Note: With the second AC World Series San Francisco fast approaching (Oct. 2-7), we’ll be previewing the teams that’ll be competing in the lead-up to racing.
Crew: Loïck Peyron (skipper/helmsman), Arnaud Jarlegan (wingsail trimmer), Devan Le Bihan (trimmer), Arnaud Psarofaghis (trimmer), Christophe André (bow)
France’s Energy Team is one of the more enigmatic crews on the water. At one regatta they place top of the pack and then at the next they’re down in mid-fleet. The AC45 is a demanding boat to sail consistently well, but Energy Team certainly has the sailors to do so.
AC World Series San Francisco will see the return of Loïck Peyron to the helm. Peyron is the prototypical French sailor, who has a love affair with the sea and speaks with affection of his adventures. He’s also the undisputed king of global conquests, having set the outright record for a non-stop circumnavigation of 45 days – a truly outstanding record.
Peyron has taken turns swapping the tiller with alternate helmsman Yann Guichard. Energy Team placed fourth in the fleet racing (highlighted by a first and third on Day 3) and fifth in the match racing at the August ACWS San Francisco with Guichard at the helm, but Peyron has delivered the team’s only AC World Series victory, at the Venice fleet racing championship last May.
Energy Team consistently puts forth solid, respectable performances despite the changing helmsman. The crew likes to tinker with the headsail setup, and often finds extra speed when it does. But like many in the fleet, it has trouble avoiding the high finishes that hinder consistency.
Prediction: Energy Team will be knocking on the podium door in at least one of the championships, how well it does will depend on its consistency.