We are here to Race

The 34th America’s Cup is about to get under way in San Francisco. At Artemis Racing, we have had our heads down, working hard to finish a new boat and wing in order to get back out on the water and compete in this event that we have worked hard on for three years.

In general, when you are as busy as we are, you don’t have time to get involved in media and spin. However, some of what is being said is erroneous, insulting, and downright disrespectful. I need to stand up for my team and state some facts.

On May 22, Iain Murray, Regatta Director for the 34th America’s Cup, issued 37 Safety Recommendations. These are the product of interviews of 25 personnel from all four teams, which were conducted by a panel that included just one member associated with a team: Jim Farmer of Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ).

The first person to commend the Safety Recommendations was Grant Dalton, CEO of ETNZ. He publicly congratulated Murray for his work and said “you won’t get any push back from ETNZ on this”.

Now, five weeks later, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa (LR) have lodged protests over two of the 37 recommendations and seek for these two Safety Recommendations to be eliminated. The two rules are permissive rules. They work hand in hand with other rules, which place new requirements on the size of the elevators. The inclusion of these rules excludes no one. Yet, excluding these rules, and keeping the other 35, will exclude Artemis Racing.

So I ask, who is trying to force whom out of the 34th America’s Cup?

These rules are not about one team. They are about bringing safety to the fleet and the event. The Regatta Director and his panel conducted a thorough and unbiased analysis, and were inclusive in the recommendations and rule changes. There are accusations being cast about that the Regatta Director’s Safety Recommendations are a conspiracy to promote Oracle or Artemis Racing. These are slanderous and paranoid. Iain Murray is a man of the highest integrity and everyone in the sport knows that.

In making the Safety Recommendations at this late stage, Murray needed to make sure all teams could comply with his rule changes. The AC72’s in the fleet are not identical. They are not one design like the AC45’s. So some of the rules, such as minimum draft and the area of the elevators, are requirements. Other rules, like the two in question by ETNZ and LR, are there to create room for teams to comply with the requirements at this late stage of the game.

Artemis Racing doesn’t like all the Safety Recommendations, but we recognize that many of the recommendations work together. Therefore, we have said that we support the entirety of the recommendations. On May 24, in good faith, Artemis Racing began modifications on one set of its rudders and elevators to comply with the Safety Recommendations. These are long lead-time projects. So now Artemis Racing has two sets rudder elevators: one that complies with the Safety Recommendations in their entirety, and one that complies with the rules as they were before the Safety Recommendations were issued. Artemis Racing cannot comply with the third case, which ETNZ and LR are now trying to force on the competition.

The fact is that if ETNZ and LR get what they want, Artemis Racing will be excluded from competition.

The two teams took a similar path to exclude Artemis Racing three weeks ago when they proposed a schedule change that would have started eliminatory racing on July 19, rather than the previously scheduled August 6. They tried to camouflage this move by saying that they were helping Artemis Racing by delaying the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup. It was quite the opposite.

Finally, contrary to what has been said in various sailing media, there never has been a ban on elevators on rudders in the AC72 Class Rule. All AC72’s have rudder elevators because the Class Rule allows them. And ETNZ wasn’t the first to figure out how to foil without elevators. No AC72 has ever foiled without them.

For Artemis Racing, our priority is safety and our goal is to race. Our challenges have been great enough to overcome on their own. We look forward to being out there soon!

Artemis Racing is back to work

Artemis Racing is back to work. We will only race if our sailing team believes they are safe racing AC72s. This confidence will be dependent on many criteria, one of the most important of which is the new safety criteria and rules changes that the America’s Cup organizers and competitors will adopt.

Regarding the accident on San Francisco Bay, Artemis Racing is still in the process of conducting its own internal review. I understand that frustration exists out there because questions remain about the accident. It was, however, a complex event. We want to give it the time, respect and professionalism it deserves, so we thank everyone for their continued patience during this process.

Paul

Artemis Racing – our thoughts and prayers are with Andrew’s family

It is with immense sadness that Artemis Racing confirms the tragic death of crew member Andrew “Bart” Simpson today in San Francisco.

Simpson, a British double Olympic medalist, was one of the 11-man crew aboard Artemis Racing’s AC72 catamaran which capsized during training on San Francisco Bay ahead of this summer’s America’s Cup. All other crewmembers are accounted for.

Despite attempts to revive Simpson, both afloat and subsequently ashore, his life was lost.

“The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened,” said CEO Paul Cayard. “Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family.”

Artemis Racing CEO Paul Cayard addressed the media this afternoon at the team base in Alameda and said the following regarding the capsize of the team’s first AC72 and loss of crewman Andrew Simpson:

“Our prayers are with Andrew Simpson’s family, his wife and kids, and also the rest of my teammates. It’s a shocking experience to go through, and we have a lot to deal with in the next few days in terms of assuring everybody’s well being.

“The boat’s under control, but that’s not the first of our concerns. We’re focused on the people.

“That’s what we’re working with and on and we’ll give you more information when we’re able to.”

Artemis Racing Launches AC72

Alameda, CA. November 3, 2012 – The launch of Artemis Racing’s first AC72 catamaran marks a major milestone in the team’s quest for the America’s Cup. Thousands of design and build hours came together today when the Artemis Racing AC72 was launched at the team’s base in Alameda.

Barbro Osher, Consul General of Sweden in San Francisco and Godmother of Artemis, christened the AC72 in the presence of the entire team and their families.

Building an AC72 is an incredible design and construction feat, incorporating leading edge technology and materials. The Challenger of Record’s hulls were built in Sweden, trucked to the base in Valencia in spring of this year and then travelled by cargo ship to San Francisco only to arrive in August. The team’s first AC72 wing was built and tested in Spain but suffered significant damage in May during training. Artemis Racing overcame this setback and it is the rebuilt wing in its entirety, and it is this wing which will power the AC72.

Designed by Juan Kouyoumidjian and his team in Valencia, this is the first of two AC72 catamarans for Artemis Racing. From here the research and development will continue with the valuable input generated from training on the San Francisco Bay. Standing alongside the AC72, Kouyoumidjian said, “We are extremely excited to get out sailing with this first boat and the learning opportunity that it represents. Sailing here, in the realities of San Francisco Bay, makes the lessons hard, but extremely relevant.”

The first day of sailing for the Swedish team is likely to be next week. The team has completed its relocation from its first training site in Spain and is now 80 strong in Alameda.

“It’s been a tremendous team effort to design, build and launch the AC72. We are looking forward to valuable training time on the Bay in the coming weeks,” said team CEO Paul Cayard.

America’s Cup World Series – San Francisco

San Francisco

The AC World Series is over after the Super Sunday race amid the Blue Angels, the Blue Grass Festival the 49ers and the Giants.

Today’s race was heavily weighted with 40 points for first place rather than the 12 points for the winner of the first 6 fleet races. Artemis Red got off to a great start and led and the first and second marks. Meanwhile Artemis White was near the black of the fleet with Oracle Spithill bringing up the rear.

Up the first windward leg, we on Artemis Red were not going that well compared to Korea and Oracle Coutts. At the windward gate, we got caught by Oracle Coutts and made a mistake there in allowing him to force us to tack and round the left mark when we were all set to round the right mark. We almost capsized and had a bad set of the gennaker. Later we were penalized and in slowing for that Oracle Spithill and Artemis White got by us.

Things got worse and then got better again for Artemis Red and we finally finished 5th.

Meanwhile, Artemis White was sailing well and fast. Terry and the guys did a great job of working their way through the fleet to finish third in the race and third place overall.

Compared to a month ago, I feel that we have improved as a sailing team. I say that because the reality of this regatta is the Ben Ainslee sailed the best and Terry Hutchinson and his team, with Iain Percy as tactician, were second best. I think “Super Sunday” is great for the excitement but “Super Sunday” skews the results with the wighting of the scoring. So I make those observations by looking at things from a true performance standpoint. Nathan Outteridge and Artemis Red were a new team with four days of sailing together prior to the first race. Having a 53 year old crew member probably didn’t help the kid but was was good for Artemis Racing for the long run. Also having both teams in the semi finals of the Match Racing is a decent result.

The AC45 sailing will take a break for now and I for one will miss it. It was amongst the most challenging and exhilarating sailing I have ever done. The young sailors of today have a lot to be thankful for due to the changes that have been made in the America’s Cup. And the world is seeing sailing like it has never been seen before. From tonight, Artemis Racing is focused on our AC72 and the development of that very challenging piece of equipment.

Congratulations to the Oracle boys for winning. I want to thanks my buddies Curtis Blewett, Rodney Ardern and Phil Jamesion for taking me for one of the best rides of my life this week. And Nathan, the only 26 year olds’ who have better jobs than you are those kids driving those Blue Angel jets around on US tax payer dollars!

Paul

America’s Cup World Series – San Francisco

San Francisco

Another spectacular day on the Bay of San Francisco. The Blue Angels were working up in the air and the America’s Cup sailors were working at sea level. It was a historical day too because I think that today was the largest crowd to ever watch a sailboat race in person. It would be hard to get an official count with all the offices, apartments, houses, Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, bridges, Marin headlands not to mention fans along shorelines of Crissy field, Marina Green, Pier 39, plus about 500 boats out on the bay, but I would not be surprised if it wasn’t 500,000. And if you think that’s impressive, wait for Super Sunday!

The format of the day was the same as the preceding days with two match races followed by two fleet races. The only difference for the day was that the final of the Match Racing took place after the fleet races which made for a long day for those two boats.

Both Artemis Racing teams qualified for the Match Race semi finals but unfortunately both Artemis boats lost their races. Onboard Red, we had a great start against ETNZ, led at the first mark but did not get into the boundary far enough to maintain “protection” when ETNZ came at us on starboard. Lesson learned. Thereafter the track was pretty one sided with the current on the change from flood to ebb therefore rendering a “split” very low likelihood of success. So we followed and kept it close in case the Kiwis made a mistake, we would be able to capitalize. But they did not so we lost by 10 seconds or so. In the other match which featured Artemis White against Oracle Spithill, Oracle had a better start and maintained the lead for the 13 minute duration of the race.

Next the whole fleet got onto the track and competed in two races. Artemis White had a very good day with a pair of 3rds but we on Artemis Red had our worst day with a 9, 8. In the first of the two races, we did not have a good start and then our gennaker got wrapped and could not be used for the last two downwind legs. We fought hard without the sail and managed to beat on boat plus Oracle Spithill who had capsized in spectacular fashion at the first mark right in front of St Francis Yacht Club and 50,000 spectators.

Today is “Super Sunday” named that way because there is just one fleet race and it is for all the marbles. Typically, any of the top 5 boats can win the event if they can win on Super Sunday. This makes Sunday, “Super Exciting”

The points on offer for Sunday are: 40 for first place, 25 points for second and 20 for third, 16 for 4th and 12 for 5th. So the event is very winnable for Artemis White who is in second place with 52 points trailing BAR who is leading with 63. It would be a big stretch but also possible for Artemis Red, currently on 39 points, to win if we win the race and BAR is 5th.

In sport, you cant ever ask for more than that…a shot to win it all on the last day! And that’s where we are with both Artemis boats!

Paul

America’s Cup World Series – San Francisco

A good Artemis day yesterday!

First off, Terry Hutchinson and his team on Artemis White handily beat Team Korea in their quarter final match to advance to the Match Racing Semi Finals. Terry and the boys led the whole race and employed the “stay between the man and the hoop” strategy…jargon for mirroring your opponents every move once you are in front.

After a few hours break to let the Blue Angels practice some flybys, the whole fleet got out on the track for two Fleet Races. Onboard Artemis Red, Nathan Outteridge pulled off two outstanding starts getting us to the first mark first in both races. Nathan’s sense of when to pull the trigger and launch the boat toward the starting line is pretty darn good. Unfortunately, in the first race we had the bigger gennaker on when the smaller Code 0 was the sail to have and most of the teams went with the Zero. In the second race, Oracle Team USA Spithill rounded the first mark just inside us, we rolled them, and they gybed out to the middle of the Bay. They crossed ahead of us on the way back to the leeward gate. Up the first windward leg, Ben Ainslie Racing and Artemis White got around us. We did not seem super fast all the time upwind. But we held our ground there despite a serious charge at the end by Oracle Coutts.

In the end, we on Artemis Racing – Red had a good day with two 4ths and are in a three way tie for second place after day 1. Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) is leading with 21 points, Artemis Red, Oracle Coutts and Oracle Spithill all tied for second with 16 points. Emirates Team New Zealand is 5th with 14 points followed by Artemis Racing – White with 12. Things are real tight and it is early in the series. Remember that the Super Sunday race counts four times what these races count.

Racing continues today with Artemis Racing – Red taking on Oracle Coutts in the quarterfinals at 1600. BAR will take on Oracle Spithill shortly after and then the whole fleet will race two more fleet races starting at 1700.

For complete results go to www.America’sCup.com

Paul

America’s Cup World Series – San Francisco

Another good day for Team Artemis out on the water yesterday. But this is not like any other regatta you have ever seen. First there is an air show with the Blue Angels doing Fly-Bys and crossing patterns at high speed, then large Navy cargo aircraft parading along at low speed followed by a 2 hour frenzy of sailboat racing on catamarans at 25 knots. It is all going on in San Francisco this week. On shore the 49ers are playing, the Giants are starting their playoffs, the Blue Grass festival is going on. Did I forget anything?

First up in the sailboat category was Artemis Red’s quarter final Match Race against Oracle Coutts at 16:00. Russell got the better of us at the start and led comfortably all the way around. However, on the final leg, the Oracle boys rounded the wrong mark and were therefore disqualified. It isn’t exactly the way we would have liked to get the win, but a win is a win and we move on to the semi finals tomorrow.

Then we had two fleet races. Our starts on Artemis Red were not great today but we got the same results as yesterday…two 4ths. Our crew work was very good and we sailed a pretty smooth track to move up through the fleet consistently. Artemis White had a great day with a 2, 1. They had very good starts, good speed and sailed the course well.

Today both of the Artemis boats will race in a semi final Match Race, starting at 1600. Then we will join the fleet for two more fleet races. After all that, the finals of the Match Racing will be held. Needless to say, it will be a long day.

For complete results go to www.americascup.com

Paul

America’s Cup World Series – San Francisco

Yesterday was the first day of the America’s Cup World Series, San Francisco. It was a true SF day. I can tell you as I grew up sailing in those conditions…foggy and 24 knots of wind on an ebb tide. Not for the pleasure cruiser.

I am the tactician on Artemis Racing – Red which means I am in the front of the boat. Nathan Outteridge, is our helmsman. Nathan (AUS, 26 years old) just won the Gold medal in London in the 49er Class which is a fast, two man, “skiff”. Nathan and I are sailing with three other guys: Curtis Blewett and Rodney Ardern (who were with me on Pirates of the Caribbean in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006) and Phil Jameson who is just the best guy anyone could hope to be onboard with. The boat, a 45 foot catamaran, is flying around the Bay at speeds of up to 30 knots. Hanging onto the front of this thing is tough. But I am still there. The guys are looking out for me!

The ACWS is comprised of two disciplines; Match Racing (one on one…America’s Cup style) and Fleet Racing (all boats together)

Artemis Racing – Red was unseeded for the Match Racing portion of this ACWS so we had to race an elimination series yesterday, with 8 other teams, to find 5 that would go through to the quarterfinals which start today. Artemis Racing – White, Terry Hutchinson and his team, along with the two Oracle boats, were seeded so they did not have to race yesterday.

As it turned out, we were pitted against Emirates Team New Zealand first. They sailed very well and beat us. But we still had a chance to make the quarters by winning the next two races, which we did. The racing was from 1600-1830. By the time we got back to Pier 30/32, got the boat on the mooring and got out of our wetsuits, it was 1930. Long day on the cold Bay!

Today, Artemis Racing – White takes on Team Korea at 12:25 and then at 17:10 and 17:50 there will be the first two fleet races of the week. The schedule is that there is Match Racing each day except Sunday at 12:00 and Fleet Racing each day except Sunday at 17:00. Sunday there is one race…Super Sunday…worth 4 times the points of any other fleet race and it starts at 1350.

I know one thing, I will be missing all this come next Monday!

Paul

America’s Cup World Series – San Francisco

A good Artemis day today!

First off, Terry Hutchinson and his team on Artemis White handily beat Team Korea in their quarter final match to advance to the Match Racing Semi Finals. Terry and the boys led the whole race and employed the “stay between the man and the hoop” strategy…jargon for mirroring your opponents every move once you are in front.

After a few hours break to let the Blue Angles practice some Fly By’s, the whole fleet got out on the track for two Fleet Races. Onboard Artemis Red, Nathan Outteridge pulled off two outstanding starts getting us to the first mark first in both races. Nathan’s sense of when to pull the trigger and launch the boat toward the starting line is pretty darn good. Unfortunately, in the first race we had the bigger gennaker on when the smaller Code 0 was the sail to have and most of the teams went with the Zero. In the second race, Oracle Racing Spithill rounded the first mark just inside us, we rolled them, and they gybed out to the middle of the Bay. They crossed ahead of us on the way back to the leeward gate. Up the first windward leg, Ainslee Racing and Artemis White got around us. We did not seem supper fast all the time upwind. But we held our ground there despite a serious charge at the end by Oracle Coutts.

In the end, we on AR Red had a good day with two 4ths and are in a three way tie for second place after day 1. Ben Ainslee Racing (BAR) is leading with 21 points, Artemis Red, Oracle Racing Coutts and Oracle Racing Spithill all tied for second with 16 points. Emirates Team New Zealand is 5th with 14 points followed by Artemis Racing White with 12. Things are real tight and it is early in the series. Remember that the Super Sunday race counts four times what these races count.

Racing continues tomorrow with Artemis Racing Red taking on Oracle Racing Coutts in the quarterfinals at 1600. BAR will take on Oracle Racing Spithill shortly after and then the whole fleet will race two more fleet races starting at 1700.

For complete results go to www.America’sCup.com

Paul