It is tonight European time, (Wednesday) that the second leg of the 2012-2013 AC World Series gets underway in the waters around San Francisco. Currently fourth in the Championship, the French challenger, Energy Team skippered by Loïck Peyron is aiming to get up there on the podium and do even better than that, if possible.
“We have a brand new code zero, which is really well suited to the local conditions in San Francisco Bay“, said a pleased Loïck Peyron, who will be at the helm of the Energy Team AC45 until the final day, when Super Sunday closes the event. The goal? “To do better without taking any unreasonable risks“, in other words to attempt to make it to the podium, as Energy Team is currently in 4th place on 55 points. The top two spots are currently taken by Oracle Team USA – the leader on 86 points – and Luna Rossa-Piranha, who is just one point behind.
The basic format of the AC World Series – which has been rationalized this season – is still the same: seven fleet races from Thursday to Sunday with the match-racing in between starting from Wednesday. So, tonight (from 1600hrs to 1800hrs local time on the Pacific coast), the event will start with the march racing qualifiers. Over the following three nights from Thursday to Sunday, in addition to these duels, there will be the famous fleet races, before the final fleet race on Sunday evening.
Looking forward to a great show
One thing is certain, there’s going to be a great show. With eleven teams lining up (see the rankings below) in the Bay, where conditions are never that easy with all the local effects, the battle is likely to be hotly contested, and not just between the two leaders, Oracle Spithill and Luna Rossa-Piranha. We saw yesterday (Tuesday) during the training day that the strong winds could make sailing the winged catamarans under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz particularly tricky.
As for Energy Team, they soon got over the incident which involved their boat. She was recovered after drifting in the Bay after breaking free from her moorings… but fortunately no damage was incurred. The Race Directors have stressed that they will be taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the boats in the future. But that is all now behind them. It’s time for the racing to begin and the show to get underway.
In France, the races will be broadcast live on Canal+ Sport, from Thursday to Sunday at the following times: Thursday from 0130hrs to 0330hrs, Friday and Saturday from 0100hrs to 0300hrs and on Sunday from 2230hrs to midnight. Other arrangements exist in other countries.
Reminder of the overall rankings before this second event in San Francisco
1 ORACLE TEAM USA-SPITHILL 86 pts
2 Luna Rossa-Piranha 85
3 Team Korea 65
4 Energy Team 55
5 Luna Rossa – Swordfish 51
6 Artemis Racing White 48
7 Emirates Team New Zealand 43
8 ORACLE TEAM USA – COUTTS 42
9 Artemis Racing Red 38
10 J.P. Morgan BAR 37
11 China Team 15
The AC World Series schedule for San Francisco:
- Wednesday: qualifiers for the match-racing event
- Thursday: first quarter finals in the match racing and two fleet races
- Friday: second pair of quarter finals in the match racing and two fleet races
- Saturday: Match racing semi-finals and finals and two fleet races
- Sunday: seventh and final fleet race (Super Sunday)