Spithill, French reach America's Cup World Series match racing finals

ap file photoIn this file photo

ap file photoIn this file photo

Oracle Racing's Jimmy Spithill and France's Energy Team swept their semifinal matches to reach the finals of the America's Cup World Series match racing championship.

Spithill, the defending America's Cup champion, beat overall series leader Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand in two races Friday. Riding along in the back of the boat was Larry Ellison, the software billionaire who owns Oracle Racing.

Energy Team continued its surprising run by winning two races against Sweden's Artemis Racing, which is skippered by American Terry Hutchinson.

The best-of-3 finals are Saturday.

Team New Zealand reached the finals in the previous two ACWS stops, losing to Spithill in Cascais, Portugal, and beating Team Korea in Plymouth, England.

Sailed in fast, 45-foot catamarans with wing sails, the ACWS is a prelude to the 2013 America's Cup, which will be sailed in 72-foot cats on San Francisco Bay.

MLBOakland A's & MLBsports

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