Energy Team surprise leader
Energy Team, with former Gitana skipper Yann Guichard taking over helming duties from Loick Peyron for this regatta, won the third of three races this afternoon to top the table at the end of the seeding races for the San Diego Match Racing Championships at the America’s Cup World Series.
Guichard and his French team posted three race finishes inside the top five to end the day one point ahead 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.”
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 end up being the quickest time down the 500m course. 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.”
|1||Energy Team||Yann Guichard||3||5||1||24|
|2||Emirates Team New Zealand||Dean Barker||2||3||5||23|
|3||ORACLE Racing - Spithill||James Spithill||5||4||2||22|
|4||Artemis Racing||Terry Hutchinson||7||1||4||21|
|5||Team Korea||Chris Draper||4||2||8||19|
|6||ORACLE Racing - Coutts||Darren Bundock||1||8||6||18|
|7||Green Comm Racing||Vasilij Žbogar||8||9||3||14|
|9||China Team||Charlie Ogletree||6||7||9||12|
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