sail-world.com -- AC World Series Naples - Energy Teams aims for victory
AC World Series Naples - Energy Teams aims for victory
Thu, 4 Apr 2013
The AC World Series will be taking place in Naples from 18th to 21st April 2013. In twelve days from now Energy Team will be hard at work in this final event on the AC45 before the Louis Vuitton Cup. Yann Guichard will be at the helm of the French multihull with Christophe Espagnon as wing trimmer. More details from Antoine Mermod, the technical director of Energy Team.
Last year, the Bay of Naples was home to one of the most spectacular legs in the AC World Series circuit. The competitors experienced a full range of conditions, including violent winds with seas that only just made it possible to sail. It was indeed very spectacular. It is of course too soon to forecast whether we can expect the same again this year, but whatever the conditions, the battle is once again likely to be fascinating with nine AC45 crews competing, including quite naturally the French on Energy Team.
The event will be taking place from Thursday 16th to Sunday 21st April with the following schedule: training on 16th and 17th April, racing from 18th to 21st. Seven fleet races are planned from Thursday to Sunday. As for the match racing, the qualifications and first quarter finals will be on Thursday, with the other quarter finals on Friday, the semi-finals on Saturday and the final on Sunday.
For Energy Team, this will once again be an opportunity to show what they can do in front of the local crowds in Naples, who turned out in their thousands last year. Antoine Mermod, technical director of Energy Team: 'In 2012, we finished in fourth place in Naples and we only just missed out on making it to the fleet race podium in the very last race. So this time the target is simple: we’re here to win! In any case, we have clearly got what it takes to be up there on the podium. On top of that, James Spithill won’t be there at the helm of Oracle’s AC45. That’s something we can try to take advantage of.'
The competition is going to be tough with Oracle USA, Emirates Team New Zealand, the two Luna Rossa boats (Swordfish and Piranha), Artemis, JP Morgan Bar, China Team and HS Racing, aboard which there will be none other than the Austrians, Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, two-time Olympic champions in the Tornado class.
But there is no need to feel intimidated, as for Energy Team, the line-up is equally impressive with Yann Guichard at the helm. He will be assisted by the usual team including Christophe André, Arnaud Jarlegan, Devan Le Bihan and the 'newcomer' Christophe Espagnon – another giant from the Tornado and multihull circuit, who will be in charge of trimming the rigid wing as a replacement for the Swiss sailor Arnaud Psarofaghis. 'Christophe has quickly settled into the team. He has been sailing for a long time with Yann, and they know each other very well. I believe we have a very solid crew, continuing on from what we have been doing over the past two years.'
The sailors will be busy in Naples from 11th April to train for a full week before battle commences. 'Everyone is really up for it,' insisted Antoine Mermod, 'So let’s be ambitious and aim for victory.' Between Vesuvius and Capri, Energy Team will have to deal with the magnificent Bay of Naples with all its local effects. 'With the prevailing westerlies, this is a fantastic place to sail with plenty of wind and calm seas. On the other hand, if the wind comes from the south, the seas can get quite choppy and it will be much more physical…'