America’s Cup World Series Venice, the fifth and penultimate stage in the series, first race on day three was a difficult race for Energy Team, who ended up in eighth place in the first fleet race today, Saturday 19th May. The French came fifth in the second race, but still manage to keep the lead in the overall rankings of the America’s Cup World Series after the six races that have taken place since last Thursday in Venice. We look back at today’s two races.
Race one: The first race on Saturday 19th May was very difficult for Energy Team, who finished in eighth place. The French team hands over the lead in the overall rankings to the winner of race one, Luna Rossa Swordfish skippered by Paul Campbell-James.
Light and variable wind conditions for this fifth fleet race in the AC World Series taking place in Venice. The French on Energy Team started off in the second group and were back in sixth place, while Luna Rossa Swordfish and Oracle Spithill took the lead ahead of Team New Zealand. Energy lost a little ground on the first downwind leg and soon found themselves back at the rear of the fleet, some 500m from the leader, the Italian AC45 Swordfish skippered by Paul Campbell-James, who extended his lead and rounded the next mark at the front ahead of Oracle Spithill, China Team, Team New Zealand and Artemis. Energy, who clawed their way back slightly, rounded the mark in seventh place behind Chris Draper’s Piranha.
On the next upwind leg, the wind shifted to the right allowing the leaders to sail directly to mark 4, which was of no advantage to the French, who could do nothing to catch them. Very little change in the rankings as they rounded the next mark except for TNZ, which overtook Artemis. Energy moved into eighth position before taking off downwind. The next leg was not favourable for the French, who once again were unable to get back in the game. Luna Rossa Swordfish had by now obtained a great lead and continued to race in the lead ahead of James Spithill and Dean Barker’s Team New Zealand, who took advantage to grab third place from China Team, fighting hard to ward off the attacks from Artemis, as they attempted to take fourth place.
At the sixth mark, Swordfish was still ahead of Spithill and Barker. The French were far back and had little hope of catching them. At the final mark before the finish, the rankings were still the same at the front with Paul Campbell-James’s Luna Rossa Swordfish winning this first race of the day ahead of Oracle skippered by the American Defender, James Spithill, and Dean Barker’s TNZ taking third place. Energy Team finished in eighth place handing over the lead in the rankings to Paul Campbell-James’s Luna Rossa Swordfish.
Race two: Energy Team fifth, but still overall leader - A poor start for Energy Team in race six, as they were locked in and set off behind the leaders. It was China Team, who grabbed the lead, before handing it over to Artemis and Team Korea. Energy Team were back in last place as they rounded the first mark and set off downwind overtaking Team New Zealand shortly afterwards. But gradually, Energy got back in the game. At mark 2, Artemis was in front, ahead of Luna Rossa Piranha, Oracle Spithill, Team Korea and China Team. Energy made their way along the edge of the race course and received a penalty, meaning they lost a little ground. The three leaders were by now out in front ahead of Team Korea and Energy Team, who made it back up to fifth place, in spite of the penalty.
At the next mark, Artemis extended their lead ahead of Luna Rossa Piranha and James Spithill’s Oracle. A whole leg separated the leader Artemis from the French on Energy Team. The good news for the French was that the Italians on Luna Rossa Swordfish were at the rear, which was a good thing in terms of the rankings.
At Gate 6, Artemis was still out in front ahead of the Italians on Luna Rossa Piranha, who had made it back to within 25 seconds of the leader and were still ahead of James Spithill. Chris Draper’s Italians narrowed the gap on Artemis and started to challenge them for first place. The boats went from one mark to another with Energy Team attempting to take fourth place from Team Korea, while Dean Barker’s TNZ were trying to catch the French. As they rounded the tenth mark, Team Korea was still ahead of Energy Team by a few seconds.
In the end, Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis won the day’s second race ahead of Chris Draper’s Luna Rossa Piranha and Oracle Spithill. Energy Team, unable to catch Team Korea finished this race in fifth place.
In the overall rankings after a total of six races since Thursday in Venice, Energy Team with 44 points are still out in front ahead of the two Italian boats, Luna Rossa Piranha et Luna Rossa Swordfish.
Bruno Peyron’s reactions: 'Today, things were clearly more difficult, but we remain the leader this evening, so everything is still possible. We can see that everyone is capable of a disappointing result, so today was our turn. You can’t be lucky every day. We really have to look at things calmly before tackling the big final tomorrow. Overall, the team is rightly pleased, as we have led the rankings now for three days, which proves that we can win this World Series event in Venice.'
Overall rankings – Saturday 19th May 2012 (after six races)
1 - Energy Team : 44 points
2 - Luna Rossa Piranha : 43 points
3 - Luna Rossa Swordfish : 43 points
4 - Emirates Team New Zealand : 42 points
5 - Oracle Team USA - Spithill : 38 points
6 - Artemis Racing : 37 points
7 - Team Korea : 37 points
8 - Oracle Team USA - Bundock : 22 points
9 - China Team : 18 points
Energy Team lost their two duels against Artemis Racing.
Energy Team website
by Pierre Giboire
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4:41 PM Sat 19 May 2012GMT
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