There was plenty of close racing during the America’s Cup World Series event in Naples, Italy (which ended yesterday). But when points for the Series were tallied, Oracle Team USA came out on top yet again by winning the match racing and making a strong showing in the fleet racing, thus succeeding in their bid to sweep the three-venue, ACWS 2012-13 season.
Building on the previous America’s Cup World Series successes of Oracle Team USA helmsman Jimmy Spithill, the team’s Naples crew, led by helmsman Tom Slingsby, continued the winning momentum by defeating Luna Rossa Swordfish in the match race final.
But in the Super Sunday Fleet Race that same day — where possible points are greatly increased — Swordfish’s helmsman Francesco Bruni and his crew were determined to redeem themselves. And they did, with an adrenaline-charged win in an AC45 stampede where the lead changed three times. Swordfish came from behind on the final run to the finish line to score a win before an ecstatic crowd.
Although finishing second in that Super Sunday fleet race, Oracle Team USA took fleet honors for the 2012-13 season with a total of 245 points over second place Luna Rossa Piranha (191 points) and JP Morgan BAR (181).
Does this mean Oracle Team USA is a shoe-in to dominate the main event of this summer’s America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay? Definitely not, as there’s a world of difference between AC45s and AC72s. But their ACWS successes certainly can’t hurt.
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