America’s Cup World Series Day 3 - Busy schedule for Energy Team

Day 3 - America’s Cup World Series San Francisco 2012
America’s Cup World Series 2012-13 third day of racing in San Francisco was a busy schedule for Energy Team. Knocked out in the match racing quarter finals by Oracle Team USA Coutts, Yann Guichard’s crew responded in style by coming in third in the fleet race that followed, before finishing seventh in the next one. The French team is now in fourth place in the overall fleet rankings. We look back at the day’s races.

Energy Team was up against the mighty Oracle Team USA Coutts, winner of the first fleet race on Thursday. In a 20-knot breeze, the two AC45s crossed the line together, but the Americans rounded the first mark in front. The boats set off downwind at almost 25 knots. Russell Coutts was still out in front at the second mark, but on the upwind leg, Yann Guichard made a nice move and overtook. An extremely closely fought battle ensued with several crossovers. But the Defender managed to extend the lead and rounded mark 3 with some 15 seconds ahead. The last downwind leg would not change anything and the French boat was defeated, in spite of their efforts. In the semi-finals, the Americans will meet Emirates Team New Zealand, who overcame J.P. Morgan BAR in the day’s other quarter final. Artemis Racing White and Oracle Team USA Sptithill had already won their tickets for the semi-finals on Thursday. On Saturday, we shall find out the name of the two match racing finalists.


The breeze was still blowing at around twenty knots in San Francisco Bay for the first fleet race of the day. With eleven AC45s lining up, Yann Guichard and his men knew that they simply had to get off to a good start, if they wanted to be up there with the frontrunners. And Energy Team pulled it off, with a great start before rounding the first mark in second place, just behind Luna Rossa Swordfish. An excellent opening for the French team. During the first downwind leg, Energy remained in second place, in spite of coming under attack from the big guns of Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team USA Spithill, and then got out in front at mark 2. The first upwind leg was a little less successful, as the French were back in fourth place at mark 3 and set off on the second downwind leg, some 23 seconds behind Luna Rossa Swordfish, who held on to their lead. Yann Guichard’s crew moved up one place to get back on the provisional podium at mark 4. But it was far from over and the climb back up to mark 5 looked like being the decider. Energy Team managed it perfectly, and continued to do well on the final downwind leg: so the French team grabbed a fantastic third place, with only the two Luna Rossa boats ahead of them. An incredible reaction after their elimination in the match race. The race was marred by Oracle Team USA Coutts being forced to retire after their floats were damaged in a collision with the committee boat.

Results of Fleet Race 3
1. Luna Rossa Swordfish
2. Luna Rossa Piranha
3. Energy Team
4. Team Korea
5. Emirates Team New Zealand
6. Artemis Racing White
7. Oracle Team USA Spithill
8. Artemis Racing Red
9. J.P. Morgan BAR
10. China Team
DNF. Oracle Team USA Coutts

Oracle Team USA Coutts was unable to line up for the next start due to the damage they had suffered, so ten AC45s were on the starting line for the second fleet race of the day. Energy Team was determined to repeat the success of the previous race, but unfortunately the start was not as good: the French AC45 rounded the first mark in the middle of the fleet. At the end of the first downwind leg, Energy was in seventh place, with the rankings dominated by Emirates Team New Zealand ahead of the Italians, who were clearly on fire. Hopes of making it to the podium again gradually shrank, but the French were able to claw their way back up the fleet and gain a few extra points in the overall rankings. In sixth place at mark 3, then fifth at the next one, their performance was looking promising. But they dropped back two places at the end of the race to finish in seventh place in a race won by Oracle Team USA Spithill, who came in ahead of Team Korea and Emirates Team New Zealand. So, at the end of the four fleet races raced on Thursday and Friday, Energy Team is now in fourth place in the overall fleet race rankings, just three points away from the podium.

Yann Guichard’s reactions: 'We had a great match battling it out with Russell and his crew. We lost the start against them, but got back up there after the leeward gate and for a while were out in front. Then, we committed a few strategic mistakes, which cost us, as this race course is very tactical. As for the fleet racing championship, the important thing is to keep up there in the rankings, as it is going to be the big race on Super Sunday that will be the decider. Today we had a good day with some very good moments and some that were not quite as good, but with eleven AC45s racing flat out on the race course, sometimes it pays to be a bit cautious at the start.'

Results of Fleet Race 4
1. Oracle Team USA Spithill
2. Team Korea
3. Emirates Team New Zealand
4. J.P. Morgan BAR
5. Luna Rossa Piranha
6. Luna Rossa Swordfish
7. Energy Team
8. Artemis Racing Red
9. Artemis Racing White
10. China Team
DNS. Oracle Team USA Coutts

Overall rankings on Friday 24th August 2012 (after four races)
1. Oracle Team USA Spithill : 39 pts
2. Team Korea : 31 pts
3. Luna Rossa Piranha : 30 pts
4. Energy Team: 27 pts
5. Artemis Racing White: 25 pts
6. Artemis Racing Red : 24 pts
7. Emirates Team New Zealand: 23 pts
8. Luna Rossa Swordfish: 23 pts
9. J.P. Morgan BAR: 20 pts
10. Oracle Team USA Coutts: 18 pts
11. China Team : 6 pts



Energy Team Americas Cup website
http://www.sail-world.com/101358