Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

America’s Cup World Series - Energy Team heading for The Cup

by Pierre Giboire on 6 Oct 2011
AC45 Energy Team in Plymouth - America’s Cup World Series 2011 ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/
America’s Cup World Series - After getting to grips with the AC45 one design catamaran just two months ago in Cascais, Energy Team led by Bruno and Loïck Peyron showed in Plymouth last month that they had made a lot of progress and were starting to pose a real threat to the top teams.

The team can feel more relaxed about the next leg of the AC World Series, which is due to take place in San Diego (USA) from 12th to 20th November. Before that, the French challenger will head for Saint-Pierre Quiberon where they will train for a week from 17th to 21st October with around ten crewmen engaging in match racing battles on 25-foot one-design catamarans. We take a look at the French challenger in the company of Loïck and Bruno Peyron, who give us their feelings about the state of play before the big American event.

The crew of Energy Team has only just completed its second series of battles out on the water against the big teams from the United States (Oracle Racing), New Zealand (Emirates Team New Zealand) and Sweden (Artemis Racing) who have already been training for eight months. Between the event in Cascais, raced in light conditions and the Plymouth leg, which enabled them to test the AC45 in much stronger conditions, the crew of Energy Team showed that they had made good progress in the various aspects of racing. Bruno Peyron: 'The result at the end of the Plymouth event is more or less what we were expecting. After getting some good results mid-week in Plymouth, we let ourselves imagine a little too quickly that we could really get up and battle it out in the Top 5, but the Big Three are still out there in front, which is only to be expected. Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker), the two Oracle boats (James Spithill and Russell Coutts) and Artemis Racing (Terry Hutchinson) keep their lead, but behind them, two teams have stood out during the racing in Cascais and Plymouth: the team led by Chris Draper (Team Korea) in the match racing and Energy Team in the fleet races. Our team has made progress in terms of speed, moved up a few spots and showed what a solid team they are. Our group is bubbling over with energy and work well together as a team. This is something you cannot quantify, but it clearly contributes to moving forward and building on what we have achieved.'


How they stand after the Plymouth event
The goal for Energy Team was not to win in Cascais or Plymouth, but to see how much the team could progress. Bruno Peyron: 'Our overall performance remains rather inconsistent, but we now know what we are capable of. In light to moderate conditions, we are more than half way up the table. In stronger winds, we’re between third and sixth, with some good and some disappointing performances. The fact that we haven’t had as much time to prepare can be seen more in stronger winds than in lighter conditions.'

As for our performance, the crew quickly got to grips with the boat and is beginning to fully understand the way the wing sail works. In Plymouth we could see that the team were working much better together after deciding to use French on board and their manoeuvres are much smoother. Loïck Peyron: 'The manoeuvres are starting to come together, we’ve improved our speed, and the starts are better. The sails are better too, particularly the new number 2 jib, which we were missing in Cascais. On board, we decided once and for all that it was better to speak French, in particular when Yann Guichard and I need to communicate. That helps us prepare the manoeuvres more easily and enables us to better appreciate what is going on out on the water. We now have to become a real couple! The helmsman and tactician really need to understand each other. If you look at Russell Coutts-Murray Jones, they’ve been sailing together now for thirty years, whereas we’ve only been together for a few weeks.'

The races in Plymouth showed us that overall there was a general improvement, but that there are still some minor details to sort out. Loïck Peyron: 'That’s the case for the sails. We’re only about a quarter of the way through our development programme, which means we still have our work cut out. We’re going to have to learn how to deal with the boat in strong winds. We need to hike out more, communicate more amongst ourselves, look further ahead, as on such fast boats, that is vital.'

Training session in Quiberon
Energy Team is going to continue to move its crew around and test other crewmen. During a week’s training session at the French Sailing School in Saint-Pierre Quiberon, two 25-foot one-design catamarans and 8 to 10 sailors will be training during match races. Loïck Peyron: 'We’ll be racing in the same course configurations as in the AC45 races, with reaching starts, boundary limits, and everything that is so specific to the AC World Series. We’ll be working on our starts, match racing, crosses, making the most of the rules, which are still a bit new to us, the entrance, circling, how to block boats. We’ll be helped by Thierry Poiret and Yann Guichard, who will be organising the training week during which Marc Bouet is expected to join us to run through the theoretical aspects. As for the new crewmen, we’ll be trying out some who specialize in match racing on monohulls, but who also know about multihull racing, so they can share their experiences.'

Bruno Peyron: 'The idea we have is to build up a large squad with in the end around fifteen sailors, in other words three times as many as today. We’re going to take advantage of this week to try out some new people, who come from various backgrounds. Their precise career path isn’t that important as champions adapt very quickly to all sorts of boats. We know too that apart from the helmsman, we need some crewmen, who are rather more athletic. So today there is room in Energy Team for youngsters showing a lot of potential. The America’s Cup for them isn’t in ten years from now, but right at this moment.'


Ongoing revolution
The America’s Cup is advancing as the French challenger expected. The pictures from Cascais and Plymouth enable us to understand the revolution that is underway. Bruno Peyron: 'Reality has turned out to be even better than the virtual imagery promised at the start. The television coverage is exceptional. That is all very reassuring. The doubts we had last winter are behind us and I feel increasingly confident. We still have a lot of work that needs to be done, but this is the first time we find ourselves facing an organiser, who is ready to listen, doesn’t impose his choices without discussing things first and is attentive to everyone’s interests. I think we were right to give it a go. We couldn’t miss out on this opportunity, and while there are nine boats taking part today, I can see two or three more teams joining us...'

Heading for The Cup
Since signing their partnership with Corum, Energy Team has acquired the guarantee that they can go all the way to the end of 2012 in the AC45 circuit. The challenge now is knowing how the French challenger can get their campaign together and launch the construction of the big AC72 multihull, as they prepare to take part in the 34th America’s Cup (San Francisco 2013). Bruno Peyron: 'From a technical perspective, things are becoming clearer. For the big boat, we’ll be going with the Design Pack that the ACEA has offered us, which was drawn up by VPLP, and can then count on our design team to improve on that. But we also need to know when we can get the construction of the boat started. Is it wise to begin that process as soon as possible, to start training as early as we can, or would it be wiser to wait a while to take advantage of any research, knowing that in any case the number of days when you can train is limited in any case.'

As for the business side of things, Energy Team will be making the most of the next three or four months to finalize discussions with some potential major partners. Bruno Peyron: 'We’re in discussions with five big groups, each of which have the ability to become our headline partner. We should stress that the contribution of the headline partner is around the same as for the French team taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race. So we can see that this type of investment is possible in France. But we could also consider a joint partnership between these groups with co-branding, if the brands fit in with the concept of our challenge developed around the theme of energy. If you are asking if we have the guarantee today that we’ll manage to do that, the answer has to be no. But if the question is whether we are likely to achieve that, the answer would more likely be yes.'

Energy Team website

Newport Boat Show 2016 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Terrific battle in Oyster Regatta Antigua finale
On the final day, two of the three Classes were so close that the winners were decided on the last race. On the final day, two of the three Classes were so close that the winners were decided on the last race. Spectacular sailing conditions prevailed with a brisk 20 knots of wind from the south east. Oyster yachts are built to sail the oceans and revelled in the conditions.
Posted on 12 Apr
34th America's Cup - Oracle pumping claims are flawed - Update
Claims that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 34th America's Cup are seriously flawed Claims by an American journalist, Bruce Knecht that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 2013 America's Cup are seriously flawed. The allegations received considerable airplay in New Zealand on Friday and over the weekend.
Posted on 6 Mar
America's Cup - Another win for Oracle Team USA in California Courts
America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away another complaint America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away a complaint brought by former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell. Mitchell's complaint against his former team was dismissed by a San Francisco Court on Wednesday. The amount of damage/injury claimed was stated as $400,000.
Posted on 12 Feb
America's Cup - No action against Kiwi sailor, but rule changes made
The International Sailing Federation has changed the process for Rule 69 Hearings in line with CAS recommendations One of the Oracle Team USA crew members found by the International Jury to have been involved in boat tampering activities with the America's Cup World Series regattas ahead of the 34th America's Cup has not been further penalised by the International Sailing Federation.
Posted on 19 Nov 2015
America's Cup - ISAF and Cup Jury summonsed by California Court
Five members of the AC34 Int Jury and the Int Sailing Federation have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court The International Sailing Federation, the controlling body for world sailing, and the five individuals who made up the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court, to answer a lawsuit.
Posted on 9 Sep 2015
Dean Barker's Blog - Back into the racing
Five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on his split with Team New Zealand and life since Writing on his blog at Kiwi Yachting Consultants' websites, of which he is a substantial shareholder and director, five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on life since Team NZ. This is my first blog for quite some time. In fact since September last year when I was still a part of Team NZ racing in Istanbul for the Extreme Sailing Series.
Posted on 20 Apr 2015
America's Cup- Mitchell fires new salvo at ISAF Jury Officials
Matthew Mitchellhas advised that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members Matthew Mitchell, previously a member of Oracle Team USA, has issued a media release advising that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members with the sport's International governing body (ISAF). This action follows on from his recent claims about the actions of another team member Simeon Tienpont, now with Challenger Luna Rossa.
Posted on 5 Feb 2015
America's Cup- Oracle crew mate lodges ISAF complaint against Tienpont
Last Friday, former OTUSA's Matthew Mitchell issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the ISAF Last Friday, former Oracle Team USA team member, Matthew Mitchell issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the International Sailing Federation over the actions of a fellow crew member, Simeon Tienpont, and inaction by the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup, in San Francisco.
Posted on 28 Jan 2015