America's Cup World Series San Francisco, CA, USA
August 21-26, 2012

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Photo:©2012 Adam Smith

Crowds are turning out to watch the ACWS in San Francisco.  Above, the breakwater at the entrance to Marina Green basin on Friday, with Golden Gate YC center left overlooking the course.   Photo:©2012 Guilain Grenier/Oracle Team USA

America's Cup World Series San Francisco

August 21-26
Also See ACWS October 4-7, 2012 Regatta

On this page - August Daily Reports and Previews:
Sunday Final Day | Saturday Day 4
Friday Day 3 | Thursday Day 2
Wednesday Day 1

Also at CupInfo:
August San Francisco Schedule | Race Results

Where to Watch the Racing:
In Person:
At Marina Green free access or buy VIP Tickets
America's Cup YouTube Channel
TV Broadcast:
National: Live NBC Sunday August 26th 11:30 am PT
Local and Global: Read ACWS TV/Online Broadcasts for Live Local TV and International Partners
Animated Virtual Coverage: VirtualEye
Live Web Cams: Official | St. Francis YC

Race Schedule

Click image to view schedule


Click image to view results

Approximate Race Area:
Click image to view large

ACWS San Francisco Sunday Final Day

James Spithill dropped back to 9th, but still managed to catch everyone except Chris Draper on Luna Rossa Piranha.  Second place was still good enough for Spithill to win the ACWS Regatta.  Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

America's Cup World Series
San Francisco Final Day: Sunday Aug 26

Saturday Outlook:
Match Race Final (one race) and Fleet Race 7

Match Race Championship Final:
 One race for the match, race start 11:45 am, race duration 15 minutes.

Oracle Team USA Spithill vs. Oracle Team USA Coutts
Complete: Coutts boxes Spithill out below the pin at the start.  4 second lead for Coutts at Mark 1.  Boats head to shore, gybe together, Spithill gains with better boathandling and pulls ahead.  Spithill takes the left at the gate, Coutts turns right.  Spithill will use the offshore current while Coutts heads again for shore.  Coutts is getting much better wind, pulls ahead and crosses ahead.  15 second lead for Coutts at Mark 3, the first upwind, as the boats turn onto Leg 4 of 7.  At the second downwind gate, Coutts turns right again, and Spithill decides late to take the left for another try at the offshore side of the course, 26 seconds behind.  Spithill cuts it to 6 seconds at Mark 6, but picks up a boundary penalty trying to stay offshore while Coutts heads in again. The lost distance means Spithill is right behind Coutts as they round the last mark, and coming in fast tries to shoot between Coutts and the Mark Boat and head for the finish.   Spithill gets ahead, but there is contact, and a penalty to Spithill on this last short leg. Spithill has to take the penalty and can't quite catch Coutts as the boats finish officially one second apart.  Oracle Team USA Coutts wins the Match Race Final!  See Match Race Brackets

Fleet Race 7:
Race start at 12:15 pm, 30-minute race.  This race is weighted more heavily than the first six races, with 40 points on offer for first place.
See Fleet Race Standings and points table

Complete: Wind about 17 knots. Clean start.  Nice jump for Energy Team at the windward end.  Artemis White leads around the first mark followed by Team Korea and Piranha.  Artemis Red heads for deep water with Spithill and Piranha behind.  Boundary penalty on Spithill.  Inshore boats are gaining nicely.  Artemis White, Piranha, and Korea leads at the first downwind gate.  Spithill in 9th.  White, Piranha, and Korea have gained offshore, Coutts comes from the other side and crosses just below Korea.  Artemis White tacks back to cover Coutts heading out to the right. Spithill up to 6th place halfway up Leg 3 of 7. 

Energy almost into third but can't cross Team Korea.  Chris Draper on Piranha gets above Artemis White, who tries to foot away under them, but the Luna Rossa Piranha boat takes the lead.  They tack just past the starboard layline.  Draper turns left, heads inshore, Hutchinson on Artemis is slower in turning, heads for the offshore downwind.  Korea and Energy are third and fourth around. 

On the last full downwind leg, Spithill is now up into 5th.  Piranha is opening a bigger lead.  Wind is favoring the boats on starboard.  Spithill is trying to get past Energy into 4th, but the French pull away faster as they gybe at the boundary.  Piranha turns left at the final downwind gate, Korea turns right as does Korea.  But Spithill comes in with speed nearly at the same moment, and follows Piranha to the offshore side of the course, heading up the final windward leg.  Coming across on starboard, Spithill is into 3rd, Energy crosses behind on port. Spithill needs to beat Korea with a 1st or finish 2nd to anyone else to win the regatta.  Piranha holds Korea past the layline a bit before tacking for the upwind gate.  Spithill still stalking them in 3rd. 

Piranha and Korea can lay the mark, Spithill looks doubtful.  Korea rounds and heads offshore, Piranha inshore.  Spithill follows, going inshore, but about 20 seconds behind with only the two short finishing legs to go.  Guest Michael Johnson falls overboard to be picked up by a chase boat.  Piranha and Korea pass Mark 6 ahead of Spithill, Korea turns slowly, Spithill tries to pass on the last leg, coming in very fast.  Spithill tries to luff Korea.  Korea gets a penalty, Oracle Team USA Spithill will finish second, and Piranha fights off a near capsize to bare win the race! 

Spithill will win the regatta by one point over Chris Draper and Luna Rossa Piranha. 

Team Korea 3rd, Luna Rossa Swordfish 4th, Oracle Coutts 5th, Ben Ainslie 6th, Artemis Red 7th, Artemis White 8th, ETNZ 9th, Energy 10th, China 11th.

A great finish and an exciting race.

Luna Rossa Piranha crew hanging on to win Fleet Race 7. Click image to enlarge and read Team Statements.  Photo:©2012 Guilain Grenier/Oracle Team USA

Team Statements:
From ACEA: “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 Chris Draper.
Read Sunday's Team Statements

NWS calls for Winds WSW 8-13 knots increasing to 18-23 knots, gusts to 31 knots.  Though generally correct, the NWS forecast has been overstating winds on the race course by several knots for the last few days.  Tides: moderate ebb tide for racing, High Tide 9:03 am, Low Tide 1:33 pm.

Coutts vs. Spithill is a re-match of course of the ACWS Newport Match Race Final less than two months ago.  There James Spithill would have seemed to carry an advantage by virtue of more AC45 training time while Russell was attending  to regatta organization and AC72 development, but Coutts got back on Oracle5 and went right at his teammates in the pre-start.  Coutts was extra aggressive, found a small advantage, and multiplied it into just enough of a lead that the race was never in doubt.

For ACWS San Francisco, Spithill has been a magician at times, though, with his feel for winds and currents on the race course, as yesterday's giant margin of victory on Fleet Race 6 showed.  Team Korea and Energy also made great course decisions Saturday.  The change-up for Sunday is that instead of racing in strong flood tide conditions, the tide will be ebbing, and with lower velocity. 

 With a different playing field today and only one fleet race, there's not a lot of time to figure out the risks and rewards of going for the deep or shallow sides of the track.  The rest of the Skippers and fans will likely be watching closely to see what clues the Match Races provide.  On the upwind legs, Spithill here has often favored going hard into the lower left corner to start the leg.

The Final Fleet race offers 40 points to the winner.  Skippers have hinted that they've adopted conventional and some what conservative approaches for the first six races, but with the heavier points weighting of the Final, they are going to be more aggressive in strategy and tactics. 

 As for winning the ACWS San Francisco championship, every team except for China and Ben Ainslie still has a scenario where they could place first (See Fleet Race Standings and Scoring).  Most of those scenarios, however, involve Oracle Team USA Spithill doing much worse today than they have done so far.  Spithill was 1st or 2nd in five of the first six races, his only non-podium results being a 7th in Race 3.  A change from last season is that the actual points from the races carry forward to the season championship, so any top of the pack finish will be a much bigger boost in that regard than last season.

Coverage note:
Today's racing is live today on NBC in the US at 11:30 PT/2:30 ET.  Live coverage on the America's Cup YouTube Channel will be available outside the US.  Replays will be unavailable in the US, but for today the live coverage will not.


 Luna Rossa Piranha caught a gust just before the finish line, with Oracle4 closing up fast behind them, and narrowly a disastrous ending to a great race on the part of Chris Draper and crew.  Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

And Spithill was indeed right there, having just picked off Nathan Outteridge on Team Korea, luffing him for a penalty, and coming on faster all the time. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget


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ACWS San Francisco Saturday Day 4

Energy Team outran the competition with consistently fast sailing, winning Fleet Race 5, and finishing the day second in the standings with one race to go.  Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

America's Cup World Series
San Francisco Day 4: Saturday Aug 25

Oracle Team USA Spithill left the fleet far behind to win Race 6. Click image to enlarge and read Day 4 skippers' quotes.
 Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Saturday Outlook:
Two Semi-Final Matches followed by two Fleet Races.  First Match Race start 2:05 pm, first Fleet Race start 2:50 pm.

Match Races:
 Single elimination format: One race for each match, race duration 13 minutes each.

Semi-Final 1:
Artemis White vs. Oracle Team USA Coutts
Race started 2:05 pm.  Coutts staying ahead of Artemis, but Terry Hutchinson keeps fighting back.  Only 5 seconds for Coutts at the final top mark, but Oracle pulls away a bit on the downwind to win solidly with a 21-second finish delta.  Oracle Coutts advances to the Match Race Final.  Artemis will finish third in the Match Racing portion of ACWS San Francisco.

Semi-Final 2:
Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Oracle Team USA Spithill
Early lead for Spithill, but ETNZ gains and leads by 9 seconds at the second mark.  Oracle heads left upwind and closes up, but can they cross ETNZ?  No, the Kiwis come in ahead on starboard making better time, the boats cross, and tack again.  Coming back, ETNZ finds a lift and extends from nearly even to 80m with the upwind gate coming up.  ETNZ defends the left from a surging Oracle, bouncing Spithill back to the righthand layline.  Heading for Gate 3 ETNZ is slightly ahead, but can't lay the mark, and has to duck.  Spithill can't lay it either, both tack just under the gate, with Spithill rounding first, 7 seconds ahead.  The boats split the gate, USA turning right, NZL turning left.  On the final short downwind leg, the advantage is offshore, and Oracle Spithill wins SF2 by 13 seconds, setting up an all-USA final tomorrow, a re-match of the ACWS Newport Final.  ETNZ will place 4th in the Match Race Regatta.

Winners advance to Match Race Final on Sunday.  Semi-Final losers place 3rd-4th depending on Seeding.
See Match Race Brackets and Results

Fleet Racing:
  Fleet Races 5 and 6, duration 25 minutes each.

Fleet Race 5:
Start at 2:50 PT.  Swordfish, Piranha, and Spithill OCS.  ETNZ, Artemis White, and Coutts are first around the mark.  Leaders stay inshore downwind, trailers head for deep water.  Energy slips into 3rd at the first downwind mark, Coutts into 2nd.  ENTZ, Coutts, and Artemis go offshore upwind.  Energy chooses the left instead.  ETNZ is still pulling away.  Boats tack, Energy has lost on the left, has to duck much of the fleet on starboard.  The boats swap sides, and Energy now gains on the right.  Approaching the top, Energy has closed up on leader ENTZ.  The rest of the fleet is grouped on the starboard layline.  ETNZ turns left at the gate and heads for the shore, Energy chases them only a few lengths behind heading onto Leg 4.

At the second downwind gate, ETNZ, Oracle Spithill, and Energy all very close. Energy follows ETNZ turning left and heading for deep water.  Oracle Spithill heads for shore and makes early gains on this last upwind.  Penalty on Artemis Red.  The leaders cross and Spithill trails against ETNZ and Energy.  Upwind Energy now rolls past ETNZ from leeward!  The Kiwis tack away.  Oracle and ETNZ meet, Spithill with starboard advantage tries to hunt them but Dean Barker makes it.  Oracle4 protests but the umpires signal green flag.  ETNZ still heading out to the right, Oracle again crosses behind Energy, but close.  Energy now in first.  Solid lead for the French, about 17 seconds over Oracle Spithill, and another 10 seconds over ETNZ.  Energy turns right and takes the deep water on the last downwind leg.  Spithill takes the inshore. 

Energy Team wins Fleet Race 5!  Oracle Spithill 2nd by 16 seconds, ETNZ 3rd, Piranha 4th, Swordfish 5th, Artemis White 6th, Coutts 7th, Korea 8th, Artemis Red 9th, BAR 10th, China 11th.


Click image to enlarge and read Saturday's Team Statements.. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Fleet Race 6:
Clean start.  Nice jump for Energy, Spithill and Korea close behind at Mark 1.  Leaders again go inshore.  Spithill, Energy, and Piranha lead at the downwind gate, just ahead of a pileup for the rest of the fleet.  Spithill and Energy go back inshore on the upwind, most of the trailers go deep on the right.  Penalty to ETNZ.  Spithill picks the shifts right, and opens a lead over 100m, and rounds the top gate.  Team Korea, Energy, and Piranha follow.  Spithill really pulls away on the leeward leg, nearly a minute ahead of second place Korea, and about 1:15 ahead of Energy.  Oracle's lead now about 300m over 2nd place as they near the final windward mark.  Korea has a solid second, Artemis White, Energy, and Piranha fighting for third as they round.

Oracle Team USA Spithill wins Fleet Race 6!  Korea 2nd, Energy 3rd, Artemis White 4th, Piranha 5th, Coutts 6th, Swordfish 7th, BAR 8th, ETNZ 9th, China Team 10th, Artemis Red 11th.

Nathan Outteridge, Team Korea:  "We’ve sailed well all week and consistency has been paying for us.  We just have to hope Jimmy doesn’t have a great race tomorrow!"
  Read More Saturday Quotes from the Skippers

From ETNZ: Grant Dalton says the team has started a debrief process to analyze why the team is not clicking as it should. “This team is good at adapting to suit changing circumstances and that’s what we plan to do," said Dalton.

"In San Francisco there are some obvious reasons. Teams based here and have experience of the venue and local knowledge are at an advantage. Teams with two or more AC45s have an advantage. But they are not the only reasons.”
Read Saturday Team Statements

Updated Standings: Jimmy Spithill has a 13-point lead over second-place Energy Team in the standings going into tomorrow's Final Fleet Race 7, but there are 40 points on offer to Sunday's first place winner.  If Energy won it tomorrow the French would take the Fleet Race regatta, and even a third place tomorrow would leave Jimmy vulnerable to Team Korea and Luna Rossa Piranha.
See ACWS San Francisco Fleet Race Standings

The Bay is socked in with fog this morning.  The forecasts are similar to yesterday, with lighter winds in the morning giving way mid-afternoon to strong conditions.  The NWS expects the fog to break up by noon, with winds WSW 6-8 knots becoming 13-18 knots, and gusts into the mid-20s, and has a Small Craft Advisory to be posted at 3:00 pm for the Bay.  Windfinder has a slightly lighter forecast at WSW 13-14 knots.  Tides: Flood tide again for racing, Low tide 12:14 pm, High Tide 6:37 pm.


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ACWS San Francisco Friday Day 3

James Spithill and Oracle4 came from the back of the pack to win Fleet Race 4 on Friday.
 Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

America's Cup World Series
San Francisco Day 3: Friday Aug 24

ETNZ won their Match Race Friday.  Click image to enlarge and read Friday team statements. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Friday Outlook:
First start 2:05 pm. Two Quarter-Final Matches followed by two Fleet Races.

Weather forecasts are at odds with each other.  The commercial sites are predicting lower winds (see links below), but the National Weather Service is expecting winds 15-25 mph moving in Friday afternoon and has issued a Small Craft Advisory beginning at noon that includes San Francisco Bay, calling for gusts in the mid-30-mph range -- which would be the sort of dramatic conditions for racing that inspired the selection of SF for the Cup.  Expectations of local sailors and race officials are in line with the above.  Keep tabs online via St. Francis YC interactive webcam.  Commercial sites: Winds SW 11-12 knots (Windfinder). Winds WSW 7 knots (WindGuru). Winds WSW 15 mph (Wunderground). Flood tide again for racing, Low tide 11:57 am, high tide 5:37 pm.

Match Races:
 Single elimination format: One race for each match, race duration 13 minutes each.

Quarter-Final 3:
Seed 3/Qualifier 3 Winner
Emirates Team New Zealand vs. Ben Ainslie Racing
Underway at 2:05.  ETNZ into early lead, BAR trailing.  Winds 225 degrees at 14 knots.
ETNZ eliminates BAR, advances to Semi-Final.

Quarter-Final 4:
Seed 4/Seed-5
Oracle Team USA Coutts vs. Energy Team
Coutts leading, back-and-forth battle early, then Oracle defends better wind and extends. Winds 17 knots with gusts at times.  Energy makes up some ground, but not enough to catch Oracle with the last mark coming quickly.  Oracle Team USA Coutts eliminates Energy and advances to Semi-Finals.

The first two Quarter-Finals were held Thursday.  QF winners advance to Saturday's Semi-Finals.  QF losers place 4th-8th depending on Seeding.
See Match Race Brackets and Results

Fleet Racing:
  Fleet Races 3 and 4, duration 25 minutes each.

Fleet Race 3:
Started at 2:50 pm.  Artemis Red, China Team, and Luna Rossa Piranha are OCS.  Coutts hits the committee boat hard when Spithill shuts him out at the gun, leaving Oracle5 damaged and out of the race (see video excerpt at YouTube).  Energy leads at the second mark, but ETNZ find better wind away from shore and moves into first.  Swordfish and Energy come back on starboard, Kiwis have to duck, and it's Swordfish and Energy 1-2 nearing the top of Leg 3.  Swordfish rounds first and leads downwind.  At the final leeward gate it's Swordfish, Korea, and Energy.  Upwind Korea tries a close cross on Luna Rossa Swordfish, doesn't keep clear, and gets a penalty.  Swordfish, Piranha, and Energy lead around the top mark.  Approaching the last turn, Korea tries to roll Energy coming in hot, but draws a penalty for not leaving the French room at the mark. 

Luna Rossa Swordfish wins Fleet Race 3!  Piranha 2nd, Energy 3rd, Korea 4th, ETNZ 5th, Artemis White 6th, Spithill 7th, Artemis Red 8th, BAR 9th, China 10th, Coutts DNF.


Fleet Race 4:
Fog is slowly rolling in. Nice start for ETNZ. OCS for Oracle Spithill and Artemis White.  ETNZ leads up leg 3, LR Swordfish in close second.  Sheet problems on ETNZ and the LRS moves up.  Korea and Piranha battling for 3rd.  ETNZ, Spithill, Swordfish, and Korea at the top, but Swordfish has gear problems and slips back.  Halfway down to the final gate, ETNZ now leads Oracle Spithill 2nd and Piranha 3rd.  Winds building.  Final Windward, 20m leads to ETNZ, but Spithill has starboard when they cross and takes the lead.  Dean Barker returns they favor when they come back together and ETNZ in first again.  Last top mark rounding coming up, as the leaders go out to the starboard layline.  ETNZ can't tack ahead of Oracle Spithill, and will follow them to the gate.  Korea and BAR 3rd and 4th around.  Korea makes a huge gain offshore and will pass ETNZ. 

Oracle Team USA Spithill wins Fleet Race 4! Team Korea 2nd, ETNZ 3rd, Ben Ainslie Racing 4th, Piranha 5th, Swordfish 6th, Energy Team 7th, Artemis Red 8th, Artemis White 9th, China Team 10th, Coutts DNS.

Oracle Spithill Leads the Fleet Race Standings with 3 Races to go.

On ramming the Race Committee after teammate James Spithill boxed him out:  “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.”
Read Friday Team Statements

Portion of Oracle5's bow embedded in the Race Committee boat after collision. click image to view large and view Day 3 photo gallery.
Photo:©2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ

If the NWS forecast verifies, solid winds in the 20s with gust into the 30s will be quite a handful for the AC45 crews.  Racing skippers are aggressive by nature, and some are quick to say that in order to win they need to push the limits even when the wind is up, but you also have to finish to win.  Catamarans don't creep up to the edge in a controllable way, though, especially in erratic pressure, and by the time the edge of control is found sometimes the boat is well beyond recovery.  The fleet is stocked with some long-time multihull experts, such as Energy Team and Artemis Red's Santiago Lange, plus the rest of the fleet has had a lot of time to get familiar with the AC45 since the follies in Plymouth last fall.  Did the crews learn enough from all the capsizes of the last week's practice on the bay to keep things vertical and the boat intact?

Match of the Day: ETNZ vs. Ben Ainslie Racing will be the first head-to-head ACWS meeting between Kiwi Dean Barker and newcomer Ainslie.  BAR was often on the offensive in their win against Team Korea, and sparks could fly in this match-up, too.


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ACWS San Francisco Thursday Day 2

Artemis White beat Luna Rossa Swordfish Thursday in the Quarter-Finals and will face Oracle Team USA Spithill in the Semi-Finals on Saturday.
 Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

America's Cup World Series
San Francisco Day 2: Thursday

Thursday Outlook:
 Two Quarter-Final Matches and two Fleet Races.  First Match Race start 2:05 pm.  First Fleet Race start expected 2:50 pm.

Match Races:
 One race for each match, 13 minutes each.

Quarter-Final 1:
Seed 1/Qualifier 1 Winner
Artemis-White vs. Luna Rossa Swordfish
Artemis beats LR Swordfish, advances to Semi-Finals.

Quarter-Final 2:
Seed 2/Qualifier 2 Winner
Oracle Team USA Spithill vs. Luna Rossa Piranha
Oracle Spithill beats LR Piranha, advances to Semi-Finals.

Quarter-Finals 3 and 4 will be held Friday.  QF winners advance to Saturday's Semi-Finals.  QF losers place 4th-8th depending on Seeding.
See Match Race Brackets and Results

Fleet Racing:
Fleet Races 1 and 2, 25 minutes each.

Fleet Race 1: Complete. Oracle Team USA Coutts wins Race 1!  Spithill close behind in 2nd, Luna Rossa Piranha 3rd, Energy 4th, Artemis White 5th, Artemis Red 6th, Team Korea 7th, ETNZ 8th, LR Swordfish 9th, BAR 10th, China Team 11th.

Fleet Race 2: Underway at 3:30.  China Team leading at the first mark.  Penalty on Ainslie. China loses ground on Leg 4 of 7.  Oracle Spithill now leading, Artemis White seconds right on top of him and chasing hard.  Oracle Team USA Spithill wins Fleet Race 2! Artemis Red 2nd, Artemis White 3rd, Korea 4th, BAR 5th, Oracle Coutts, 6th, Energy Team 7th, Luna Rossa Piranha 8th, ETNZ 9th, Luna Rossa Swordfish 10th, China Team 11th.
See Fleet Race Standings after two Races

Quotes of the Day:
From ACEA: “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.”
Read Official Press Release

Spithill went on to win Fleet Race 2.  Click image to enlarge.
Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Wind WSW 10-11 knots (Windfinder).  Wind WSW 7-8 knots (WindGuru).  Flood tide for racing, high tide 4:37 pm.

The Luna Rossa boats, Piranha and Swordfish, won in the opening matches of ACWS San Francisco, beating the 9th and 10th seeds.  Today in the Quarterfinals the Italians now come up against the two top teams from last season's standings.  Paul Campbell-James on Swordfish gets Terry Hutchinson on Artemis White (seeded #1), and Chris Draper and Piranha takes on James Spithill's Oracle Team USA (seeded #2).  A healthy current will keep the difficulty level high during the match races, particularly in the time-and-distance aspects of the pre-start.

Fleet racing follows with 11 boats on the starting line.  Whether the home team Oracle has built any advantage with all of their training in these waters will be one point to watch for, while the first fleet racing performances of newcomers Ben Ainslie on J.P. Morgan/BAR and Santiago Lange on Artemis Red will be another.


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ACWS San Francisco Wednesday Day 1:

Luna Rossa Piranha held off Artemis Red in Day 1 Match Racing. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

ACWS San Francisco Day 1: Wednesday

 Match Race Qualifiers, Up to 9 races total, 13 minutes each.  First start 2:05 pm PT.

Match Pairings: Best of Three Series

Seed 8/Seed 9:
Luna Rossa Swordfish vs. China Team
LR-S wins Races 1 and 2, eliminates China, advances to face Artemis-White on Thursday.

Seed 7/Seed 10:
Luna Rossa Piranha vs. Artemis Red
LR-P wins Races 1 and 2, eliminates Artemis-Red, advances to face Oracle Team USA Spithill on Thursday.

Seed 6/Seed 11:
Team Korea vs. Ben Ainslie Racing
Penalty to KOR in a dial-up, BAR wins Race 1.
Several penalties on KOR in Race 2, with a close battle being fought nearly to the end, but BAR wins Race 2 by 29 seconds.  BAR eliminates Team Korea and advances to face ETNZ on Friday.

Winners advance to Quarterfinals Thursday-Friday, losers place 9th, 10th, 11th in order of seeding.
See ACWS San Francisco Brackets

Quotes of the Day:
Paul Campbell-James, Skipper, Luna Rossa Swordfish: "It’s going to be exciting for the fleet race tomorrow, especially if the reach mark is as close to shore as it was today!  11 boats would not fit through that gap – I doubt five boats would fit through that gap.  So it should be exciting!"
Read more Wednesday quotes from the Skippers

Ben Ainslie, Skipper BAR: "What’s becoming very clear already is that when the breeze is up, the pace is incredible.  The whole way round the guys are working flat out just handling the boat." More from Ben Ainslie

Santiago Lange, Skipper Artemis Red: "It was a lot shiftier and lighter than we expected.  We were set up for heavier conditions.  We probably we overcooked it! We have been sailing with so much wind and the decreased conditions today were different than those in which we have been training. I know we can do better.”

From ACEA: “We started well in the first one and then just made one error which gave them the chance they needed,” [Team Korea Skipper Nathan] 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. 
Read ACEA Day 1 Press Release

Winds SW 8 knots (Windfinder).  Winds WSW 7 knots, waves 4 feet/1.3m (WindGuru).  Winds WSW 17 mph (Wunderground).  High tide 3:46 pm.


Official Racing kicks off in San Francisco Bay today to open the 2012-2013 America's Cup World Series season.  There is a new team in Ben Ainslie Racing, and Artemis has added a second boat, too, though another feature people will be watching closely is the venue itself.  A year from now the Challengers be deep in the Louis Vuitton Cup Final (see 2013 schedule) and the Defender will be preparing for the 34th Defense of the America's Cup starting September 7.  So this week's ACWS regatta will provide a taste of the LVC sailing conditions, and introduce the event to the San Francisco community, in addition to giving the teams a chance to get back on the water and race.

Two skippers are new to the ACWS.  Santiago Lange joins the competition skippering Artemis Red, and Ben Ainslie, fresh from his fourth Olympic Gold Medal, now takes the helm on Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) making the transition to wingsailed multihulls.  Ainslie is here not as a 2013 challenger, but to build his visibility on the path to hopefully being a challenger from Great Britain in the next America's Cup.

They face a fleet of nine other teams that have been gaining valuable experience racing these boats against each other over the last year, with a mostly stable lineup going back several events.  James Spithill has been putting together strong winning streaks.  Terry Hutchinson on Artemis won the match race portion in Venice while Russell Coutts comes off a Match Race Regatta win last time out in Newport.  Chris Draper on Luna Rossa Piranha won the Final Fleet Race in Newport with stablemate Paul Campbell-James finishing third.  Energy grabbed the Final Fleet race in Venice with smart sailing under difficult conditions.  ETNZ struggled with breakdowns and damage in Newport, but Dean Barker still managed three top-three finishes against the fleet. Team Korea most recently finished 4th overall in Newport Fleet Racing, ahead of Coutts, Artemis, LR Swordfish and Energy.  China Team is returning to competition after having sat out the last regatta.

In addition to the tactics and wind calls that always weigh so heavily on regatta results, one of the bigger tests for everyone here will be how they put their efforts together on the Bay.  Along with higher winds than the AC45's have usually seen, the Bay keeps it interesting with consistently significant wave action, too.  Practice races have already seen almost daily capsizes from the teams, and while sailing cautiously won't win any races, breaking the boat won't get it done, either.  The sort of boat handling that comes from experience is likely to be a big factor at times.  The Oracle boats have been training here since last year, and a few other teams, like Energy, have substantial multihull experience, especially in rougher conditions.  Does that mean that they know better when to push the envelope?  Or do they just have the confidence to take bigger risks and pay the price?  First start today at 2:05 pm local time.


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ACWS San Francisco Stories:


Going West

(July 9) From ACEA: The America's Cup Express train is bound for San Francisco.

The America's Cup World Series is coming home, with all the cargo departing Newport, Rhode Island, the last stop on the 2011-12 tour, for San Francisco, the host city of the 34th America's Cup.

The first event of the 2012-13 AC World Series brings the teams to San Francisco Bay from August 21-26. The next event is during Fleet Week in San Francisco, from October 2-7.

On Monday morning the America's Cup World Series cargo left Newport, bound for San Francisco by train - all 121 cars of it, incredibly making the train 1.49 miles long. This does not include some of the Race Committee boats and team RIBs, which will travel on another train, or by road transport.

The "America's Cup Express' train is routed via Vermont and Chicago en route to San Francisco and is scheduled to arrive within 10 days.

San Francisco Welcomes America's Cup

(April 27) The first blush of San Francisco’s excitement for the 2013 America’s Cup was made evident today as hundreds of fans and dignitaries joined in celebrating the ceremonial signing of the agreement for the City to host the America’s Cup in 2013, complete with popping champagne corks, the America’s Cup itself and a digital competition between Mayor Ed Lee and four-time America’s Cup winner Sir Russell Coutts. 

The event celebrated the start of construction on Pier 27, which will serve as the heart of the spectator village for the America’s Cup as well as the start and finish line for the Louis Vuitton Cup race from July 4 to Sept. 1, 2013, and the America’s Cup Match Finals from Sept. 7 to 22, 2013. 

“The America’s Cup will bring new life, new amenities and new excitement to San Francisco’s waterfront,” said Mayor Lee. 

Read ACEA Press Release


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