AC45-New Zealand

It was a fantastic day today on the Hauraki Gulf in the new AC45 prototype catamaran. Blue sky and 15 knots of wind from the Southwest made for a great training day for Artemis Racing.

Following a strange incident on Monday whereby the hard wing sail was damaged, the Artemis team worked alongside the ACRM team and Core Builders to get the new generation America’s Cup yacht back out on the water.

I was particularly pleased the boat was ready today as this gave me an opportunity to sail the boat before heading to the airport for my flight back to San Francisco tonight.

My impressions are that the boat is nothing less than spectacular. I am not a multihull sailor, but I was able to steer the boat around a couple of laps on the Hauraki Gulf under the watchful eye of Santiago Lange, two time Silver medalist and Artemis Racing team member.

The boat seemed very balanced and the typical multihull peril of leeward bow submersion was non existent. We easily skipped along at 20+ knots downwind and about 12 knots upwind. The crew (and helmsman) hike out just like on a Laser.

Hats off to Oracle Racing and Core Builders for taking this boat from concept to sailing in just 4 months!

Artemis will be sailing the prototype for three more days. Then we begin the assembly of our own boat for a mid-March training session down here in Auckland. The first AC45 World Series event will be in July.

It really struck me today that there is a new era of America’s Cup coming and I was very happy to be part of it!

Paul

Update from Auckland

Auckland February 23, 2011

Just a quick update from down here. The Artemis Racing team is based in Auckland this week for training and attendance in America’s Cup meetings. Auckland is approximately 450 miles north of Christchurch, the site of the large earthquake of February 22. No one on Artemis Racing was involved directly or injured in the earthquake.

Artemis Racing extends its sincere condolences for those who lost loved ones in the disaster and sympathy for those who are currently struggling to get their lives back in order following this natural disaster.

Update from Auckland

Auckland New Zealand, February 21, 2011

It was Mid December when I last wrote an update. No racing has taken place for Artemis since the RC 44 regatta in Miami but a lot has been going on with regard to our America’s Cup project. I was recently in Valencia for a couple of weeks working with Juan Kouyoumdjian and our design team who are based there. We also had a team meeting that lasted three days.

I arrived in Auckland today for a week to follow two issues; 1) ACRM meetings to discuss the aC72 and AC45 class rules, new racing rules of sailing, logistics around the World Series events and the SF venue and 2) to test sail the prototype of the AC45. The meetings went well today. Unfortunately the sailing didn’t. Our team capsized in the AC 45. It wasn’t even a spectacular wipeout at 30 knots. Rather they were sitting head to wind, taking a break after the three hour training session and repairing something on the roller furler. The boat got hit with a gust from about 10 degrees off to one side and the boat slowly rolled over. No one was hurt and the boat was back at the dock within two hours.

There is very little structural damage to the wing but a lot of the “skin” of the wing came off. Our team will help ACRM get the wing repaired and back out onto the water asap. A cyclone is approaching Auckland and is due to hit later Wednesday so it will probably be after that when Artemis can get back to sailing the Prototype.

The team are going to make a “playbook” on the capsize. Yes, even in a unfortunate situation, there is a lot to learn. Hopefully if this happens again, we will be able to right the boat without losing the skin. One thing for sure, it was good it was a 72 footer capsizing today.

Simultaneous to the activities down here, Terry Hutchinson and part of the Artemis Racing team are in Oman racing the first Extreme 40 event of the year. This is a very nice reward for a lot of hard work by our team to up-skill in multihulls. Our team has put in a lot of hard work to get up to speed in multihulls and have been there training for almost three weeks.

Paul

Tom Blackaller Video

Lisa Blackaller | January 07, 2011 | YouTube

I just had to share this clip with old friends in the America’s Cup world. This video clips and interview were done with my dad prior to his untimely death in 1989. He would certainly be thrilled and amazed that, yes in fact, the America’s Cup IS coming to San Francisco Bay, and it IS being sailed in fast catamarans! Too bad he is not alive to share in all the excitement. He would love it all.