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Fisher's View: Day 2 ACWS San Francisco - Home team scores big time    
Fri, 24 Aug 2012

Bob Fisher, one of the world's top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in San Francisco, CA, USA for the sixth round of the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having won the 1967 Little America's Cup, with Peter Schneidau on Lady Helmsman, and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

Dear Diary – Day 2 - America's Cup World Series - San Francisco, CA, USA

As is the established pattern of ACWS racing, the day opened with two quarter-final matches in which both Luna Rossa teams made their exit. Luna Rossa-Swordfish, skippered by Paul Campbell-James was comprehensively beaten by Terry Hutchinson with the Artemis Racing-White team; as was the Chris Draper led Luna Rossa-Piranha by Oracle Team USA-Spithill. Both of the Italian boats started behind and never looked like passing their opponents.

The first of two fleet races followed and Russell Coutts displayed that he had lost none of his touch when he led the eleven boats to the first turning mark, gybed and sped away under genniker. In the 15 knot breeze, he picked the shifts both upwind and down to lead comfortably from his stablemate Jimmy Spithill in the other Oracle Team USA boat. They swept all before them to record a 1-2 for the home team.

Behind the Oracle Team USA boats ther was a constantly changing order but at the finish Luna Rossa-Piranha led Energy Team, skippered by Yann Guichard. Then came Hutchinson with artemis Racing- White ahead of Santiago Lange in Artemis Racing-Red. Team Korea beat Emirates Team New Zealand for seventh place. Ainslie was a disappointing tenth.

There was slightly more breeze for the second race when it blew at 17 knots, gusting to 20. Spithill, smarting from being beaten by his boss in the first race, took charge from the start, rounding the first turning mark behind the China Team and taking the lead on the long downwind leg. Once in front, Spithill never let the outcome be in any doubt as he fought off the two Artemis Racing boats. Red finished in front of white and Nathan Outteridge with Team Korea snuck into fourth place ahead of Ben Ainslie Racing.

At the end of the day, Spithill's second and first places were four points better than Coutts' first and sixth, with Artemis Racing Red third, shading out teammate White on the same overall points. The races were quickly completed and it is expected that, in similar conditions, the courses will be longer.

Tomorrow will start with a match race between BAR and ETNZ, currently eighth and ninth in the fleet racing. It will be a sudden death match between Ainslie and Dean Barker = shades of the 2006/7 campaign when they were teammates. The other match will be between Oracle-Spithill and the Energy Team.



by Bob Fisher

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