Photo: Stephanie Billarant / Energy Team

Energy Team to compete in Naples

Yann Guichard to take the helm as French team hopes to improve on their fourth place

Thursday April 4th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: Italy

The AC World Series will shortly be taking place in Naples. In 12 days from now, over 16-21 April, Energy Team will be hard at work in this final event in the America's Cup World Series.

Yann Guichard will be at the helm of the French AC45 with Christophe Espagnon as wing trimmer.

Antoine Mermod, Technical Director of Energy Team provides more details: "Last year, the Bay of Naples was home to one of the most spectacular legs in the AC World Series. The competitors experienced a full range of conditions, including violent winds with seas that only just made it possible to sail. It was indeed very spectacular. It is of course too soon to forecast whether we can expect the same again this year, but whatever the conditions, the battle is once again likely to be fascinating with nine AC45 crews competing, including quite naturally the French on Energy Team."

The America's Cup World Series Naples event will take place from Thursday 16 April to Sunday 21 April. Seven fleet races are scheduled, while in terms of the match racing, the qualifications and the first quarter finals will be on Thursday, with the other quarter finals on Friday, the semi-finals on Saturday and the final on Sunday.

For Energy Team, this will once again be an opportunity to show what they can do in front of the local crowds in Naples, who turned out in their thousands last year. Mermod: “In 2012, we finished in fourth place in Naples and we only just missed out on making it to the fleet race podium in the very last race. So this time the target is simple: we’re here to win! In any case, we have clearly got what it takes to be up there on the podium. On top of that, James Spithill won’t be there at the helm of Oracle’s AC45. That’s something we can try to take advantage of.”

The competition is going to be tough with Oracle Team USA, Emirates Team New Zealand, the two Luna Rossa boats (Swordfish and Piranha), Artemis Racing, JP Morgan BAR, China Team and HS Racing.

Energy Team's line-up is equally impressive with Yann Guichard on the helm. He will be assisted by the usual team including Christophe André, Arnaud Jarlegan, Devan Le Bihan and 'newcomer' Christophe Espagnon – another giant from the Tornado and multihull circuit, who will be in charge of trimming the wing, replacing Swiss sailor Arnaud Psarofaghis. "Christophe has quickly settled into the team. He has been sailing for a long time with Yann, and they know each other very well. I believe we have a very solid crew, continuing on from what we have been doing over the past two years," said Mermod.

The sailors will be busy in Naples from 11 April to train for a full week before battle commences. "Everyone is really up for it," insisted Mermod, “So let’s be ambitious and aim for victory."

Spanning Mount Vesuvius and Capri, Energy Team will have to deal with the magnificent Bay of Naples with all its local effects. "With the prevailing westerlies, this is a fantastic place to sail with plenty of wind and calm seas. On the other hand, if the wind comes from the south, the seas can get quite choppy and it will be much more physical…"

 

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