Monday, December 13, 2010

BMW ORACLE Racing clinches RC 44 season championship

The crew – including Russell Coutts (tactician), Dirk de Ridder (mainsheet), Ryan Godfrey (bow), Ross Halcrow (trimmer), Revelin Minihane (pit), Colin Orsini (grinder) and Chris Schirmer (trimmer) – placed second in the fleet racing portion of the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami.

Coupled with their sixth-place finish in the match racing portion, BMW ORACLE Racing placed fourth overall in the event. They also won the RC 44 Austria Cup in April and the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup in June and finished with a 2-point advantage over Artemis Racing in the season championship.

“We knew the season was hanging in the balance,” said Ellison. “Everyone was intense, but Russell did a great job of calling tactics and the whole crew did a fantastic job. We didn’t make any cataclysmic mistakes and we used our opportunities to pass boats. We did OK.”

The RC 44 World Champion yacht 17, with guest helmsman William “Doug” Douglass and tactician James Spithill, won the fleet racing portion of the regatta with the low score of 39 points.

“Today was a little windy and we saw how the boats could get wicked up and go,” said Douglass, a veteran of the Farr 40 and Melges 32 one-design classes. “We were a little asleep today.”

The crew – including Jonas Hviid Nielsen (trimmer), Kyle Langford (grinder), Joe Newton (trimmer), Philippe Presti (mainsheet), Bryce Ruthenberg (match racing trimmer), Piet van Nieuwenhuyzen (bow) and Matt Von Bibra (pit) – led the fleet racing throughout the three days.

They survived today despite a couple of mishaps in the final race, including an early start, twisted spinnaker and the temporary loss of van Nieuwenhuyzen overboard on the first downwind leg. He was recovered without incident.

“I think it was impressive for Doug to come in the first time and win,” said Spithill. “It took us time to get him up to speed, but he did a great job. Full credit to the guys for hanging in there.

“Today was very shifty and hard to read,” Spithill continued. “It was also a bit warmer, so Piet went for a swim. We kind of broached and he fell off. It took forever to get him back aboard.”

Like 17, BMW ORACLE Racing, which also won the 2010 Fleet Racing Championship, had an early start, but the crew was able to dig its way out of trouble to prevent the points from accumulating, especially on the downwind legs.

“We probably won it downwind today,” said Coutts. “We didn’t make any big errors and were able to pass boats because of the shifts and puffs. That was the winning factor.”

RC 44 2010 Season Championship

1. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Larry Ellison/Russell Coutts – (8)-1-1-4-2-4 – 12 points

2. Artemis Racing (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson – 1-(8)-4-2-5-2 – 14 points

3. 17 (USA) William Douglass/James Spithill – (11)-3-5-3-1-3 – 15 points

4. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies – 2-2-3-5-3-(6) – 15 points

5. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton – 4-6-2-1-(8)-5 – 18 points

6. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Müller-Spreer/Markus Wieser – 3-4-6-7-6-(9) – 26 points

7. Katusha (RUS) Guennadi Timtchenko/Paul Cayard – 6-5-(8)-6-4-8 – 29 points

8. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis – 5-7-7-(9)-7-7 – 33 points

9. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni – 11-(12)-12-11-9-1 – 44 points

10. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce – 7-9-10-8-(11)-11 – 45 points

11. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder – 9-10-9-10-10-(14) – 48 points

12. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov – 11-12-12-(13)-13-10 – 58 points

13. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner – 11-12-12-(13)-12-12 – 59 points

14. Ironbound (USA) David Murphy/Ian Williams – 11-12-12-13-(15)-13 – 61 points

ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami Final Standings

(Boat, match racing-fleet racing – total)

1. Mascalzone Latino, 3-3 – 6 points

2. Artemis Racing, 2-5 – 7 points

3. Yacht 17, 7-1 – 8 points

4. BMW ORACLE Racing, 6-2 – 8 points

5. Team Aqua, 1-9 – 10 points

6. No Way Back, 8-4 – 12 points

7. Ceeref, 10-6 – 16 points

8. Katusha, 9-7 – 16 points

9. Sea Dubai, 5-11 – 16 points

10. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 4-12 – 16 points

11. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 13-8 – 21 points

12. Peninsula Petroleum, 12-10 – 22 points

13. Ironbound, 11-13 – 24 points

14. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team, 14-14 – 28 points

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Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW ORACLE Racing
Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW ORACLE Racing

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