America's Cup World Series Venice, Italy
May 12-20, 2012

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

Crowds estimated at over 100,000 lined Venice to watch America's World Series action Saturday.
Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

America's Cup World Series Venice

Artemis Racing beats Luna Rossa Piranha to win the Venice Match Race Championship.  Energy Team wins Fleet Race 7 to win the Venice Fleet Race Championship.

On this page: Daily Reports
Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Team Statements: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Slideshow: Venice From the Air by Jürg Kaufmann

Where to Watch the Racing:
America's Cup YouTube Channel | Live WebCam
Read more about ACWS TV/Online Broadcasts

Animated Virtual Coverage: VirtualEye

ACWS Venice Schedule and Format:

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Full Results:

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Also: See ACWS Season Standings

Approximate Race Area:
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Photo:©2012 Guilain Grenier/Oracle Team USA

ACWS Venice Sunday

Venice Match Race Final, Artemis beat Piranha in a rematch of the Naples Final. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Sunday Outlook May 20:
The Speed Trial is scheduled to open the day's competition. The main events are the Match Race Final (one race for the Venice Championship) followed the final Fleet event, Race 7. 

Speed Trial start expected 1:50 pm Venice/7:50 am ET US, Match Race start expected 2:40 pm Venice/8:40 am ET US, and Fleet Race start 3:10 pm Venice/9:10 ET US.

 Winds SE 9-10 knots (Windfinder). Real time wind data: ISAMAR-CNR


Match Race Final: One Race
Artemis Racing (SWE) beats Luna Rossa Piranha (ITA)
Chris Draper (ITA) and Terry Hutchinson (SWE)

Artemis Racing beat Luna Rossa Piranha to win the Venice Match Race Championship!

Fleet Race 7:
Energy Team wins Fleet Race 7! And with it the Venice Fleet Race Championship, too.  Oracle finishes 2nd in R7, Artemis 3rd, Emirates Team New Zealand 4th.  After which racing is terminated and the remaining yachts score DNF for Race 7.
See complete Venice Fleet Race and Match Race Regatta Standings

Oracle Team USA Spithill now leads the season standings by 4 points over Emirates, followed by Artemis, Energy, and Team Korea.
See ACWS 2011-2012 Season standings

Quotes of the Day:
Terry Hutchinson
, Skipper Artemis Racing: "We executed exactly what we planned to do in the pre-start. We wanted to dial up Luna Rossa and get them to commit to starboard, then bear off onto port to deploy,” said Hutchinson. “It couldn’t have gone better, but it was a tricky race. On the first run we split at the top, it was touch and go, but we snuck across and stuck to our convictions on the second beat. Luna Rossa kept asking the question and our guys kept responding.”

Loïck Peyron, Skipper Energy Team: “I think the lighter conditions were good for us,” Peyron said. “I’m used to this kind of tricky game, trying to be as cool as possible. The pressure was in the red zone, but it made for an exciting race for sure. This was a big victory for us. We are a small team, and hopefully this is just the beginning.”
Read Sunday's Team Statements

Curtis Blewett (C) and Morgan Trubovich (L) of Artemis Racing celebrate in style after winning the Venice Match Race Final.
Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Fleet Racing goes back a long way in Venice.
Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

The Sunday's Final is a re-match of the Naples Match Race Final, where Artemis defeated Luna Rossa Piranha.  Chris Draper has also faced Artemis as Skipper of Team Korea before moving to Luna Rossa.  Last fall in the ACWS in Plymouth, England, Draper eliminated the Swedes in the Plymouth Semi-Final two races to none before being swept himself by ETNZ in the Final.  Like Venice, Naples was also a single-race Final, so while the two skippers are tied in head-to-head match record, Draper has won two races to Hutchinson's one.

A win for Artemis would help them cut into Oracle Spithill's season lead, shaving two points off a 13-point deficit.  Coming late to the season, Luna Rossa is not in striking distance for season honors, but a match race win in home waters would be a great reward for the tens of thousands of Italian racing fans who have flocked to Venice.

Fleet Race:
The top four teams in the Venice Fleet Race standings are packed within a two-point span.  And the top seven teams are within seven points.  Weighting for the final fleet race is 30 points for first place, then 20-15-12-10-8-6-4-2 points down the line for the rest of the finishers.  China Team's best-case finish would move them from 9th place to 6th, while every other team could potentially win the Fleet Race Championship.  For Oracle5 Bundock that would take an ideal order of finish all the way through the fleet, plus the tiebreak, but for the other seven teams a win in Race 7 would be decisive no matter what anyone else does.

Aside from the issue of deciding the Venice champion, the other big impact from Race 7 is likely to be on teams that run into trouble, finish at the back missing out on the Sunday points bonanza, and end up with only a small contribution toward the season standings.  This scenario tripped up ENTZ in Naples, letting Oracle Team USA Spithill edge past them in the combined standings.  Losing ground on the field now with only the Newport regatta remaining will be hard to recover from.  Should the competitors sail conservatively then, not to lose too painfully?

  Or for the teams mid-pack and lower is a high-risk high-reward strategy worth trying?  Team Korea's Nathan Outteridge said as much yesterday, promising to dial things up and go for it.  Venice is proving to be a good test for the AC45 crews, and Sunday's action should show whether a bold Race 7 attack can beat the fleet on the Grand Canal.

Emirates Team New Zealand finished 4th before the time limit in Race 7, earning enough points to rank 3rd in Venice Fleet Racing standings.
 Photo:©2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ



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Spectacle in Venice. Rising Sun in the Grand Canal. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

ACWS Venice Saturday

Luna Rossa Piranha will compete for the Venice Match Race Championship on Sunday after beating Oracle4 Spithill. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Saturday Outlook May 19:
Fleet Races 5 and 6 are scheduled, followed by the Match Race Semi-Finals (Best of Three series).  Time permitting, the AC500 Speed Trial will round out the card.  First race start expected 2:15 pm Venice/8:15 am ET US.

Conditions: Winds SSE 6 knots becoming SSW 9 knots (Windfinder). Real time wind data: ISAMAR-CNR

Fleet Race 5: Luna Rossa Swordfish wins! Oracle4 Spithill 2nd, ETNZ 3rd, China 4th, Artemis 5th, Luna Rossa Piranha 6th, Korea 7th, Energy 8th, Oracle5 Bundock 9th.

Fleet Race 6: Artemis Racing wins! Luna Rossa Piranha 2nd, Oracle4 Spithill 3rd, Korea 4th, Energy 5th, ETNZ 6th, Oracle5 Bundock 7th, China 8th, Luna Rossa Swordfish 9th.

Match Race Semi-Final Pairings: Underway
Semi-Final 1:
 Artemis Racing beats Energy Team (2-0)
Semi-Final 2:
Luna Rossa Piranha beats Oracle4 (Spithill) (2-1)

Artemis Racing advances to Sunday's Match Race Final to face Luna Rossa Piranha.  Oracle4 will place 3rd in the Venice Match Race Championship and Energy Team finishes in 4th

See Full Match Race Bracket and Fleet Results

Quotes of the Day:
Terry Hutchinson, Skipper Artemis Racing: "It was a tough night's sleep last night because I knew I'd let us down yesterday, so it's nice to get it right today. It was an absolute fight the entire time, but the guys did their work really well."

Nathan Outteridge, Skipper Team Korea, what it will take to win heavily-weighted Fleet Race 7 Sunday: "We haven't been dialing up the risk enough yet. You dial it up, and you're either going to get it right or wrong.... That’s what we’ve got to do tomorrow."

Russell Coutts, CEO Oracle Team USA: “I think people are appreciating that this event has come here. It’s obviously very successful for the event and very successful for Venice.”

Stuart Alexander: "Police and the city authorities estimated over 100,000 on a stretch of just over two kilometers which was shut down for over three hours to provide a narrow race track..."
Read more at The Independent

Fresh Oracle on the menu Saturday.
Photo:©2012 Guilain Grenier/Oracle Team USA

Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

With Emirates Team New Zealand already done in the Venice Match Racing Championship, finishing in 5th place after losing in the Quarter-Finals, Oracle Spithill will gain two to four points against the Kiwis in the Season Match Race standings.  The two teams are currently tied for second behind Artemis, and Oracle4 can do no better than tie the Swedes in the Match Race season rankings this weekend. 

Starting halfway through, Luna Rossa Piranha has no way to win a season championship, but could spoil Oracle 4's hopes a bit with a Semi-Final knockout.

Energy Team has been coming on strong, and, wherever they finish Saturday and Sunday, will pull ahead of Korea for 4th Place in the season Match Race Standings.

The Fleet Race standings for Venice are almost anybody's game, with 10 points to the winners of Saturday's races and 30 points to the winner of Sunday's Race 7. 

With Loïck Peyron's multihull touch, Energy has looked smoother than ever, bagging consistent 3-1-3-2 finishes to date.  The Italian boats continue to race strong in Venice, and suddenly it's the teams like Oracle and Artemis that are in the bottom half of the Fleet ranking.

Venice is a beautiful but complicated place to sail, so it's hard to chalk the trends of the leaderboard up into definitive proof after only four races, but increasing parity among the AC45 crews seems to be one of the tempting conclusions.  The America's Cup World Series in Venice wraps up Sunday.  Monday's forecast at last check calls for 26 knot winds gusting to 32, which would be exciting conditions in which to continue testing these teams against each other.  Even after just a couple days of racing surrounded by the spectacular stage sets of Venetian architecture and legions of passionate fans lining the course on and off the water, it's easy to start looking forward already to the regatta's return here next year.

Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget


A beautiful day for racing in Venice. Photo:©2012 Chris Cameron/ETNZ


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Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

ACWS Venice Friday

Friday Outlook May 18:
Two Fleet Races (35 minutes each) plus the "spare" fleet race, followed on the Match Racing side of the schedule by the first race of each Semi-Final Match.  The spare only counts if Sunday's Fleet Race 7 cannot be held, in which case the results of the spare race are substituted.

First race start expected 2:15 pm Venice/8:15 am ET US. Update: The two Match Race Semi-Final races scheduled for today have been moved back to Saturday, when the complete best-of-three matches are now set to be held.
See Venice Schedule

Conditions: Winds SSE 9-12 knots (Windfinder). Real time wind data: ISAMAR-CNR

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

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

See Venice Results and Standings

The Spare fleet race follows Fleet Race 4.  The Spare race is not televised, streamed, or tweeted, but can be seen via VirtualEye.


Quotes of the Day:
“The Italian people love sailing, they love the America's Cup, and they love Luna Rossa,” said Max Sirena, Luna Rossa Skipper. “It was amazing how many people there were and how many boats we had on the water. And on Saturday there will be even more!”

Read Friday Team Statements

Fish's View: "There was one moment of drama when guest rider, Sam Hales, fell off the back of Emirates Team New Zealand during a tack. He had the presence of mind however to hold on to the rear beam and was able to pull himself back on board. The crew members were too busy to notice. " Read more from Bob Fisher at Sail-World

Crowds along the Grand Canal in Venice.
Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget


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Loïck Peyron turned his attention from cean racing to AC45's with great results Wednesday. Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

ACWS Venice Thursday

Thursday Outlook May 17:
Two Fleet Races (35 minutes each) will also serve to seed the Match Race Championship bracket.  Following the two fleet races, Seeds 8 and 9 will meet in the Qualifying Match (one race), and then the remaining eight teams will sail the first two races of the Quarter-Final pairings.  Match Races are 15 minutes each.  First race start expected 2:15 pm Venice/8:15 am ET US.
See Venice Schedule


Fleet Race 1:
Team Korea wins Fleets Race 1!  Artemis 2nd, Energy 3rd, Luna Rossa Swordfish 4th, Luna Rossa Piranha 5th, ETNZ 6th, Oracle Bundock 7th, Oracle Spithill 8th, China Team 9th.

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

Match Racing:
Qualifying Match (one race)
(Seed 8) Oracle Bundock beats China Team (Seed 9)

Clean sweeps in every match:
Oracle4 Spithill beats Luna Rossa Swordfish (2-0)
Luna Rossa Piranha beats Team Korea (2-0)
Energy beats Oracle5 Bundock (2-0)
Artemis beats ETNZ (2-0)

The Quarter-Final Matches are best of three series.  The first two races of each Match were sailed Thursday, and the third race of each match, now unnecessary, would have been sailed Friday.
See Full Match Race Bracket and Results


Wind SE 5-9 becoming 7-11 knots (ACEA). Wind S 6-7 knots (Windfinder). Wind S 4 knots (Wunderground).  Seas light.

It's hard to imagine a more beautiful man-made backdrop for a regatta than Venice.  The America's Cup World Series in Venice is the second to last event of the first season of AC45 racing, to be followed by Newport, Rhode Island, next month.  From the season standings point of view, the main question is whether anybody can put a dent in Oracle Spithill and Emirates Team New Zealand, at least figuratively speaking in the sizable lead the two teams have built.  There's a 13-point drop from the top to Artemis Racing in third while fourth place Energy Team is 19 points out of first. 

Also on the marquee is the chance to see how each team had advanced in creating a sailing crew and shore team that executes well on these high-tech wingsail cats.  The cumulative practice time is equalizing between the established teams, leveling the field to some degree.

Venice will also let the competition get a better handle on the newcomers.  China Team has added a young skipper in Phil Robertson.  Nathan Outteridge is back on Korea's White Tiger Challenge fresh off winning the 49er World Championship last week for the fourth time.  Luna Rossa's two-boat debut last month brought impressive results in Naples with their Piranha entry at or near the top in fleet racing and match racing, and Swordfish not far behind, but can they prove to be that good again?  The home crowd would love to see it.

Artemis will be looking to continue in Venice the consistency they exhibited sailing from 8th seed all the way through to win the Naples Match Race Final, their first ACWS event win.  And ETNZ, despite taking first place in 4 of the 7 fleet races in Naples, found only frustration in the heavily weighted final race and slipped one point behind Oracle Spithill in the season standings.  The final fleet race this time counts for 30 points to the winner, and not 50, which should better reward the sort of overall performance the Kiwis have been delivering to date. 

Oracle 5 with Darren Bundock skippering is still looking for a first or second place in event results.  Russell Coutts will come back onboard Oracle 5 in Venice to serve as Bundock's tactician, substituting for Tom Slingsby.  Spithill on Oracle 4 has been hot for most of the season, stumbling only with an early exit from Naples in the Match Race Quarter-Finals.  And Loïck Peyron was seen practicing onboard Energy Team.


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ACWS Venice Stories:


World Series Regatta in Venice Heats Up Thursday

(May 15) The America's Cup World Series stop in Venice, Italy, gets serious on Thursday with the seeding fleet races and the start of the match race eliminations. 

Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA Spithill are locked in a tight race at the top of the standings, just one point apart with two regattas left in the 2011-2012 season.

Venice will also feature the debut of 25-year-old Phil Robertson as skipper of China Team.  Robertson is playing catch-up in terms of AC45 experience, but is working hard on improving his team: “We're the youngest team. Our average age is about 26 on board, so for us it's all about focusing on boat handling and trying to take the small steps to get to the level of these guys.”

For more quotes from Tuesday's Skipper's Press Conference:
 Read ACEA Press Release


Photo:©2012 Guilain Grenier/Oracle Team USA

(May 15) Oracle 4, James Spithill's AC45 boat, was damaged during training on Tuesday in a collision with teammate Darren Bundock's Oracle 5.  Spithill's boat is expected to be back on the water Wednesday to continue preparation for the start of ACWS racing on Thursday.

Photo:©2012 Guilain Grenier/Oracle Team USA

Oracle Team USA's Spithill looks on as Kyle Langford conducts a digital simulation of the incident.

€50,000 in Prizes for Venice

Photo:©2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

(Apr 30) The opening weekend in Venice will feature fleet races as part of the "City of Venice" Regatta.  The official ACWS races that will count toward season championships don't begin until later in the week, but interest in the City of Venice races will be heightened by the lure of €50,000 in prize money, including €30,000 alone to the winner of the point-to-point race from the outer race area to a finish in front of Piazza San Marco.

Read ACEA Press Release

Venice Regatta Begins in Two Weeks

(Apr 26) Press Release: Fresh from record crowds and success in Naples, Italy, the America’s Cup World Series heads to Venice, Italy, for the penultimate regatta in the inaugural AC World Series.  Racing takes place from May 15 to 20 and is part of a festival of sailing over nine days from May 12 to 20.  The race course is one of the narrowest and most challenging in competitive sailing.

Having just won their first regatta in front of home country fans, first-time competitor Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy) anticipates tough competition in Venice  “Naples showed us that any of the teams can win on any given day,” said Luna Rossa’s skipper Max Sirena.  “The racing is so close that you can’t afford to be off the pace for even one race or you will fall down the leader-board.  Venice will be exceptionally tight putting a premium on boat-handling.”

Read ACEA Press Release

Venice to be ACWS Venue in 2012 & 2013

(Sept 4, 2011) Giorgio Orsoni, Mayor of Venice: “We are pleased to announce that Venice is preparing to host the America's Cup World Series -- a spectacular event of extraordinary charm that places the city at the highest level of international sport activities.  Venice is a cradle of sailing, it is inseparable from the sea that has guided this city though the history and to the successes it has achieved by today.

Read Venice Press Release


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