America's Cup World Series Naples, Italy
April 11-15, 2012


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Photos(5):©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget


Day 2: Forza Italia. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

America's Cup World Series Naples

Artemis Racing wins the Match Race Championship,
Luna Rossa Piranha wins the Fleet Race Championship!

In their first ACWS regatta, a big win in Race 7 helped Luna Rossa Piranha climb to the top of the Fleet Race standings and take home the Naples Fleet Race Championship.  Despite rain a huge crowd roared their approval after the Italian boat crossed the finish line in Naples.  Artemis Racing redeemed a frustrating start to the week with wins over two Luna Rossa teams to clinch the Match Race Championship. See Results

On this page:
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 |Day 5
And More Naples Stories

Team Statements:
Day 1: Boat-breaking Conditions
Day 2: ETNZ Dominates
Day 3: Top Seeds Fall

ACWS Naples Schedule and Format:

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Full Results:

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Race Area:
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Day 5: Sunday

 

ACWS Naples Day 5: Sunday


Italian crowds turn out for their sailors, and Luna Rossa rewarded their passion on Sunday with great results. Photo:©2012 Guilain GRENIER/Oracle Racing

Sunday Outlook April 15:
Three Match Races (15 min. each), consisting of the two Semi-Finals and the Final.  Followed by two Speed Trials for each team (about 33 min. total).  Followed by Fleet Race 7 (35 min.).  First start expected 12:50pm CET/6:50 am ET (US).

Conditions:
Light westerly winds in the morning will back to S to SSE 6 kts with puffs 8-10 kts at race time (Windfinder).  Wind SSE 6 kts, 20% chance of rain late afternoon (Wunderground).  Wind SSE 5-7 kts (Windguru).  Precipitation is possible though not expected to be heavy during the mid-afternoon.  Rain and thunderstorms become likely after 5:00 pm.

Match Race Pairings:
Each Match is one race only, single elimination.
Semi-Final 1:
Artemis (Seed 8) defeats LR Swordfish (Seed 5)
Semi-Final 2:
LR Piranha (Seed 6) defeats Oracle5 (Bundock) (Seed 7) Final:
Artemis defeats Luna Rossa Piranha

See Match Race Brackets and Standings


Artemis won the Naples Match Race Championship and took over the season Match Race lead. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Results:

Match Race Championship: Artemis beats Luna Rossa Swordfish.  Luna Rossa Piranha beats Oracle5.  Artemis Racing wins the Naples Match Race Championship beating Luna Rossa in the Final match!  1st Artemis, 2nd Luna Rossa Piranha, 3rd Oracle5 (Bundock), 4th Luna Rossa Swordfish, 5th Energy Team, 6th Team Korea, 7th Oracle4 (Spithill), 8th ETNZ, 9th China Team.

Fleet Race 7 Complete:
Luna Rossa Piranha wins the Final Fleet Race and the Naples Fleet Championship! Oracle Spithill is 2nd, Artemis Racing is 3rd, Energy 5th, Korea 5th, Oracle (Bundock) 6th, ETNZ 7th, China 8th, Luna Rossa Swordfish 9th.

Read Day 5 Team Statements


Artemis celebrates their Match Race Championship win Sunday.
Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
 




Luna Rossa Piranha gave the hometown crowds something to cheer about too, winning the Naples Fleet Race Championship. Photo:©2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Quotes of the Day:
Max Sirena, Luna Rossa skipper: “I'm very happy with Luna Rossa's victory in Naples.  The whole team has done really well; we worked very hard in the last three weeks and are now proud of this result, especially because it is our first time racing with these boats with which other teams have been practicing for over a year."


Piranha crosses the line. Click image to enlarge and read team statements. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Preview:
There's a packed schedule for Sunday after Saturday's slate was wiped clean.  The Naples Championships for both Match Racing and Fleet Racing will be determined today.  Winds on the lighter scale will again reward efficient helmsmanship and crew work, particularly in tacking and mark rounding which tripped up a few boats at critical times on Friday.

Match Racing:
Oddly, the top four seeds in the Naples Match Race Championship bracket were eliminated before the Semi-Finals. "You got no fear of the underdog/That's why you will not survive," sang the Texas-based band Spoon.

Whether or not it was a lack of fear on the part of opponents, Artemis fought their way out of the eighth-seed basement, Oracle5 with skipper Darren Bundock in his second ACWS regatta was the upstart against top-ranked sibling Oracle4, and both members of Luna Rossa's fish-themed fleet are in their first ACWS events.

As noted previously, a win in the Semi-Final would put Artemis into first place in the Match Race Season standings even without winning the Final, while a SF loss would put them into a three-way season tie with ETNZ and Oracle4.

Fleet Racing:
ETNZ has pulled off four first place finishes in six fleet races, the other winner being Energy in Race 5 and Oracle4 in Race 1.  With 50 points going to Sunday's Race 7 winner, though, mathematically any teams could still win the Naples Fleet Race Championship. 

Race Within The Race: After their 7-8 Match Race finishes, Oracle4 and ETNZ are currently tied in the combined Fleet/Match Season Standings, so the better of the two teams in the Naples Fleet Race Championship finish will also become the Overall ACWS Season leader.  The two teams are only five points apart in the Naples Fleet Racing regatta standings going into Race 7. See Fleet Race Standings

If for some reason Race 7 cannot be completed Sunday, the results of the "Reserve" Race that was sailed on Thursday will substitute for Race 7.  In that case, Luna Rossa Swordfish won the Reserve Race, and with the 50 point bonus for the Final Race Swordfish would win the Naples Fleet Race Championship.  See standings for more details.


Race Report Race 7:
Wind 7 knots SE, light chop. Pin end of start line is 20m closer to Mark 1.

ETNZ squeezed at RC boat end.  Luna Rossa Piranha gets a great start at the pin end, rounds ahead of Bundock, followed by China, Swordfish, Energy (who gybe early), and then ETNZ, Artemis and Korea.

On first downwind, bowmen move all the way forward on the leeward hulls.  Spithill stops for a little while!  Wind drops to 5 knots on this second leg, as Piranha rounds Mark 2 20 seconds ahead of China, followed by Swordfish who drift ahead of the pack.  Energy is fourth and picks the left side.  Artemis is 5th and rounds the right side gate.

On leg 3, going upwind, Piranha extends to 120m, while Swordfish crosses on starboard ahead of Energy.  With wind dropping to 3 knots and shifting 20 degrees to the left, Piranha rounds Mark 3 22s ahead of... James Spithill with a great comeback.  Swordfish is 3rd (2 minutes later), followed by Artemis, Energy, Korea, Bundock, ETNZ, and China Team.


Reaching Mark 4 already, Piranha furls very early, and loses a lot of ground to Oracle4, who rounds 14s behind.  Artemis is 3rd (1:19), Energy is 4th.  Wind starts filling on the racecourse, as boatspeeds increase to 10 and then 12 knots on this second upwind leg.

Piranha rounds Mark 5 38s ahead of Spithill, 1:11 over Artemis, while Energy rounds in 4th , followed by KOR, Bundock, ETNZ, Swordfish and China.  The wind shifts back to the right as speeds hit 16 knots downwind.  Piranha rounds Mark 6 45s ahead of Spithill, Artemis rounds to the right side of the gate 30s later.

Chris Draper rounds Mark 7 with a comfortable 47s lead over James Spithill, Artemis takes 3rd, Yann Guichard on Energy is 4th (20s later).

Forza Italia as LunaRossa Piranha rounds last mark and crosses the finish line under huge cheers!

Oracle4 (Spithill) is 2nd, Artemis crosses the line in 3rd position, ahead of Energy Team 4th.  Team Korea takes 5th, Oracle 5(Bundock) 6th, ETNZ 7th, China Team 8th, Luna Rossa Swordfish 9th.

 

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Day 4: Friday

 

ACWS Naples Day 4: Saturday

Update: Day 4 is Postponed. No Racing Today
 
Saturday's racing has been postponed due to unsuitable weather conditions.  Conditions are acceptable for sailing, but the sea state with large swells from the south makes launching and recovering the boats too dangerous.  Racing will wrap up Sunday with the Match Racing Championship pairings and the Final Fleet Race.  The two Fleet Races scheduled for Saturday will not be made up.

Saturday Outlook April 14:
Three Match Races (15 min each), consisting of the two Semi-Finals and the Final.  Fleet Races 7 and 8 (35 min each) follow.  First start expected 1:30pm CET/7:30 am ET (US).

 

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Day 3: Friday
 


  Energy won the first fleet race on Friday, breaking Emirates Team New Zealand's streak of three 1st place finishes in a row.  The Kiwis bounced back winning the second fleet race of the day. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget


ACWS Naples Day 3: Friday


ETNZ was bounced from the Match Race Championship by Artemis and will place 8th in the Naples MRC. Photo:©2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Friday Outlook April 13:
T
wo Fleet Races (35 min. each) will be followed by two Match Races (15 min each), reversing the originally scheduled order to provide better wind for the Matches. First start expected 1:30pm CET/7:30 am ET (US).

Conditions:
Winds E 10 kts with gusts to 14 (Windguru).  ENE 10 kts (Wunderground).  Winds ENE 13 kts gusts to 16 (Windfinder).  Forecasts include chance of light rain.


Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Fleet Race 5: Complete
Energy Wins! Oracle (Spithill) 2nd, Luna Rossa Piranha 3rd, Oracle (Bundock) 4th, Team Korea 5th, Artemis 6th, ETNZ 7th, Luna Rossa Swordfish 8th, China Team 9th.

Fleet Race 6: Complete
ETNZ wins by 26 seconds! Oracle 4 (Spithill) 2nd, Luna Rossa Swordfish 3rd, Luna Rossa Piranha 4th, Team Korea 5th, Oracle (Bundock) 6th,  Energy 7th, Artemis 8th, China 9th.

Quotes of the Day:
Terry Hutchinson, Artemis Racing: “It was a good effort on everyone’s part to remain composed, take the lumps when we did and keep fighting hard.  The hardest part about the day is that I don’t feel that we are sailing as badly as our results reflect in the fleet racing.”

Read Day 3 Team Statements

 


 


Rain was no worry for sailors or America's Cup fans in Naples.
Photo:©2012 Guilain GRENIER/Oracle Racing

Match Pairings and Results: Complete
Quarter-Final 3:
Artemis (Seed 8) defeats ETNZ (Seed 1)
Quarter-Final 4:
 LR Swordfish (Seed 5) defeats Energy (Seed 4)

Artemis and Luna Rossa Swordfish will meet in the semi-finals on Saturday.  ETNZ places 8th in the Match Race Championship and Energy places 5th.

See Naples Match Race Brackets and Fleet Race Standings

Spithill's Oracle4 and ETNZ will finish 7th and 8th respectively in the Naples Match Race Championship, which leaves them tied in the Match Race Season standings, presently as the leaders with 30 points. Artemis, however, currently has 23 points and even if they lose in the Semi-Final can finish no lower than fourth place, scoring 7 points and creating a three-way tie for the season to date.


Friday Preview:

Match Racing:
Artemis had their difficulties on Day 1, culminating with a capsize that knocked them down to a 8 seed for the Match Race bracket.  The Swedes then recovered with a Qualifying Round win over China Team and a third place finish in the Fleet Race, but are they ready to beat a Kiwi machine that has won the last three Fleet Races and sits atop the season standings?

France's Energy Team draws Luna Rossa Swordfish, in the Italians' ACWS Match Racing debut.  Max Sirena is LR's skipper and Paul Campbell-James helms Swordfish against Yann Guichard on Energy.

Fleet Racing:
ETNZ holds a nine-point lead over their closest rival, Oracle Spithill, but with five races and up to 90 points still on the table, the Kiwis have not clinched anything yet.  Four other teams have placed as high as second and are in striking distance in the standings, grouped within a five-point spread.  Oracle Bundock, Artemis, and China Team, however, are lagging on points and need to make something good happen after DNS/DNF incidents combined with 7-8-9 finishes in the first two days.


Race Report Fleet Race 5: (Course L3)

Match Races will be delayed until after the fleet races, due to light wind in the beginning of the afternoon.  Rain is falling, over a light chop on the bay.  Wind building during prestart sequence, 10-12 knots at start time.  Pin to M1 distance is 284m, RC to M1 is 318m.

ETNZ and Swordfish are OCS.  Korea good start from the leeward end, CHN is first rounding M1, NRG, ETNZ and ART gybing while CHN and KOR extend to right boundary.

At Mark 2, KOR gybes ahead of NRG, who leverage their higher speed to round the right side of the gate.  KOR goes on left side (looking upwind of course) 8s later.  Wind drops as the rest of the fleet stalls rounding the leeward gate.  ETNZ gets a penalty in huge traffic jam.  OR4 rounds third.

In Leg 3, upwind, ETNZ and KOR exchange side with a 100m lead over the rest of the pack.  The French find more breeze on the left initially and quickly reach 12 knots boatspeed upwind, but still cross behind KOR coming on starboard.  Closer to the mark, NRG tack in a nice right shift and hoist their gennaker early, rounding Mark 3 first with a 50m advantage over Nathan Outteridge (17s).  OR4 (Spithill) rounds 30s later.  Piranha follows, then ART, Bundock, Swordfish and CHN, while ETNZ approach very late in last position.  Handling issue on Swordfish after rounding costs them two spots and they trail the fleet downwind.

Leg 4, NRG extends to 100m and chose the right side of Mark 4.  KOR follows 22s later, Jimmy made up ground and follows 14s behind under hard rain and confused sea.  Draper on Piranha rounds 4th, followed closely by Artemis, Bundock, Swordfish, CHN and ETNZ.  Paul Campbell-James had a great downwind leg despite taking a boundary penalty!

On leg 5 going upwind, oscillating shifts on the left of the racecourse, as KOR and OR4 gain on NRG.  Patches of wind help the French extend a tad, while KOR feels the pressure of Jimmy and OR4.  Once again, a big right shift at the end of the upwind leg helps the French gain even more on Nathan Outteridge!  Coming to Mark 5, Yann Guichard baaaarely makes the mark, but gets round and deploys the gennaker.

 

OR4 gains on the right shift to overcome KOR and rounds in 2nd (42s), 11s ahead of KOR.   Piranha (Draper) is 4th as ART in 5th has to pinch to round the mark properly.  Bundock follows, then Swordfish, CHN and ETNZ.

In Leg 6, Energy holds a commanding lead over nearest competitor Oracle 4 and sails in tune with windshifts to round Mark 6 with a 200m advantage, choosing the left side, while Jimmy opts for the right mark 41s behind, followed by KOR 19s later.  NRG cover and tack to head to the right side.  ART is 4th while Piranha opts for the left side.  Bundock is 6th, Swordfish 7th, CHN and ETNZ trailing the fleet as the wind disappears at the leeward gate. 

In leg 7 going upwind, NRG stays between Spithill and the mark, matching OR4’s tacks.  Yann Guichard acknowledges there is little to gain on the left side.  OR4 tacks for the right-hand side of the course, matched by NRG and KOR who tack to leeward of Spithill on TeamUSA, all heading to the favored right side. 

Yann Guichard makes a safe last tack, slightly past layline.  He calls for deploy, bear away, at the mark and gybe early!  They round Mark 7 with 38s lead over Spithill, while Piranha passes KOR coming into the mark!  ART is 5th, Bundock 6th, and Swordfish barely rounds ahead of ETNZ.  The Kiwis made big gains this leg to overtake CHN, who round last. 

Leg 8, NRG’s lead is down to 75m over Oracle4 as the two teams reach the final mark.  NRG gybes first, but hits a light spot as they round Mark 8 only 14s ahead of Jimmy!  

The final reach is short and Yann Guichard and Energy Team win by 10s over Oracle4 (Spithill)!  Piranha (Draper) finish 3rd, Oracle5 (Bundock) 4th, Team Korea 5th, Artemis 6th, ETNZ 7th, Swordfish 8th, and China Team 9th.


Race Report Fleet Race 6: (Course R3)

  Wind has picked up to 12 knots from West, coming from shore and shifty, under pouring rain.  Sea state is average, with 1m waves from the south.  Line is more square than in previous race: 305m to Mark 1 from both RC boat and pin end. 

NRG ahead of the fleet approaching the line.  Swordfish, NRG, Piranha, China, and Artemis are OCS.  KOR takes Mark 1, with Oracle4 rolling them on the deploy.

Jimmy gets the first gybe at the right side boundary and extends downhill, but loses a bit of ground with a slow gybe before reaching Mark 2.  Korea takes the left gate as well (12s back), followed by CHN in 3rd.  ETNZ head for right side, while Swordfish heads left.  NRG, Piranha, Artemis and Bundock bring up the rest of the parade. 

On Leg 3 going upwind, Oracle4 heads to the right side on port, tacks near the boundary with KOR tacking to leeward of them, trailing by 90m.  CHN is a further 80m behind.

Big puffs on the left side of the course, and gains to CHN and KOR, while Oracle4 opts for a tack to the right.  Saving one tack helps Jimmy, while ETNZ comes from nowhere to round Mark 3 right on the tail of KOR.  Swordfish also overtakes China, rounds 4th and goes for a gybe-set to achieve separation.  Piranha is 6th, then Bundock, Energy, and Artemis rounding 2 minutes after leader.

Leg 4, Oracle4 extends, with ETNZ staying close to KOR.  They cross behind, but the Nathan Outteridge and the Koreans have a slow gybe and relinquish the second spot with the Kiwis rounding Mark 4 28s behind Jimmy.  Korea rounds third (46s), while NRG rounds simultaneously with Swordfish after a very nice gain downwind by the French.  Piranha is 6th, Oracle5 Bundock, China, and Artemis follow. 

 

On leg 5 upwind, Oracle4 works the right, while ETNZ and KOR opt for the left side early on.  After a close cross, Oracle4 tacks ahead of ETNZ!  Jimmy is first to the layline and goes around Mark 5 with a 14s advantage.  Meanwhile, Luna Rossa Swordfish takes ownership of KOR and forces a penalty on them, luffing them from leeward.

Going downwind, Paul Campbell-James gains solidly on ETNZ by picking up pressure on the left.  A tight battle in the middle of the field, as ETNZ’s Barker defends his second place, coming into Mark 6 16s behind Oralce4 and 16s ahead of Swordfish. 

Leg 7, ETNZ gains once more with a lot with pressure on the left side of the course, and crosses just behind Oracle4 as the teams split again.  A slow tack on Oracle4 lets ETNZ capture a 40m lead on the virtual tracker.

Meanwhile five boats are very close to each other, rounding downwind Mark 6.  ETNZ tacks on the starboard layline, crosses ahead of OR4! 

The rain pours even harder, as the Kiwis round Mark 7 ahead of Oracle4 and win by 26s!  Luna Rossa Swordfish finishes 3rd, Luna Rossa Piranha 4th, while four teams almost collide on the last reaching mark!  Energy Team gets a penalty in the process, but still manages to pass Artemis.  Team Korea is 5th, Bundock 6th, Energy 7th, Artemis 8th, and China Team 9th

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Day 2: Thursday
 

 


Sibling rivalry as Oracle's James Spithill was eliminated from the Match Race Championship by Oracle's Darren Bundock skippering Oracle 4.  Spithill, who finished 1st in ACWS San Diego, will place 7th in Naples.  Bundock sails into the teeth of Luna Rossa Piranha in Semi-Final 2, on Saturday.  Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
 

ACWS Naples Day 2: Thursday


Artemis shows top form.  Click image to enlarge and read team statements. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Thursday Outlook April 12:
Three Match Races (15 min. each) followed by three Fleet Races (35 min. each). First start expected 1:30pm CET/7:30 am ET (US).

Conditions:
Conditions: Winds SW 8 kts (Windguru).  SW 8 kts (Wunderground).  Winds 8 kts (Windfinder).

Match Pairings and Results:
Qualifying:
Artemis (Seed 8) defeats China (Seed 9)
Quarter-Final 1:
Oracle5 (Seed 7) defeats Oracle4 (Seed 2)
Quarter-Final 2:
LR Piranha (Seed 6) defeats Team Korea (Seed 3)
See complete Naples Brackets

Fleet Race Results:
Fleet Race 3: ETNZ wins! Luna Rossa Piranha 2nd, Artemis 3rd, Oracle (Bundock) 4th, Team Korea 5th, Luna Rossa Swordfish 6th, Oracle4 7th, Energy 8th, and China Team 9th.

Fleet Race 4:  ETNZ wins! Luna Rossa Swordfish 2nd and Luna Rossa Piranha 3rd.  Oracle (Spithill) 4th, Energy 5th, Team Korea 6th, Artemis 7th, Oracle (Bundock) 8th, China Team 9th.

Reserve Race (counts only if needed to substitute for scheduled Race 9): Luna Rossa (Swordfish) 1st, Energy 2nd, Artemis 3rd, Luna Rossa Piranha 4th, China Team 5th, Oracle (Bundock) 6th, ETNZ 7th, Oracle (Spithill) 8th, Team Korea 9th.

Quotes of the Day:
“Darren doesn’t take team orders very well,” said James Spithill, joking.  “Our main goal is to see Darren up there on the podium spraying the champagne around. These guys have done a nice job in match race training.”

Also: Read Day 2 Team Statements

Fleet Race 3 Report: (Course L3)
Wind SW 9 knots during start sequence.  Little chop.  Wing extensions not mounted.  ART is back on the water with a wing; no change to their livery, same as yesterday.  Start sequence underway with many teams aiming at pin end, 35m closer to Mark 1 CHN is slightly early on the line. 

ETNZ is first at M1, LRS second, slow to deploy, ART and OR5 gybe on deploy at mark.  Korea 5th.

Mark 2: ETNZ picks right mark as they round after 2 minutes.  LRS chooses the left gate.  Artemis goes right, Korea sneaks in front of CHN and Energy on left, Oracle Bundock goes right followed by LRP and Spithill trailing the fleet.  Leg 3, a very long beat to windward.  Boats hit 10.5 knots in 9 knots of wind, as ETNZ picks up a tad more wind on the right side near Mergellina, and a nice right shift as well.  Korea worked the right side, too, making a big gain on Artemis.

 ETNZ gets another right shift at the top and rounds Mark 3 after 9 minutes while other teams continue exchanging sides on the way up.  Korea rounds a minute later, Artemis gets stuck in a tack and gets rolled by Swordfish.  Piranha and Bundock round very close, followed by OR4, CHN and Energy. 

ETNZ extends their lead on the way downwind, hitting 16 knots under gennaker, minimizing gybes on their way to Mark 4, opting for left side once again (4m30s run).  Korea rounds 1:03 after the Kiwis, LR Swordfish goes right and Artemis follows.  Piranha takes the left mark, as Jimmy sneaks between the mark and Bundock to capture the 6th spot.  CHN goes right, Energy follows the two Oracle boats on the left, as teams start the second upwind.

Leg 5 upwind:  Pressure increases on the way up, ETNZ stays in sync with the shifts, getting lifted tack after tack.  Swordfish hangs on to their second spot, while Piranha takes the opposite side.  Advantage to Campbell-James, as Piranha extends their lead over rival Draper by 4 seconds.  At Mark 5, ETNZ rounds 38s ahead of Swordfish, with Piranha, Spithill, KOR, Energy, Bundock, CHN and Artemis behind. 

Rounding Mark 6 with a 300m lead now, ETNZ picks up pressure on the left side of the course.  Swordfish lost 9s to the Kiwis on the downwind.  Draper opts for the right side and loses 7s in the process.  Spithill, KOR, Energy, CHN, Bundock and Artemis follow.  The Swedes caught up quite a bit downwind. 

Leg 7, boatspeed hits 14knots.  Swordfish attacks ETNZ from a distance, but the Kiwis remain undisturbed and round cleanly Mark 7, with Campbell-James trailing by 52 seconds now.  Piranha rounds 27s later in third, Jimmy is 4th while Energy passes KOR on the layline, coming with starboard advantage, a nice move by Yann Guichard to capture 5th at the last windward mark.

ETNZ wins, crossing the line with a comfortable lead once again.  Swordfish finishes second (45s behind) with the Italian crowd cheering.  Piranha takes 3rd, getting some applause as well (1:16).  Jimmy ends 4th, Energy gets 5th, Team Korea 6th, Artemis passed Bundock for 7th, and the two passed China Team who finishes 9th.

 

Preview:
The Match of the Day is Oracle4 (Spithill) vs. Oracle 5 (Bundock).  The two have been training in-house against each other during the season break, presumably know each other's behaviors well, and ETNZ and Oracle4 (Spithill) sit at the top of the Fleet Race leaderboard for the season.  Korea sits third, though with the departure of skipper Chris Draper for Luna Rossa match should be an opportunity to see what Bundock can do in his second AC45 regatta.  Who will skipper Oracle's defender in the America's Cup match itself?  This race offers a tantalizing peek at the internal rivalry.

Quarter-Final 2 tests the new crew lineup on Team Korea against Luna Rossa Piranha making their AC45 match racing debut as a team, though with the twist that LRP's skipper, Chris Draper, was formerly Team Korea's skipper.  The Artemis vs. China Team QF1 pairing gives the latter a chance to get out of the cellar by picking up their first match race victory to date, but it would be a quality win if they can do it against Artemis, who stands third overall for season match race points.
See ACWS Season Standings

The first two Fleet Races rounding out the Thursday schedule do not have any bearing on the Match Race Championship, but count as the 3rd and 4th of 9 races for the Naples Fleet Race Standings.  The third Fleet Race of the day is the alternate race that will count only if something unexpected prevent Sunday's Final from being held.  The relatively light conditions will play to different skill sets than the battering chop and higher winds of Day 1, highlighting tactical engagement and bringing smooth crew work to the fore.  ETNZ and Oracle4 (Spithill) top the Fleet Race standings for the season and the Naples regatta.  Korea sits third in both, though the impact of Draper's transfer as noted above will be an issue to watch.  The Korean team placed 4th and 2nd in the first two races yesterday.


Hometown crowds had plenty to cheer about after Luna Rossa's sailors  won their match race and took 1st or 2nd in every fleet race. Photo:©2012 Guilain GRENIER/Oracle Racing

Fleet Race 4 Report: (Course L3)
Matches delayed after the fleet races, due to light wind in the beginning of the afternoon.  Rain, light chop. Wind is building during prestart sequence, 10-12 knots at start time.  Pin to M1 distance is 284m, RC to M1 is 318m.

ETNZ and Swordfish are OCS.  Korea good start from the leeward end, CHN is first rounding M1, NRG, ETNZ and ART gybing while CHN and KOR extend to right boundary.

At Mark 2, KOR gybes ahead of NRG, who leverage their higher speed to round the right side of the gate.  KOR goes on left side (looking upwind of course) 8s later.  Wind drops as the rest of the fleet stalls rounding the leeward gate.  ETNZ gets a penalty in huge traffic jam.  OR4 rounds third.

In Leg 3, upwind, ETNZ and KOR exchange side with a 100m lead over the rest of the pack.  The French find more breeze on the left initially and quickly reach 12 knots boatspeed upwind, but still cross behind KOR coming on starboard.  Closer to the mark, NRG tack in a nice right shift and hoist their gennaker early, rounding Mark 3 first with a 50m advantage over Nathan Outteridge (17s).  OR4 (Spithill) rounds 30s later.  Piranha follows, then ART, Bundock, Swordfish and CHN, while ETNZ approach very late in last position.  Handling issue on Swordfish after rounding costs them two spots and they trail the fleet downwind.

Leg 4, NRG extends to 100m and chose the right side of Mark 4.  KOR follows 22s later, Jimmy made up ground and follows 14s behind under hard rain and confused sea.  Draper on Piranha rounds 4th, followed closely by Artemis, Bundock, Swordfish, CHN and ETNZ.  Paul Campbell-James had a great downwind leg despite taking a boundary penalty!

On leg 5 going upwind, oscillating shifts on the left of the racecourse, as KOR and OR4 gain on NRG.  Patches of wind help the French extend a tad, while KOR feels the pressure of Jimmy and OR4.  Once again, a big right shift at the end of the upwind leg helps the French gain even more on Nathan Outteridge!  Coming to Mark 5, Yann Guichard baaaarely makes the mark, but gets round and deploys the gennaker.

OR4 gains on the right shift to overcome KOR and rounds in 2nd (42s), 11s ahead of KOR.  Piranha (Draper) is 4th as ART in 5th has to pinch to round the mark properly.  Bundock follows, then Swordfish, CHN and ETNZ.

In Leg 6, Energy holds a commanding lead over nearest competitor Oracle 4 and sails in tune with windshifts to round Mark 6 with a 200m advantage, choosing the left side, while Jimmy opts for the right mark 41s behind, followed by KOR 19s later.  NRG cover and tack to head to the right side.  ART is 4th while Piranha opts for the left side.  Bundock is 6th, Swordfish 7th, CHN and ETNZ trailing the fleet as the wind disappears at the leeward gate. 

In leg 7 going upwind, NRG stays between Spithill and the mark, matching OR4’s tacks.  Yann Guichard acknowledges there is little to gain on the left side.  OR4 tacks for the righthand side of the course, matched by NRG and KOR who tack to leeward of Spithill on TeamUSA, all heading to the favored right side. 

Yann Guichard makes a safe last tack, slightly past layline.  He calls for deploy, bear away, at the mark and gybe early!.  They round Mark 7 with 38s lead over Spithill, while Piranha passes KOR coming into the mark!  ART is 5th, Bundock 6th, and Swordfish barely rounds ahead of ETNZ.  The Kiwis made big gains this leg to overtake CHN, who round last. 

Leg 8, NRG’s lead decreases to 75m over OR4 as the two teams reach the final mark.  NRG gybes first, but hits a light spot as they round Mark 8 only 14s ahead of Jimmy!  The final reach is short and Yann Guichard and Energy Team win by 10s over Oracle4 (Spithill)!  Piranha (Draper) finish 3rd, Oracle5 (Bundock) 4th, Team Korea 5th, Artemis 6th, ETNZ 7th, Swordfish 8th, and China Team 9th.

 

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Day 1: Wednesday
 

 


Solid wind and steep waves made for a tough test of AC45 crews, damaging several boats. Photo:©2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ
 

ACWS Naples 2012 Gets Underway


Artemis heads down under. Photo:©2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

Wednesday Program:
Three Fleet Races, 35 minutes each.  The first two races will determine the seedings for the match race championship brackets, and the third race will serve as a reserve for the Fleet Race Championship.  See regatta schedule.

Race Results:
Race 1 Complete: Oracle (Spithill) wins Race 1! Energy 2nd, ETNZ 3rd, Korea 4th, Oracle (Bundock) 5th, Luna Rossa (Piranha) 6th, Luna Rossa (Swordfish) 7th, China DNF retired, Artemis DNF capsized.

Race 2 Complete: ETNZ wins Race 2! Korea 2nd, Oracle (Spithill) 3rd, Energy 4th, Luna Rossa (Swordfish) 5th, Luna Rossa (Piranha) 6th.  China, Artemis, and Oracle (Bundock) are DNS.

Race 3: Postponed for the day.

Quotes of the Day:
"It's cool, the sailing is pretty awesome, you can't complain when you're sailing in conditions like that," Dean Barker, ETNZ skipper, said. "But it's very challenging for the boats and very taxing for the crew. The goal was to get back to the dock in one piece, which we did -- it's nice to be back in good shape."

James Spithill, Skipper, Oracle4: “We had two really good starts and after that it was about the tacks.  You had to pick a flat spot.  That's where there were huge gains and losses.”

Darren Bundock, Skipper Oracle5. “For us, we didn’t hit anything but we buckled the hull from the hatch cover down about 20 cm. It came from the impact of bouncing off the waves.”

See Full Naples Results and Match Race Brackets

Also: Day 1 Team Statements

Race 1 Report:
L3 course (reach, downwind, 2 laps and reach finish).

A lot of chop on the Bay.  There was an injury onboard Korea during training yesterday and another crew is ill today, so two new crew for the White Tiger today. 

Winds South at 16 knots with start sequence underway.  Energy is penalized for boundary infringement 2 minutes before start.  Artemis to windward of the fleet.  ETNZ plus OR4 and OR5 lead at the gun.

Mark 1: OR4, ETNZ, OR5, ART, LR, Korea, China, Energy, LR.  Late gybe at the boundary, boats reach Mark 2 (downwind gate) in less than 30 seconds at 22 knots!

OR5 passed ETNZ in leg 2, ETNZ great recovery rounds 4th on right side.  Artemis, China, and LR on the left side.  OR5 penalized for boundary infraction, same for ETNZ.  LR dives to avoid ETNZ and get a boundary penalty, too.  Leg 3: Boats flying in the chop.  Artemis lies on port after late boundary tack, but CHN gets too close to to them on starboard and is penalized. 

OR4, hitting 13 knots upwind, stretches out with much better angle than OR5, who opted to sail lower and faster.  LR crosses right behind ETNZ, Energy still 5th on the way up.  Artemis makes a great recovery on right side of the course, crosses ahead of ETNZ to catch 3rd spot.  OR5 gets another penalty for boundary infraction while getting stuck in irons during this late tack.  ETNZ falls back a lot on this leg.  Approaching the sole windward mark for port rounding, OR4 comes at a lower 10-knot speed and while Artemis rushes in at 14 knots.

Mark 3: OR4 (11m42s), ART, OR5, then KOR after a great comeback rounds with much more speed and passes them right after mark.  Next are ETNZ, LRP, ETNZ, LRS, CHN.  For Leg 4 Spithill extends on port, fantastic gybe. 

Mark 4: OR4 and ART (trailing by 1min 13s) choose the left gate, OR5 goes right, KOR simultaneously on left side, followed by NRG, then ETNZ and LRP, LRS and China.  Leg 5: Wind picks up on this second upwind.  OR5 is passed KOR by taking the right side.  KOR crosses just in front of ETNZ, while NRG crosses behind the Kiwis, the four teams exchanging tacks.  ART shows great speed on this upwind, often reaching 14 knots, peak speed at 16 knots.  OR5 makes a bad tack at the left boundary, slows down and goes behind ETNZ, who in turn approach the boundary and execute a much better tack.  Both boats now on port, but Korea and NRG have saved a tack and cross ahead of Oracle5 and ETNZ!

Mark 5: Meanwhile, OR4 Spithill bears away, does NOT deploy!  Artemis approaches the mark on port, tacks wide of the 3-boatlength zone, bears away with weight aft, one crew sitting behind the rudder, and no deploy either.  NRG after a great 5th leg, rounds and bears away safely, Korea on their tail.  OR5 passes ETNZ and approaches Mark 5 about one length ahead of the Kiwis, who deploy a gennaker to match Bundock's sail selection on OR5.

Mark 6: Spithill rounds the shore mark after 28 minutes and 37s of racing for this upwind Leg 7, quickly set up for a crash tack close to the boundary.  1 min and 36s later, Artemis chooses the left side of gate 6, NRG defends 3rd place and picks the left side as well for a very smooth rounding.  KOR rounds 22s behind, chased 8s later by ETNZ who passed OR5 on the downwind leg and lead Bundock by 8s.  LRP also picks the left gate, despite a furling problem on their gennaker.  Paul Campbell-James onboard Swordfish, trails by 20s, with CHN withdrawing from the race before rounding Mark 6.

Mark 7: Oracle4 leads comfortably, one crew sitting behind Jimmy before they reach the last top mark and bear away after 35m and 38s.  Artemis has some trouble, sailing past the port layline, and getting stuck in irons trying to tack, with NRG passing them wide as the French reach the three-boatlength zone first at this last Mark.  Artemis capsizes on the bear away!

Finish: Jimmy rounds bottom mark, running to the finish line in front of the Via Carriciolo and crossing in 39m 39s for a fantastic race for Oracle4.  Luna Rossa Piranha takes a lot of time to round mark 7 and Swordfish passes them on this last upwind mark.  Energy earns a 2nd place, 2min 52s behind winner Oracle4 (Spithill).  Emirates TNZ gets 3rd (3:29), Team Korea 4th (3:38), and Oracle5 (Bundock) 5th (3:48).  The two LR teams exchanged places on the downwind leg, with Piranha (6th 5:47) getting the better of Swordfish (7th 5:59) before Mark 8 and holding on through the finish.  China Team retired.

 

Race 2 Report:
Course L2 (twice around the shorter course).

Artemis has a broken wing and is likely not to race.  China is DNS as well.  Six boats on the start line with 24 knots of wind.  NRG starts very low at the pin, way behind other teams.  Oracle 4 wins the start ahead of ETNZ once again.

 
Day 1 in Naples. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

LRP is to windward of ETNZ, OR4 bears away first, then ETNZ.  KOR sneaks inside of ETNZ , yelling onboard the Kiwi boat. 
All boats stay on starboard gybe, OR4 and ETNZ going straight to the mark , sailing l-o-w!  ETNZ great move, sneaks inside OR4.  LRP (24s) and KOR (29s) slow to double-gybe, NRG behind(39s), LRS far behind.  All boats except KOR are on starboard tack (left side of this 3rd leg), TNZ first to tack , OR4 tacks very close to boundary, while LRP and NRG tack earlier and KOR made up some ground on the right side, cross ahead of LRP with their starboard tack. 

ETNZ and OR4 sail high and slow, working the center of the course.  OR4 stays right on ETNZ windward hip as the two boats approach the right boundary.  Jimmy fights his way and passes upwind with BIG speed differential as both boats tack, only meters apart as ETNZ luffs and picks up the lead from leeward!  Fantastic move by the Kiwis who capture the lead before reaching the three-length zone of Mark 3. 

Mark 3: ETNZ, OR4 (8s), KOR (21s).  Then LRP (1:01) and NRG (1:17) as both boats stall out with bad tacks and lose ground. 

ETNZ stretches out with great downwind speed.  Deano calls the furling as they approach the right-hand gate and pick the side which did so well for KOR on previous upwind.  LRP comes to a halt. OR4 follows 37s behind (29s loss on the leg) , with Korea at 1:02 on same side, then  LR Swordfish and NRG.  Distance is around 10 boat-lengths between all boats now, as they all pick up the same side.  Big waves on the race course, as ETNZ is shown flying both hulls

Mark 5: OR4 sails 3 knots faster, and ETNZ tacks beyond the layline, but keeps enough lead to round 29s ahead of OR4, and bearing away safely.  KOR rounds 1:06 behind, with NRG 36s further back as the French unfurl their gennaker a tad early.

Final Mark: ETNZ rounds and the Kiwis lead comfortably with Glenn Ashby driving the boat through the finish in 22min26s.  Korea edges in while OR4 is mixed up at the bottom mark.  Nathan Outteridge cheers up and congratulates his team for great crew work.  OR4 is third past the line, 10s ahead of NRG in 4th (1:43 behind leader) as Swordfish takes 5th and Piranha finishes late but still standing.

6 boats in, 3 boats retired on a pounding punishing Day 1 in Naples. Match Racing starts tomorrow.


Luna Rossa Piranha on the verge of a hard landing.
 Photo:©2012 Guilain Grenier/Oracle Racing

Wednesday Outlook:
America's Cup World Series action is set to begin again Wednesday, with the second half of the 2011-2012 season kicking off in Naples, Italy.

First Race: Start expected at local time 2:15 CET/8:15 ET US. Conditions: Winds S 17 kts gusting to 23 (Windguru).  S 16-18 mph (Wunderground).  S 16 mph becoming SW 12 kts (Windfinder).  Most forecasts include a chance of light rain.

Preview:
Returning leaders Emirates Team New Zealand lead the season standings by one point.  Sweden's Artemis started the season with strong performances and are trying to regain their consistency.  Team Korea has reconfigured their crew lineup since last fall, while Energy Team is promising to build on the momentum of a strong showing in San Diego that saw the French second in the Match Race standings and third in the Fleet Race.  China Team is back with a brand new crew, led by Frenchman Fred Le Pleutrec, fresh from a successful Jules Verne Trophy with Energy's Loïck Peyron.  Defender Oracle again brings two boats to the party, with James Spithill looking brilliant at times on Oracle4 and Darren Bundock in his second ACWS regatta on Oracle5.

Two new AC45 crews are in the mix starting in Naples, representing home country favorites Luna Rossa who are fielding two boats differentiated as Swordfish and Piranha.  The team's overall skipper Max Sirena is on Swordfish with helmsman Chris Draper, picked up from Team Korea during the season break.  Paul Campbell-James helms Piranha.  Two teams are out, too.  Aleph has folded their challenge entirely and Spain's GreenComm is officially sidelined for Naples and not yet confirmed for Venice next month either.

Naples promises five days of close-in multihull racing against a dramatic urban backdrop, plus a passionate sporting crowd with a home country rooting interest.  Let's regatta!


The America's Cup village packed them in Sunday, three days before the first race. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

 

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ACWS Naples Stories:

   

Nine Teams Ready to Race


Oracle flying two hulls.  Photo:©2012 ACEA/Guilain Grenier

(Apr 3) Sailors from around the globe are descending upon Naples, Italy as training begins for the fourth regatta in the 2011/12 America’s Cup World Series.  The Event Village opens April 7 and practice takes place over the Easter Weekend.

Read Press Release

Opening Ceremonies Schedule:
Event Report (In Italian)


Racing Starts April 11


Image:©2012 ACN/Photo: Purini/Garofalo

(Mar 22) Racing begins April 11 in Naples when the 2011-2012 ACWS season resumes with a revised regatta schedule.  James Spithill, current skipper of an Oracle Racing AC45 and previously at the helm of Luna Rossa in 2007, knows how enthusiastic the Italian public can be about their sailing teams.

“The Italian fans are some of the most passionate in the world.  They are devoted, emotional, die-hard fans who really enjoy the competition,” Spithill said.  “I'm very excited about getting there and experiencing it again.  I think people will really enjoy the show.  It's a new game, it's a lot more exciting and I think the Italians will love it.”

Read ACWS Press Release

Naples to be ACWS Venue in 2012 & 2013


Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

(Sept 14, 2011) “I’m very pleased to confirm we will be bringing the America’s Cup World Series to Naples,” said Richard Worth, the Chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority. “Naples offers us a Mediterranean backdrop, and a stadium set-up within the Bay of Naples a perfect complement to the exciting racing the AC World Series provides.”

A delegation from the Naples event organizing committee, including the Mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris, and the Governor of Campania Stefano Caldoro, the Deputy President of the Province of Naples Gennaro Ferrara, the President of the Industrial Union Paolo Graziano, and President of Bagnolifutura Riccardo Marone, are in Plymouth this week, reviewing facilities, the set-up of the technical areas and the race village and enjoying the racing.

Read Naples Press Release

 

 

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