In the America’s Cup World Series Plymouth, it was a great day for Energy Team with a fine performance enabling them to finish the day in fourth place after three fleet races. The French team led by Loïck Peyron, who was very encouraged after his good result on Sunday (fourth), got off to some excellent starts and sailed smoothly and at speed in the light conditions.
Energy Team came second in the first race, seventh in the second and fourth in the third race. Scoring twenty points, they finish the day in fourth place, just behind the two crews representing the American Defender Oracle Racing (Russell Coutts and James Spithill). Here’s a quick look at what went on in these action-packed races.
Race 1: After getting off to a very good start, Loïck Peyron and his men rounded the first mark in third place. Energy Team moved up a spot in the first downwind leg and rounded the second mark in second place behind Oracle Racing Spithill and ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand (D.Barker).
During the tack to the third mark the three frontrunners were very close, but the rankings did not change. Clearly very much at ease in these light conditions, Energy Team had an excellent second downwind leg and grabbed the lead at the fourth mark, with Dean Barker just behind them. The French boat stayed on track and was still at the front as they rounded the fifth and sixth marks, in spite of Artemis making an amazing comeback. The two boats then found themselves engaged in a fantastic duel and in the end it was the crew led by Terry Hutchinson, which took over the reins at the penultimate mark. Loïck Peyron did not manage to close the gap, butdid ward off the attacks from James Spithill. So he ended with a very fine second place after remaining up with the frontrunners throughout.
Race 2: Yet another great start for Energy Team. Third at the first mark just behind Emirates Team New Zealand and Aleph, the crew led by Loïck Peyron moved up a place at the end of the first downwind leg. Energy Team, then tried to catch the NewZealand boat, which was out in front, but was caught by Artemis on the first upwind leg. The French remained in third place until the second upwind leg, where they really suffered dropping back three places to be in sixth place at the penultimate mark. But there was little to choose between the boats and Energy Team was still hoping to get a place in the top five.Unfortunately the French team had to make do with finishing seventh in this second race, which was won in the end by Team Korea.
Race 3: As ever well placed at the start, Energy Team rounded the first mark in third place after Emirates Team New Zealand and Aleph received penalties for crossing the line too early. A new battle was underway with Artemis and the French team took the lead at the end of the first downwind leg. Second at the fourth mark just seven seconds behind Artemis, Loïck Peyron was in it to win it. But he lost ground on the second upwind leg and rounded the penultimate mark in fourth place, behind Artemis, Emirates Team New Zealand and Team Korea. And the order remained like that until the finish.
Loïck Peyron’s reaction: 'Today was a fairly positive day. In general, we got off to a good start, keeping it just safe enough and working out what was going on in the fleet. Statistically, it’s incredible the number of buoys we must have rounded in second place, which isn’t bad at all. After that, we don’t always manage to keep our advantage, which shows how important it is to learn to deal with the pressure and sort out a few little details… In fairly light winds like today, we feel quite at ease. We got the speed up and had nothing to be ashamed of, in particular upwind with the new second jib we flew today, which came from our friend Jean-Bat (Le Vaillant) which is fantastic. It was exactly the range of wind for this sail today. And everyone worked well on board, with everyone understanding each other, so we’re progressing well. Our friend JS (Ponce), who hasreplaced Yann Guichard was not feeling that great this morning, but it worked out very well, and this evening he is over the moon about it all… And we know now where we need to progress, which is reassuring for us. There are so many areas to work on, that strangely, it’s reassuring…' Race Results – Wednesday 14th September 2011:
1 - Artemis Racing : 1st - 4 – 1st = 27 points
2 - Emirates Team New Zealand : 4 - 2 - 2 = 25 points
3 - Team Korea : 6 – 1st - 3 = 23
4 - Energy Team : 2 - 7 - 4 = 20 points
5 - ORACLE Racing Spithill : 3 - 5 - 5 = 20 points
6 - ORACLE Racing Coutts : 5 - 3 - 6 = 19 points
7 - Aleph : 7 - 6 - 9 = 12 points
8 - China Team : 8 - 8 - 8 = 9 points
9 - Green Comm Racing : DSQ - 9 - 7 = 7 points
Energy Team website
America's Cup website