Consistency was the key for the French Energy Team who won the third of three races on Wednesday 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.
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."
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."
1. Energy Team 24 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand 23 points
3. ORACLE Racing - Spithill 22 points
4. Artemis Racing 21 points
5. Team Korea 19 points
6. ORACLE Racing - Coutts 18 points
7. Green Comm Racing 14 points
8. ALEPH 12 points
9. China Team 12 points