America's Cup World Series Plymouth - Energy Team make top five

34th America’s Cup - AC World Series - Plymouth 2011 - Race Day 3
America’s Cup World Series - On the final day of fleet racing today in Plymouth (GB), Energy Team confirmed they are on form, finishing the races of the day respectively in fourth, fourth and sixth place.

The French challenger moves up two places in the rankings and this evening is in fourth place in the overall Plymouth Match Racing Championship, qualifying for the quarter finals. Tomorrow, Loïck Peyron and his crew will meet the best of the five teams that are behind Energy Team tonight. We look back at today’s races with comments from the skipper of Energy Team.

Race 1: Getting off to a bit of a disappointing start, Loïck Peyron and his men rounded the first mark in seventh place. The French team then made a spectacular climb back up through the fleet, gaining two places in the first downwind leg and rounded the second mark in fifth place. At the end of the upwind leg to the third mark, Energy Team moved up one more place to sail in fourth position behind Artemis (Terry Hutchinson), Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) and Oracle Racing Spithill.

The French boat then had a great downwind leg allowing them to move into third place at the fourth mark, which they rounded neck and neck with Team New Zealand, who were second. Loïck Peyron, overtaken by James Spithill on the third upwind leg was fourth at the penultimate mark. Energy Team could no longer hope to catch the two leading boats, but were still in with a chance of a place on the podium. The sail down to the final mark and the ultimate sprint did not allow them to catch up, so the French team finished fourth in a race that was dominated from start to finish by Artemis.

Race 2: This time Energy Team got off to a very good start. Second at the first mark behind Artemis, the crew led by Loïck Peyron were close behind the leader at the end of the downwind leg. The fight was on between Loïck Peyron and Terry Hutchinson in the upwind leg to the third mark. But the French team lost some ground and got overtaken by Oracle Racing Spithill and then Emirates Team New Zealand.

Plymouth (UK) - 34th America's Cup - AC World Series - Plymouth 2011 - Racing Day 3

The order did not change during the downwind leg to the fourth mark. The sail upwind to the penultimate mark and the final downwind leg would not allow the French to make up for lost time over the New Zealanders. Loïck Peyron did manage to get fourth place in this second race of the day, which was once again won by an unstoppable Terry Hutchinson, ahead of Dean Barker and James Spithill. Energy Team were only seven seconds away from grabbing a place on the podium.

Race 3: In the middle of the fleet at the start, Energy Team rounded the first mark in fifth place. Unfortunately, the French went on to drop back two places in the downwind run to the second mark and were therefore in seventh place as they tackled the first upwind leg. They were to remain in this place right up to the fourth mark. On the second upwind leg, Loïck Peyron had to fight off a challenge from James Spithill, who was trying to come back after getting a penalty at the start. Spithill ended up passing Peyron, who found himself in eighth place at the penultimate mark. But Energy Team gave it their all in the final part of the race and at the end of a fine sprint just managed to overtake Oracle Team Spithill and Aleph. Energy Team ended up taking sixth place in today’s final race, which was completely dominated by Oracle Team Coutts.

Loïck Peyron’s comments this evening (Thursday): 'The results this evening are really encouraging for Energy Team. We were rather more cautious at the starts today, a little bit off the pace, but this evening we’re up there in the top four, so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow in the match-racing, as we have qualified for the quarter finals. So tomorrow afternoon, we’ll be up against the best of the five teams that are currently behind us. It is most likely to be Jimmy Spithill...

We’re a bit like the giant-killer here. It is beyond what we hoped for. It is quite significant this evening to be up there with the top teams. We’re there between Russell Coutts and Jimmy Spithill, sandwiched between the world class racers of the Oracle team. We’ll go out training tomorrow lunchtime, as the America’s Cup is match-racing and we need to feel completely relaxed about it... '

Race Results / Thursday 15th September 2011
(positions in the three races and total number of points)

1- Artemis Racing : 1 - 1 - 2 = 29 points
2- Emirates Team New Zealand 2 - 2 - 4 = 25 points
3- Oracle Racing Coutts : 5 - 5 - 1 = 22 points
4- Energy Team : 4 - 4 - 6 = 19 points
5- Oracle Racing Spithill : 3 - 3 - 8 = 19 points
6- China Team : 8 - 8 - 3 = 14 points
7- Team Korea : 9 - 6 - 5 = 14 points
8- Green Comm Racing : 6 - 7 - 9 = 12 points
9- Aleph : 7 - 9 - 7 = 11 points

Energy Team website