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!