)+3+1=23pts
6. Joe Turner (AUS), (9)+(9)+2+3+3+5+1+3+9=26pts
7. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 2+(8)+5+7+(21)+2+6+4+5=31pts
8. Julian Salter (AUS), 7+4+3+7+(12)+1+8+(60 DNC)+2=32pts
9. Jason Paul Belben (GBR), (60 DNF)+(10)+6+3+3+10+2+6+2=32pts
10. Francesco Bianchi (ITA), 3+6+4+(16)+6+6+(35)+5+3=33pts

For more details visit the official website at www.mothworlds.org

Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mothworlds

Twitter page at www.twitter.com/mothworlds

Scott Babbage extends his lead in tough conditions

 

 

Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds at Vela Club Campione del Garda

 

 

Only the dying breeze at the end of the afternoon could stop Scott Babbage for recording a perfect scoreline. The Australian now has a solid grasp on the overall lead, nine points ahead of second placed Anthony Kotoun from the British Virgin Islands. Kotoun might call himself a “rookie” with “many hurdles to overcome” but he proved to be a master of the light to moderate Ora, the afternoon breeze on Lake Garda. Feeling comfortable in these conditions, Kotoun pushed Joshua McKnight down to third overall.

The top-five is now completed by Bora Gulari and Joe Turner who started finding their form.

The locals say that when the sun rises over the mountains surrounding Lake Garda, the “Pelèr” kicks in with vengeance. So, with an 8:30am start scheduled, the fleet was prepared to face tough but spectacular conditions off Campione del Garda. There were dozens of capsizes, crashes and swims but when the going gets tough the tough get going.

In the Yellow fleet, Babbage led from start to finish while in the Blue fleet a fight between Joshua McKnight, Joe Turner and Rob Gough saw the latter scoring his first victory so far.

 

 

 

 

 

When the race committee gave the signal for the second race, the Pelèr was already fading and shifting. Although still fresh, the lighter breeze and the flatter seas didn’t provide the same amount of excitement.

Once again, Scott Babbage dominated the Yellow fleet with Chris Rashley coming second behind him. Although the young British sailor hasn’t scored any victorys his consistent performance has allowed him to make inroads in the rankings and climb into the top five.

After a break ashore in order to get the “Pelèr” out of the way and wait for the “Ora” to build up, the fleet took to the water for two more races.

For the Yellow fleet, the third race of the day was marked by the match race between Scott Babbage and Andrew McDougall. McDougall built an immense lead over the rest of the fleet at the first weather mark but metre by metre, Babbage closed in on him and won the race on the finish line.

In the fourth and last race of the day the shifting and dying breeze made it necessary to shorten it at the bottom mark. Joe Turner dominated the Blue fleet from the outset while in the Yellow fleet Babbage had his worst result of the week so far. Although he was third at the top mark he slipped to eleventh by the finish line.

 

 

 

Quotes of the day

Scott Babbage (AUS), on his performance:
“We had some very good racing in the morning. The first race of the afternoon was a very close one with Andrew McDougall and I’m not sure whether I beat him or beat me. It was too close to tell. In the last race the breeze died at the top. A few boats got away and then the race committee decided to finish the race at the bottom, so there wasn’t any opportunity. I’m satisfied with my overall performance and I find the morning races much more fun than the afternoon ones. The afternoon races are pretty painful but the morning races are great fun. I hope we do more of these.”

Scott Babbage (AUS), on whether he’s happy Nathan Outteridge is in San Francisco for the America’s Cup races:
“[Laughs] No, it would have been good to have him here, he’s always a good competitor and it’s good when you take races off him. He’s good fun to sail against and I beat him in the Australian nationals, the first regatta I beat him in 10 years. That was good but I think that if he did the Worlds he would definitely be hard to beat.”

Anthony Kotoun (ISV):
“I had a good day. The morning winds are usually not my strength and I’m not as good in the waves. It showed in the first where I lead at the weather mark and then downwind went for a bunch of swims. I gained boats on the upwind but then lost on the downwind. I still finished tenth, which was much better than I thought. In the second race of the morning it got light, I sailed well and finished second. This afternoon upwind was my strength and I got a second and a third.
I’m very satisfied with my second place overall so far. My goal here was to finish in the top 10. I’ve never done a world championship in the Moth before, I’ve been sailing this boat for year and a half, so I was hoping for a top ten. I thought a top five would be possible if I had a really good regatta. I realize I am still a rookie and I have some hurdles to overcome but these conditions are mine. If it gets out of this range I don’t expect to keep this train rolling but for now I’ll take it.”

 

Results after Day 3: (top ten, 7 races, 1 discard)
Merged results from the two fleets (Blue and Yellow)

1. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+1+1+1+(11)=6pts
2. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 3+3+2+(11)+2+2+3=15pts
3. Joshua McKnight (AUS), 6+1+1+2+4+3+(12)=17pts
4. Bora Gulari (USA), 2+2+7+(14)+4+4+3=22pts
5. Joe Turner (AUS), (9)+9+2+3+3+5+1=23pts
6. Chris Rashley (GBR), 4+(7)+4+4+2+5+7=26pts
7. Julian Salter (AUS), 7+4+3+7+(12)+1+8=30pts
8. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 2+8+5+7+(21)+2+6=30pts
9. Rob Gough (AUS), 5+3+(17)+1+11+7+5=32pts
10. Jason Paul Belben (GBR), (60 DNF)+10+6+3+3+10+2=34pts

 

 

Visit the official website for full results:  www.mothworlds.org

Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mothworlds

Twitter page at www.twitter.com/mothworlds

JP Morgan BAR and Luna Rossa teams advance

 

 

Day 1 – Americas Cup World Series in San Francisco 

 

by 34th Americas Cup media

 

Ben Ainslie gets off to a good start with his new JP Morgan BAR Team – Gilles Martin-Raget

 

The America’s Cup World Series opened in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon with a trio of match racing qualifiers. Six teams were competing for the three final spots in the quarterfinals in the first racing of the 34th America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay.

The conditions were slightly lighter than what the teams had come to expect on the Bay over the past week when five crews capsized during training sessions. In contrast west-southwesterly winds of 14-17 knots, with tricky currents to navigate, provided more of a tactical test for the teams.

A large weekday crowd lined the shoreline of the AC Village at the Marina Green to take in the action – the boats at times just yards from the coast – eager to see America’s Cup racing on the Bay for the first time.

It was a good day for Luna Rossa. Both Max Sirena’s Swordfish and Chris Draper’s Piranha crews won their matches 2-0 over China Team and Artemis Racing Red, respectively.

“We had a tricky one against Santiago Lange and the Artemis team,” said Piranha skipper Chris Draper. “We knew they’d be pretty strong. But the guys made some good reads on the wind shifts to get us in front.”

Ben Ainslie’s J.P. Morgan team also made a successful debut on the circuit, sweeping past Team Korea.

“We certainly have a lot to learn,” Ainslie said. “We had a few issues, but the guys did some amazing work to get us around the course. We had to overtake (in both races) and I think we had a penalty call go against them that helped us in the second race, but the guys did a fantastic job.”

 

Luna Rossa Piranha beats Artemis Racing Red by 2 – 0 – c Gilles Martin Raget

 

Team Korea’s gold medal winning skipper, Nathan Outteridge, felt particularly frustrated in his match against J.P. Morgan BAR, after seeing early leads in both races overturned.

“We started well in the first one and then just made one error which gave them the chance they needed,” Outteridge said. “Then in the second race, we seemed to be getting penalties for no apparent reason… (and) we basically had to let him go past… We’re a bit confused about what happened to be honest.”

Due to the penalty situation, the team asked Regatta Director Iain Murray to consider overturning the result and having the race re-sailed. But after consulting the Jury, Murray said the results on the water will stand, as the Rules do not allow for redress.

Racing on Thursday through Sunday (2:00 pm PDT start time from Thursday through Saturday and at 11:30 am PDT on Sunday) will be broadcast live around the world on the America’s Cup YouTube channel (subject to territorial broadcast restrictions).

 

AC World Series San Francisco – Race Day One:
Match Racing Qualifiers – Results (winners advance to Quarterfinals)

Luna Rossa Swordfish beat China Team, 2-0
Luna Rossa Piranha beat Artemis Racing Red, 2-0
J.P. Morgan BAR beat Team Korea, 2-0

For more details visit: www.americascup.com

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