Super Sunday has just finished in San Francisco with a victory achieved by a whisker by James Spithill, who finished on equal points with Ben Ainslie. This marked the conclusion of this second act of the AC World Series 2012/2013. The French challenger Energy Team ended up in seventh place in the event. Several legs are due to follow in Italy next spring. For the moment, we look back at this final fleet race in San Francisco.
With Ben Ainslie penalised in the pre-start phase, it was Nathan Outteridge (Artemis Red), who managed to find his way through the fleet to set off and get the best start in this final. But Energy Team was in the game, with Loïck Peyron finding some clean air to leeward. After the first mark, on the downwind leg, the French moved up to second place. So, an excellent start. Unfortunately at the leeward gate, Energy Team found themselves in a fight with Team Korea and got a penalty, while having to deal with a badly furled gennaker. This little incident saw them lose some ground, but Loïck Peyron did an excellent job sailing upwind and managed to keep Energy Team hovering around 3rd or 4th place. Russell Coutts had an extraordinary leg and grabbed the lead at the third gate, while Energy was slowed down in the traffic jam and slipped back to sixth place.
On the fourth leg, sailing downwind, the order, which had kept on changing since the start started to look clearer: in front of the home crowd, the two Oracle Team boats led the way with Coutts ahead of Spithill, followed by the two Artemis boats and Energy Team, who then found themselves threatened by Ben Ainslie, but also by Luna Rossa Piranha and Artemis Red. On the fifth leg, Jimmy Spithill overtook his boss Russell Coutts and sailed away to a fantastic victory ahead of Coutts (second), Terry Hutchinson (third) and Ben Ainslie (who made it back to fourth after setting off from the rear). Energy Team ended up once again in sixth place, just ahead of Dean Barker’s Kiwis. This seventh and final fleet race, which was three times more important than the others, saw the French slip back to seventh place. James Spithill was on equal points with Ben Ainslie, but was declared the winner of this second act in San Francisco thanks to this final victory. James Spithill also won the Match Racing Championship final against Emirates Team New Zealand.
1. ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL (Jimmy Spithill) 8-1-6-5-DNF-2–1, 79 points
2.J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) 1-3-1-2-4-1–4, 79 pts
3. Artemis Racing White (Terry Hutchinson) 10-2-2-1-3-3–3, 72 pts
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) 2-8-5-6-1-4-7, 57 pts
5. ORACLE TEAM USA COUTTS (Russell Coutts) 3-5-8-7-8-10–2, 56 pts
6. Artemis Racing Red (Nathan Outteridge) 4-4-4-4-9-8-5, 52 pts
7. Energy Team (Loick Peyron) 6-7-7-3-6-7–6, 47 pts
8. Team Korea (Peter Burling) 5-9-10-8-2-5–10, 40 pts
9. Luna Rossa Piranha (Chris Draper) 9-6-3-10-10-6–9, 36 pts
10. China Team (Phil Robertson) 7-10-11-9-5-11-8, 28 pts
11. Luna Rossa Swordfish (Iker Martinez) 11-11-9-11-7-9–11, 20 pts