America's Cup World Series - Energy Team on top after seeding races

34th America’s Cup - America’s Cup World Series San Diego 2011 - Fleet Race
The America’s Cup World Series is currently underway on San Diego Bay and on Wednesday afternoon, consistency was the key for the French Energy Team who took victory in the third of three races to top the table at the end of the seeding races for the San Diego Match Racing Championships.

New skipper Yann Guichard posted three race finishes inside the top five to end the day one point clear of Emirates Team New Zealand. Oracle Racing Spithill, plagued by penalties and starting trouble all day, recovered strongly in each race to hold on to third place.

Those top three teams on today’s ranking are seeded through directly to the Semi Finals of the Match Racing Championship. The remaining six teams will be paired up to race in Thursday’s qualifying matches, competing in a knockout format to earn the fourth and final Semi Final berth.

'It’s a perfect day for us,' said an elated Guichard after racing. 'I’m really happy. The team has done a fantastic job. I’m getting more comfortable each day and I can really feel the boat well now. We had some good starts and were very fast today. The small teams like us are improving each day.'

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Conditions couldn’t have been better for racing on Wednesday. The winds were in the 9-13 knot range with flat water in San Diego Bay, leading to boat speeds near 20 knots. The sun was out, and it was a warm November day, allowing the sea breeze to build early and stay in force throughout the afternoon.

After the fleet races, the teams brought the show to the crowds perched on Broadway Pier for the AC 500 Speed Trials, which took place just yards from the pier. Emirates Team New Zealand, in the very first run, posted what would stand up as the quickest time down the 500-meter runway. The two Oracle Racing entries, Spithill and Coutts were second and third respectively. Artemis Racing was in fourth place in both the seeding race standings and the Speed Trials.

'Over all it was a hard day, but it was good the way we battled as it would have been easy to go backwards,' said Artemis Racing skipper Terry Hutchinson. 'It is about doing things consistently and working through the process.'

Results – San Diego Match Racing Championship (three seeding fleet races)

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Race 1Race 2Race 3Total
PlaceTeamPoints
1.Energy Team35124
2.Emirates Team New Zealand23523
3.ORACLE Racing - Spithill54222
4.Artemis Racing71421
5.Team Korea42819
6.ORACLE Racing - Coutts18618
7.Green Comm Racing89314
8.ALEPH96712
9.China Team67912


Results – AC 500 Speed Trials

Emirates Team New Zealand - 21.22 knots
Oracle Racing Spithill - 21.10 knots
Oracle Racing Coutts - 19.86 knots
Artemis Racing - 19.65 knots
Energy Team - 19.36 knots
Team Korea - 19.18 knots
China Team - 18.54 knots
Aleph - 18.33 knots
Green Comm Racing - 17.91 knots

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