AC NEWS – Artemis Racing has made a spectacular debut in “Big Blue” the Swedish challenger’s second AC 72 catamaran. Sailing it for the first time on Wednesday, the team had the giant catamaran up on its foils in winds as strong as 15 knots, a tremendous accomplishment.
“Today could not have gone any better. It was a perfect day and exactly what our team needed,” said helmsman Nathan Outteridge. “We got the boat on the water and foiling and we’re happy with how it was foiling… It’s a massive tribute to all the guys who have been working so hard to get us back out there.”
While Artemis Racing had an impressive first day out, caution is the word from the team. The sailors say there is a lot to learn and test before the team is ready to join Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand on the racecourse.
The Swedish team has marked the first day of the Louis Vuitton Cup semi finals, August 6, as its target date for racing. It says any participation in one of the final Round Robin races would be an unexpected bonus.
“We’d like to hope August 6 is achievable,” Outteridge explained. “But we know how much work is ahead of us now and we don’t have a lot of time. This was day one for us while the other teams are on day 70 or 80, so we know we’re a long way behind, but today was a big day in terms of catching up. Each step will evolve and we’ll try to keep moving as fast as we can.”
Thursday, Artemis Racing is scheduled to race against Luna Rossa, with the Italian team expected to sail the race unopposed. Artemis Racing will inspect its boat overnight and make adjustments before deciding whether it resumes sailing tomorrow.