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AC World Series San Francisco - Excellent start for Energy Team

by Pierre Giboire on 5 Oct 2012
Energy Team a San Francisco - Jour 1 - 2012 America’s Cup World Series Stéphanie Billarant / Energy team
In the America’s Cup World Series, Loïck Peyron and his men got off to an excellent start last night in San Francisco. By winning their duel against China Team amid rough conditions and dense fog, Energy Team qualified for the match race quarter finals. The French team will be coming up against Dean Barker’s Team New Zealand tonight, just before the start of the fleet races.

There was thick fog in San Francisco with heavy seas and strong winds in excess of 20 knots in the Bay for the second leg of the AC World Series, which got off to a very physical start last night in San Francisco. As usual, this first day of racing was given over to the Match Race qualifiers and Energy Team was successful from the outset, winning their duel against China Team with the young New Zealander Phil Robertson (aged 25) at the helm.

This meant that the crew of Energy Team qualified directly for the quarter finals, which will take place tonight. And we can look forward to a very interesting contest, as the French will be up against Dean Barker’s Kiwis. The match between Peyron/Barker will see two giants of sailing battling it out. After training with the New Zealand team before the competition started, Loïck Peyron knows that the contest is far from being lost and feels they are in with every chance of pulling it off…

The duel against China Team did not however begin that well last night. They were blocked on the starting line – a short line – meaning that Energy Team got off to a rather late start against their opponents. But very quickly, the French showed their ability to get the speed up and find the right route to catch China Team and even ended up finishing one minute ahead at the finish, which is a huge lead in this AC World Series. So can we look forward to a major success tonight? Loïck Peyron’s men are brimming over with confidence, while the New Zealanders are still recovering from their poor showing (seventh) in the previous leg of the World Series (last August in San Francisco), which was their worst result for ten years in an America’s Cup event.

The Kiwis need to win to get back on an even keel, but the French are not going to make it easy for them… It is going to be a tricky fight tonight with this duel as a starter before the main course with the first two fleet races. Going back to the match, Loïck Peyron says quite clearly: 'We are looking forward to a great fight against the Kiwis, with whom we trained this week. And we feel totally confident...'

The programme for the two quarter finals on Thursday night (European time):

- Team Korea / Artemis Racing White at 2125hrs CET
- Energy Team / Emirates Team New Zealand at 2142hrs CET

The other two quarter finals will take place tomorrow (Friday):

- Artemis Racing Red / Oracle Team USA Coutts at 2125hrs CET
- JP Morgan BAR / Oracle Team USA Spithill at 2142hrs Energy Team website

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