America's Cup World Series Naples, Italy
April 18-21, 2013


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

Naples water scene. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget Naples square with Mascalzone America's Cup Class yacht. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget   Naples architecture - shopping gallery. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget Naples street. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget Bay of Naples, Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

  Fleet Racing underway in Naples. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
  Fleet Racing in Naples. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

America's Cup World Series Naples 2013

Sunday Results: Oracle Team USA Slingsby wins the Naples Match Race Championship.  Luna Rossa Swordfish wins the Final Fleet Race, and with it wins the Naples Match Race Championship!  Oracle Slingsby/Spithill is the Season Champion.

See Schedule and Format and
Naples Results and Standings
plus Season Championship Standings

Daily Coverage:
Thursday (Day 1) | Friday (Day 2)
Saturday (Day3) | Sunday (Day 4)

Where to Watch:
Replays and Highlight Online:
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Television Broadcasts:
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Also on this page:
Naples Preview Stories
 

ACWS Naples Schedule and Format:

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Full Results and Standings:

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Race Area:
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Sunday, April 21 Race Day 4

 



Going their own ways, Luna Rossa Swordfish and Oracle Slingsby battle in the Naples Match Race Final.
Click image to read Day Team Statements. Photo:©2013 Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi
 

ACWS Naples Day 4 (Final Sunday)

racle Team USA took home season championships. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
Oracle Team USA took home season championships.
Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Outlook:
Race Program: Match Race Final followed by Final Fleet Race 7.  First start 2:40 pm Naples/8:40 am ET US.

Weather: Winds WSW 10 knots (WindFinder). Winds WSW 8 kts  (WindGuru).  Weather partly cloudy but clearing, temperatures in low 60's F most forecasts.

Match Race Final:
One race, 20 min. duration.

Final:
Oracle Team USA Slingsby beats Luna Rossa Swordfish
Skippers: Tom Slingsby and Francesco Bruni
Oracle wins the Naples Match Race Championship!
See Full Match Race Brackets

Fleet Racing Final:
Final Fleet Race 7.  Start 3:15pm Naples/9:15am ET US, 30 min. in length.

Fleet Race 7: LR Swordfish gets ahead of Oracle Slingsby on the final downwind.  Luna Rossa Swordfish wins! Oracle Slingsby is 2nd, LR Piranha 3rd, Energy 4th, GBR 5th, ETNZ 6th, HS Racing 7th, Artemis 8th, China Team 9th.

Luna Rossa Swordfish will win the Naples Fleet Racing Championship! Oracle Teams USA 2nd, ETNZ 3rd.

Season Championship Results:
Oracle Team USA Slingsby also becomes the season Match Race Champion!  ETNZ is second, Artemis White is third.

Oracle Team USA Slingsby/Spithill wins the ACWS Season Championship!  Luna Rossa Piranha is 2nd, J.P.Morgan/BAR is 3rd.  See Season Standings

Franceso Bruni, Skipper, Luna Rossa Swordfish: “The fleet race win really means a lot to me.  We had an opportunity for the double win, but just missed out.  I can’t thank my crew enough, Paul Campbell-James, Max Sirena, Xabi Fernandez and Manuel Modena.  They did a great job today.”
Read Day 4 Team statements and See Photos.

 

Luna Rossa Swordfish wins Naples Regatta.  Photo:©2013 Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi
Francesco Bruni and Luna Rossa Swordfish won the Final Fleet Race, passing Oracle Slingsby to win the Naples Fleet Race Championship.  Photo:©2013 Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi
 

Match Race:
Oracle vs. Luna Rossa.  The hometown crowd will be excited to cheer for an Italian Finalist with an Italian skipper at the helm.  Not surprisingly, the Luna Rossa boats seem to always do well here in Naples, whether that's due to local knowledge or local passion or both.  Tom Slingsby hasn't faced Francesco Bruni in an AC45 match race before, but with James Spithill and Paul Campbell-James on the helms the teams met last year in the Quarter-Finals in Venice, with Oracle taking the best-of-three match two races to none.  The slightly longer format of the Final, 20 minutes instead of 13 minutes, allows a little room to recover from a bad shift or a penalty.  Does that opportunity translate to more aggressive tactics in the pre-start or the early mark roundings?  It certainly allows more chance for a trailing boat to catch a break and take the lead, often making the longer races more interesting

Fleet Race Preview:
The last race of the ACWS season, and the last scheduled for these boats before the youth crews take over for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup regatta early next September.  ETNZ sits on top of the Fleet Racing Standings with only Fleet Race 7 to go tomorrow.  Oracle Team USA Slingsby is 2nd, J.P.Morgan/BAR is 3rd.

With two wins Saturday, Emirates Team New Zealand took a solid lead in the standings, but is not unassailable.  With 40 points to the winner, the top seven teams are not mathematically eliminated from winning the regatta.  The top four -- Emirates, Oracle, J.P. Morgan, and LR Piranha -- control their destinies: a first place in Race 7 for these teams will clinch the Naples standings no matter what anyone else does.

The Season Championship is locked up by Oracle Team USA, Spithill and Slingsby have built up that large a lead already.

Enjoy Sunday's events, the last currently scheduled day of ACWS racing.  The AC45's have been helping to re-shape racing for fans and sailors alike, opening the action up to spectators, pioneering new broadcast technology, and bringing the speed and interest of multihulls to a wider audience than ever before.  Exactly what form America's Cup racing takes after the 34th Defense next September in San Francisco isn't certain.  The same boats and format might return for more ACWS regattas, or some unexpected path might be taken instead.  That perennial recombination is part of the intrigue of the Cup.  Whether today is the end of a chapter or the end of a book can't be known yet.  But for now, the AC45's have got the challengers and defender going at each other in a photogenic locale before a passionate crowd.  Let's Regatta!



Morning in Naples. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
 

 

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Saturday, April 20 Race Day 3


The sun came out on Saturday's Fleet Racing, but everyone was still chasing Emirates Team New Zealand. Click image for Day 3 Team Statements and more photos. Photo:©2013 Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi
 

ACWS Naples Day 3 (Saturday)

Outlook:
Race Program: 2 Match Race Semi-Finals followed by 2 Fleet Races.  First start 2:05 pm Naples/8:05 am ET US.

Weather: Winds S 9-10 knots (WindFinder). Winds SSW 6-7 knots (Wunderground). Winds S to SSW 10 kts  (WindGuru).  Weather clearing and temperatures mid-60's F in most forecasts.

Match Race Pairings:
One race per match, 13 min. each.

Semi-Final 1:
Oracle Team USA Slingsby beats J.P.Morgan
Skippers: Tom Slingsby and Ben Ainslie
Semi-Final 2:
Luna Rossa Swordfish beats Luna Rossa Piranha
Skippers: Francesco Bruni and Chris Draper

Winners advance to the Final Match on Sunday
See Full Match Race Brackets

Fleet Racing:
Fleet Races 5 and 6.  Race 5 start expected 2:50 pm Naples/8:50 am ET US, 25 min. in length each race.

Race 5: Complete.  Draper over early in LR Piranha.  ETNZ into early lead, Oracle 2nd, HS Racing 3rd.  LR Piranha into 3rd at the first Windward gate.  ETNZ wins Fleet Race 5! Oracle 2nd, Piranha 3rd, J.P. Morgan 4th, LR Swordfish 5th, Artemis 6th, China Team 7th, HS Racing 8th, Energy Team DNS.

Race 5 puts ETNZ into 1st place in the standings, even with Oracle on points though Oracle is 2nd on tiebreak, and J.P.Morgan in third.

Race 6: Complete.  J.P Morgan into early lead, then Luna Rossa Swordfish moves into 1st.  Penalties on Artemis, China, and then JPM (boundary).  ETNZ leading, LR Swordfish, and JP Morgan at the final windward mark.  ETNZ wins Fleet Race 6!  LR Swordfish 2nd, J.P.Morgan 3rd, LR Piranha 4th, Oracle 5th, Energy 6th, HS Racing 7th, Artemis 8th, China 9th.

ETNZ sits on top of the standings with only Fleet Race 7 to go tomorrow.  Oracle Slingsby is 2nd, J.P.Morgan 3rd.

Simon Daubney, J.P. Morgan/BAR Racing, their Semi-Final against Oracle Team USA:  “We felt we were in a good position at the start but they (OTUSA) managed to approach the line from a bit further back and they were able to pull the trigger and get going with enough speed to roll over the top of us.  We came back at them and made it interesting but we couldn’t do enough to get past, so we were left to settle for third place in the match race, which was a tough way to start the day."
Read more and see photos: Day 3 Team Statements



Repairs to Luna Rossa Swordfish after Friday's damage.
Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
 

Preview:
The Match Racing Semi-Finals set up around two in-house battles.  Though the name on his AC45 says J.P.Morgan, this summer Ben Ainslie will skipper one of Oracle Team USA's big cats, vying against James Spithill, as the Defender prepares for the 34th Defense of the America's Cup.  Oracle's Tom Slingsby has been hitting his stride in Naples, so this match should be fun from a bragging rights standpoint.

Luna Rossa is assured of getting one boat into the Final Match, which will make for an enthusiastic local crowd on Sunday.  This summer Chris Draper will be helming Luna Rossa's AC72, so this match should stoke the intramural rivalry with Francesco Bruni.  Swordfish and Piranha have never met in ACWS Match Racing until now.

Fleet Race Preview:
Oracle Team USA Slingsby, Energy Team, and Emirates Team New Zealand top the Fleet Racing leaderboard going into Saturday's events.

Today's two races are the last in Naples at the standard weighting of 12 points per win.  Sunday's Final Fleet Race 7 will award the winner 40 points for 1st place, a margin of 15 points over 2nd place, and 32 points over last place.  With the top five teams currently grouped less than five points apart, that means no team has clinched anything yet, first or last.  The teams in the lower half of the standings, however -- Luna Rossa Swordfish, Artemis, HS Racing, and China Team -- can't wait until the Final and need to rack up big points today to stay in the hunt.

That three of those four are led by skippers new to the ACWS helm suggests the value of AC45 racing experience in this format.  China has beat all comers to finish first before in an AC45 Fleet Race, during San Diego's Port Cities Challenge.  Maybe they can duplicate that result before the ACWS season ends this weekend.

At the other end of the standings, in the first four races four different teams have notched a first-place finish.  And all of the top five teams -- Oracle, Energy, ETNZ, J.P. Morgan, and LR Piranha -- have had hot streaks in Fleet Racing at one of the regattas over the past year, dominating the competition.  Are the currently tight standings a sign of growing parity among the ACWS teams or can one of them break loose from the others on the Bay of Naples this weekend?

 

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Friday, April 19 Race Day 2

 

ETNZ looking at the sharp end of Luna Rossa Swordfish. Their collision brought a penalty that cost ETNZ the lead, but ensuing damage lead to a DNF for LRS in the second Fleet Race.  Click image for Day 2 Team Statements. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

ETNZ looking at the sharp end of Luna Rossa Swordfish. Their collision brought a penalty that cost ETNZ the lead, but ensuing damage lead to a DNF for LRS in the second Fleet Race.  Click image for Day 2 Team Statements. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

 

ACWS Naples Day 2 (Friday)

Outlook:
Race Program April 19: 2 Match Race Quarter-Finals followed by 2 Fleet Races.  First start 2:05 pm Naples/8:05 am ET US.

Conditions:
Winds SSW 8 knots (WindFinder). Winds SSW 5 knots (Wunderground). Winds SSW 7 kts (WindGuru).  Weather clear and high 60's F in most forecasts.

Match Race Pairings:
One Race Each Match.

Quarter-Final 3:
Luna Rossa Swordfish beats ETNZ
Quarter-Final 4:
Oracle Team USA Slingsby beats HS Racing
Winners advance to Semi-Finals Saturday
See updated Match Race Brackets

In QF3, Luna Rossa collided with ETNZ at the 1st windward gate, damaging the Italian boat's bow.  Luna Rossa into lead on TNZ penalties, wins QF3.  ITA continued racing, but appeared low in water at times, and Did Not Finish in Fleet Race 4.  They are expected to be repaired and racing again Saturday.
In QF4, HS Racing was too close inside the start box, was penalized in the pre-start, Slingsby controlling to leeward at the line.  Oracle extended while HS took her penalty.  Oracle advances.

Fleet Racing:
Fleet Races 3 and 4.  Race 3 start expected 2:50 pm Naples/8:50 am ET US, 25 min in length each race.

Fleet Race 3: Luna Rossa Swordfish leading early, followed by Oracle Slingsby and Energy.  At the finish, Oracle Slingsby wins Fleet Race 3!  Energy Team is 2nd, Luna Rossa Swordfish 3rd, Luna Rossa Piranha 4th, ETNZ 5th, JP Morgan 6th, Artemis 7th, HS Racing 8th, China Team 9th.

This win puts Oracle into the lead by one point, with ETNZ in second, and Fleet Race 4 coming up today.

Fleet Race 4: Energy leading early, followed by Slingsby.  Swordfish withdraws. Energy Team wins Fleet Race 4!  Slingsby 2nd, ETNZ 3rd, JP Morgan 4th, LR Piranha 5th, HS Racing 6th, Artemis 7th, China Team 8th, LR Swordfish DNF.

After Race 4, Oracle Team USA Slingsby, Energy Team, and Emirates Team New Zealand top the Fleet Racing Leaderboard.


Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget
Energy Team picked up on Day 2, rising to 2nd place overall.
Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Kinley Fowler, Jib Trimmer, Oracle Team USA: “The team is starting to tie together really well.  We had a few communication issues on the first day and that’s all getting ironed out.  I think we’re going to keep improving as well,” said Fowler.  “We’ve got a pretty tough match race against BAR, which will be good.  We’ve done a fair bit of match race training with them recently.”
More Quotes: Read Day 2 Team Statements

Preview:
ETNZ vs. Luna Rossa Swordfish will have a lot of people watching to see how the Kiwis execute in Match Racing.  Though often near the top of the pack in fleet racing, they were 1-7 in match racing last year through Venice, Naples, Newport, and the first San Francisco regatta.  The team rebounded in SF in October, making it to the Final, where ETNZ lost to Oracle Spithill.  Swordfish has had mixed results in match racing, winning some races, and advancing as far as the Semi-Finals once, last year in Naples.  The winner of this match gets Luna Rossa Piranha in the Semi-Final.  Both ITA and NZL teams will be in the Louis Vuitton Cup this summer, making today (and possibly tomorrow) the last chance for a head-to-head match before meeting again in AC72's less than three months from now.

Tom Slingsby onboard Oracle is up against Roman Hagara on HS Racing, with another chance to see how newcomer HS is adapting their substantial multihull experience to the wing sail cats of the America's Cup World Series.

Fleet Racing:
Ben Ainslie on J.P. Morgan and Dean Barker on Emirates are off to the hottest start in Fleet Racing, separated by one point in the standings after two races.  Luna Rossa Piranha, Oracle Slingsby, and Energy Team also notched top 3 finishes Thursday.  Can anyone stay consistent in the lighter air expected today in Naples?

 

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Thursday, April 18 Race Day 1

 



Click image to see more Day 1 Photos and read team statements. Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

   

ACWS Naples Day 1 (Thursday)

Outlook:
Race Program April 18: 3 Match Races followed by 2 Fleet Races.  First start 1:45 pm Naples/7:45 am ET US.

Weather: Winds WSW 7-8 knots (WindFinder). Winds S 6-9 knots (Wunderground). Winds WSW 6 kts (WindGuru).  Weather clear and 75°F in most forecasts.

Match Race Pairings:
One Race Each Match.

Qualifier:
 HS Racing beats China Team
HS advances to QF4 on Friday against Oracle Team USA.
Quarter-Final 1:
JP Morgan/Ben Ainslie beats Energy Team
Quarter-Final 2:
Luna Rossa Piranha beats Artemis Racing
See Updated Match Race Brackets

Fleet Racing:
Fleet Races 1 and 2.  Race 1 Start expected 2:50 pm Naples/8:50 am ET US, 25 min in length each race.

Fleet Race 1:
 ENTZ wins Race #1! Oracle Slingsby is 2nd, JP Morgan 3rd, LR Piranha 4th, LR Swordfish 5th, Artemis 6th, Energy 7th, HS Racing 8th, China Team 9th.

Fleet Race 2:
BAR/JP Morgan wins Race #2! LR Piranha 2nd, Energy 3rd, ETNZ 4th, LR Swordfish 5th, Oracle 6th, Artemis 7th, China 8th, HS Racing 9th.

Ben Ainslie leads the Fleet Race Standings, 1 point ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, with Luna Rossa Piranha 3rd.

Preview:
After a long break in AC45 racing since last October's ACWS in San Francisco, the crews sound eager to be back in action.  Between demands of prepping AC72's for the rapidly approaching Louis Vuitton Cup and some talent shuffles among the teams, new faces in new places will freshen up the Naples regatta.  HS Racing debuts in Naples, led by accomplished multihull sailor Roman Hagara.  Artemis Racing has put Charlie Ekberg, who will helm their youth team, up against the big boys for Naples while Nathan Outteridge and Loïck Peyron concentrate on the team's AC72 program.  Francesco Bruni will be helming Luna Rossa Swordfish.  Returning skippers who have been on and off AC45s include China Team's Mitch Booth and Oracle's Tom Slingsby.

In the old hand category, Chris Draper on Luna Rossa Piranha and Dean Barker on ETNZ have been skippering all along.  Both Draper and Barker will be facing each other on AC72's in less than three months.


 AC45 fleet practicing earlier this week in preparation for racing.
Photo:©2013 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Matchups:
Two of the matches Thursday feature talent well-regarded but new to the AC45's paired against competitors with 8-9 ACWS regattas under their belt.  What does experience count for in AC45 racing?  Today will provide some clues.

China Team vs. HS Racing is an intriguing match.  Even if China hasn't had much success in ACWS match racing, winning only one race to date, they are experienced in these boats.  While this will be HS Racing's first ACWS regatta, they come in hot from other multihull racing success.  Mitch Booth, back on the helm of China Team, is capable of surprising the competition.

Similarly, Artemis Racing sends their young Skipper Ekberg into the ring for the first time, where he'll meet Chris Draper on Luna Rossa, who has proven himself tough and fast since he started in these boats in Naples last year.

  The third pairing features two teams on different development tracks.  Energy Team has shown good boatspeed and sometimes extraordinary boat handling, but in San Francisco admitted a need still to hone their match racing skills in order to win in the ACWS.  They will meet Ben Ainslie on JP Morgan coming from the other side of the equation, sharp on short course racing while adapting as quickly as possible to the multihull factor.

 Despite this being only Ainslie's third America's Cup World Series, though, he has a crack team onboard and ashore, and it will be interesting to see who prevails.  An added angle is that Ainslie will be Oracle Team USA's in-house rival to James Spithill over the summer to helm the America's Cup Defender.  Ainslie's been working hard to prepare and no doubt Oracle and Golden Gate YC supporters want to see how it's paid off.

 

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ACWS Naples Stories:

   

J.P.Morgan BAR Crew Intent

(April 17) Simon Daubney, Trimmer: “I’ve got to be honest with you we won’t be entirely happy unless we win this regatta, we have to be realistic and we have a healthy respect for the other teams were up against and there are good guys that are out sailing here, but you ask me a question and I’ll give you an honest answer, we won’t be happy with anything else but winning.”
Read Notes from J.P.Morgan/BAR


Slingsby Eager to Lead Oracle

(April 16) “I’m really excited,” Tom Slingsby said.  “I’ve been given an opportunity that I’m sort of taking with both hands and trying to run with it.  It won’t be easy, any skipper in their first event in the AC45s hasn’t traditionally done too well, and it’s always quite tough.  But, we’ll do our best.  We’re a young, motivated team and we’ll see how it goes.” Read Oracle Press Release


Luna Rossa Helps Naples with Trofeo Grande Vela

(April 14) Luna Rossa Piranha placed second in this weekend's Trofeo Grande Vela and will donate the 15,000 prize money to aid the Naples Città della Scienza.  Luna Rossa Swordfish placed 4th and ETNZ took first place.  ACWS Racing beings Thursday.
 Read Luna Rossa Press Release


Artemis Gives Ekberg Skipper Role on AC45

(April 11) The ACWS Naples marks the first event for Artemis Racing's Swedish helmsman Charlie Ekberg (age 23) who will also be helming the Swedish Youth Challenge in the Red Bull Youth Americas Cup in San Francisco this September.  A Stockholm native, Charlie has been avidly sailing 49ers and has transitioned into the Melges 32 Class in order to prepare for this ACWS event as well as the Red Bull Youth Americas Cup. 
Read Artemis Press Release


J.P.Morgan BAR Gets Ready for Naples

(April 10) Naples marks the final event of the 2012-13 Americas Cup World Series season.  With two events under their belt J.P. Morgan BAR sit in fourth place overall and will look to improve on their second place result from the last event in October 2012.

For skipper Ben Ainslie, Naples is an opportunity for the team to secure the teams first win. "First and foremost were really looking forward to getting racing again, it’s going to be interesting to see what kind of conditions we will have in Naples.  We’ve been doing some practice sailing in San Francisco, which is predominantly windy, and we might face some lighter conditions in Naples and that means well have to adapt quickly."
Read BAR J.P. Morgan Press Release

Practice Racing Whets Appetitive for Competition

(April 17) This is the final event of the 2012-13 America’s Cup World Series.  Oracle Team USA is leading the standings and has tasked Tom Slingsby with protecting a lead built up in the first events by team skipper Jimmy Spithill.  Slingsby jokes that Spithill has told him not to ‘stuff it up’, and although he considers himself an underdog in making his AC World Series debut as skipper, he’s confident his team can earn good results.
Read ACEA Press Release


Ben Ainslie Looking for ACWS Success

(April 16)  Ben Ainslie, Skipper: "Even though this will only be our third event in the AC45, we can compete with the best which gives us a serious datum to play to.  Sometimes the Cup can be the most frustrating experience in sailing."
Read JPM/BAR Team Press Release


AC45 Skippers Excited to Return to Racing

(April 16) We've spent the last 10 months focused on testing the AC72 and unless you get into racing the small boats again, it's easy to get rusty.  So we're looking forward to getting race ready again. 
Read ACEA 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.”
Read Naples Press Release

 

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