The next races in Newport, Rhode Island at the end of June will determine the first winner of the AC World Series. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill is in pole position heading to Newport, with a four point margin over Emirates Team New Zealand on the 2011-12 overall leaderboard.
Spithill’s crew started the year one point back, so the two Italian events have proven extremely productive.
“We’re leaving with a four-point lead,” Spithill said from the prizegiving in Venice. “That’s the important thing. I’m happy with how the team did. Obviously we’ve got a lot to work on but there’s no question we’ll be ready for Newport.”
Meanwhile, the holiday Memorial Day weekend was especially notable in San Francisco as Sunday May 27 marked the 75th birthday of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.
In celebration, ORACLE TEAM USA participated in a ‘sail past’, paying tribute to the bridge that will serve as a stunning backdrop to all of the racing in San Francisco, beginning in August this year and continuing in October and into all of the events in the summer of 2013.
Finally, two other stories stand out this week.
First, Energy Team’s fantastic victory in Venice is still resonating with fans around the world. Loick Peyron’s team led each day of the Fleet Racing Championship and secured the win in dramatic fashion, just holding off a hard-charging Spithill on the finish line. The win will give a boost to one of the most popular teams on the circuit as they look to secure their challenge.
Second, Artemis Racing went from ecstasy to agony over the short span of a week. After winning their second consecutive Match Racing Championship in Venice on Sunday, the team returned to Valencia to resume training with their AC72 wing – the first team to do so. The wing has been set up on an ORMA 60 foot trimaran, which allows the team to test ahead of the launch of its AC72 in July. But on Friday, Artemis reported the wing had suffered ‘significant’ damage.
As the first team to be testing an AC72 component, Artemis Racing is the first to suffer such a setback. But with all of the teams pushing the outer limits of technology, they are unlikely to be the last. Such is the America’s Cup.
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