The Energy Team carried on from where they’d left off on the final day of America’s Cup World Series racing in Venice.
Day Four report
Energy Team finished the event on top with 74 points after yet another day of close racing amid light winds that made it very difficult to make headway over the San Marco course.
“I think the lighter conditions were good for us,” said Energy Team’s skipper Loïk Peyron. “I’m used to this kind of tricky game, trying to be as cool as possible. The pressure was in the red zone, but it made for an exciting race for sure. This was a big victory for us. We are a small team, and hopefully this is just the beginning.”
The overall Championship pictures sees ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill stretch away on the overall AC World Series leaderboard from Emirates Team New Zealand.
“We came here with a one-point lead over Emirates Team New Zealand. We're leaving with a four-point lead,” said skipper James Spithill. “That's the important thing. I'm happy with how the team did. Obviously we've got a lot to work on, but there's no question we’ll be ready for Newport.”
AC World Series Venice Fleet Racing Championship – Final Leaderboard
1. Energy Team…74 points
2. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill…58 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand…54 points
4. Artemis Racing…52 points
5. Luna Rossa Piranah…43 points
6. Luna Rossa Swordfish…43 points
7. Team Korea…37 points
8. ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock…22 points
9. China Team…18 points
2011-12 AC World Series Overall Championship Leaderboard (after five of six events)
1. ORACLE TEAM USA-Spithill…84 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand…80 points
3. Artemis Racing…71 points
4. Energy Team…65 points
5. Team Korea…56 points
6. ORACLE TEAM USA-Bundock…53 points
7. Luna Rossa-Piranha…34 points
Day Three report
The people of Venice have flocked again for a third day of close, tactical racing from the AC45 crews.
In light winds but over a relatively short distance, Luna Rossa Swordfish threatened to take the overall lead after winning the first fleet race, but less success in race two means Energy Team retain the overall advantage for the final day’s action on Sunday. Everyone agreed that the day had been tough despite the favourable weather that had brought the Venetians out to cheer the crews on.
“It was hard work,” said the winning captain of the second race, Terry Hutchinson of Artemis Racing. “The guys on board today have done really good work. It was a tough night's sleep last night because I knew I'd let us down yesterday, so it's nice to get it right today. It's an absolute fight the entire time, but the guys did their work really well.”
How it stands in the Fleet Racing Championship after six races:
1. Energy Team…44 points
2. Luna Rossa Piranah…43 points
3. Luna Rossa Swordfish…43 points
4. Emirates Team New Zealand…42 points
5. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill…38 points
6. Artemis Racing…37 points
7. Team Korea…37 points
8. ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock…22 points
9. China Team…18 points
Day Two report
Day Two of the America’s Cup World Series saw the crews racing around one of the most famous waterways in the world, the Grand Canal of Venice. And the action suited the dramatic backdrop just perfectly, with the teams fighting out a tight, tactical battle that thrilled the big crowds lining the shores
Just as they were on Day One, conditions were perfect for racing with a moderate 8- to 10-knot sea breeze keeping things moving. The real challenge, however, was the tight, narrow course, which pushed the boats close together and required the crews to employ a massive number of tacks and gybes to round the course.
There wasn't much between the teams but in the end it was the two Luna Rossa crews who came out on top, each notching up a race win in home waters.
"Today has been a great day for us, with two victories,” said team skipper Max Sirena. “But we want to keep our feet on the ground and look ahead to the next two days. There are still many points to be gained and we need to approach it in the right way.”
Summing up the challenges posed by a course that was just 140 metres wide at its narrowest point, Piranha skipper Chris Draper had this to say about Day Two's racing: "Seriously tiring, pretty out of breath. It's very hard physically. I can't say enough how hard it is for the guys on the boat."
After winning the second of Day One's races, Loick Peyron’s Energy Team suffered a few wobbles today. They were trailing the fleet in last place after the first two marks in the day's second race, but they made another spectacular comeback to finish second and retain their place at the top of the overall leaderboard.
The Match Racing semi-finals are now scheduled to take place on Saturday.
How it stands in the Fleet Racing Championship after four races:
1. Energy Team…35 points
2. Luna Rossa Swordfish…31 points
3. Luna Rossa Piranha…29 points
4. Emirates Team New Zealand…29 points
5. Team Korea…26 points
6. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill…21 points
7. Artemis Racing…21 points
8. ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock…16 points
9. China Team…8 points
Watch highlights from Day Two of the racing in Venice
Day One report
Experienced yachtsman Loick Peyron, 52, rallied his Energy Team for a thrilling win in the second race of this year's America's Cup World Series yesterday, coming from behind to take the points. The Frenchman's crew now leads the Fleet Racing leaderboard. But the rest of the America's Cup fleet were given a real scare by Team Korea's young sailing whiz Nathan Outteridge.
Outteridge won his first race at the America's Cup World Series in Venice yesterday and he had this to say in today's early morning briefing:
"It was a great feeling. We had few chances in Naples to get a race victory, and today was our day. We had a good start considering the boats ahead of us were over. We just pulled through, got past Bundy and it was a bit of a shock. We were waiting for everyone to catch us up, but clearly we were doing something right today."
After his win in the second race, Loick Peyron was effervescent with excitement. “Look at that! Beautiful weather in Venice, snow on the mountains, and the Energy Team at the top of the mountain today. These machines are so amazing to sail, with the wing, and the flat water… We’re very happy, we’ve done a good job today.”
As Peyron said, conditions were perfect. The sea breeze was in the 8- to 11-knot range and the boats raced under clear, sunny skies. Not surprisingly, given the weather, the local spectator fleet was out in force to enjoy the competition.
The forecast ahead of today's action is for sunny intervals and another light to moderate sea breeze. The winds are expected to be S-SE in the 7- to 12-knot range.
How it stood in the Fleet Racing Championship after two races:
1. Energy Team…18 points
2. Luna Rossa Swordfish…16 points
3. Team Korea…15 points
4. Emirates Team New Zealand…13 points
5. Artemis Racing…13 points
6. Luna Rossa Piranha…12 points
7. ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill…10 points
8. ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock…7 points
9. China Team…4 points
Watch highlights from Day One of the racing in Venice
Red Bull Youth America's Cup
For the first time in the history of the America’s Cup, young, talented sailors will have a clear pathway towards competing for one of the most prestigious trophies in sport. The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, launched on Thursday with ceremonies in Venice, Italy and San Francisco, USA, opens the door for young sailors to gain the experience they need to contribute to a Cup team.
“I think this is one of the most exciting developments in the America’s Cup in a very long time,” said ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill, who became the youngest skipper to win the America’s Cup at age 30 in 2010. “Breaking into the America’s Cup is hard. I was very fortunate when I was 19 to get a break with the Young Australia team, which allowed me to get into the game and get noticed. But this is going to give many more young sailors the same type of opportunity. We are talking about literally turning tradition on its head by opening up the America’s Cup to younger sailors, rather than it being closed off and difficult to get a foot in the door.”
Racing will take place in the same high performance, wing-sailed AC45 catamarans currently used in the America’s Cup World Series. The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is scheduled for August/September 2013, in San Francisco, during the heart of the 34th America’s Cup racing season.
It is open to up to 10 national teams of six sailors, aged 19 to 23, in 2013. Teams can apply for entry to America’s Cup Race Management beginning this summer. One team per country will be accepted and each crew member must hold a valid passport of the country their team represents.
Jimmy Spithill and the ORACLE TEAM USA sailing team will be there to help and give some coaching and tips to the sailing stars of tomorrow.