Another win for Artemis today over the previously unbeaten Aleph Team of France.

After a long wait for wind this morning, racing finally got underway at 1430. In the first flight of the day, the Brits on TeamOrigin beat BMW Oracle by controlling the start and getting a penalty on the Americans. In the other match, the Russian team, Synergy won a closely fought match against the French/German team of All4One. The lead changed a couple of times in that one.

The conditions were 6-8 knots and very flat seas. We are racing inside the archipelago of La Maddalena, so the mountains cause plenty of volatile wind shifts which makes it challenging for the teams.

We made a change of call about 2.5 minutes before our start changing from “wide right” to “tight leeward” as our desired position off the line. It looked like the French were happy with the right so we each got what we wanted in the left. The first shift went left and we controlled the French as they tacked to port. From there we never let them have a sniff of the left as it got better and better of there. We won fairly easily in the end.

In the other match in our flight, Azzurra stole the win off Prada on the first run in another Italian battle.

Then in flight three, Emirates Team New Zealand beat TeamOrigin too in its first outing of the series and All4One beat Mascalzone Latino Audi Team in the other match. There was a red flag penalty on Mascalzone Latino at the first windward mark and that pretty much ended the race.

With two wins from two starts, we are starting out nicely on Artemis. But again, this is a tricky venue and anything can happen in any match. Tomorrow, we are up against BMW Oracle in the first flight of the day.

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La Maddalena, Sardinia – Today was Artemis’ first race in the Louis Vuitton Trophy – La Maddalena. We were up against the Brits in TeamOrigin. No race is easy out here. After a long delay, our warning signal was finally given at 1445 with the wind at just 6 knots from the Northeast. We won the race, which is a nice way to start the two week competition.

TeamOrigin had an unfortunate incident in the pre-start, getting a lobster pot caught on their keel. Our helmsman Terry Hutchinson did a good job staying clear of TeamOrigin and the trailing line then putting us right on the line at the favored right hand side. TeamOrigin was about 2 lengths behind us off the line. From there, we sailed a solid race with good crew work keeping the tactics as simple as possible in the rather light conditions.

Onboard today we had a special guest, Leonardo Ferragamo, a passionate sailor himself, and a friend of mine for many years. Leonardo is also the owner of the prestigious company Nautor’s Swan, builders of some of the most beautiful yachts in the world.

Due to the lights winds, we are a bit behind with the schedule at the end of day two with 4 of 23 flights completed. Out in front is Betrand Pace’s team ALEPH with two wins, having beaten both TeamOrigin and America’s Cup holders BMW Oracle Racing. Luna Rossa also had their first race today and beat Mascalzone Latino Audi Team.

There are still many races to go in the first part of Round Robin 1.


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La Maddalena, Sardinia

The transformed US Naval Base at La Maddalena is now a beautiful base for the Louis Vuitton Trophy. Four America’s Cup Class yachts, two from Mascalzone Latino Audi Team and two from BMW Oracle Racing will be used by the ten teams.

Today was the first day of racing. Beautiful blue skies graced the island, but unfortunately so did light winds. Only one flight was completed today.

Mascalzone Latino Audi defeated Italian rival Azzurra while the French team Aleph beat TeamOrigin. The rest of the teams sat around anxiously awaiting their chance to get on the water but the wind did not cooperate.

The field is extreemely competitive at this event with; Emirates Team New Zealand, All4One, Azzuurra, Artemis, Aleph, TeamOrigin, Mascalzone Latino Audi, BMW Oracle Racing, Luna Rossa and Synergy.

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Rome –

The oldest trophy in international sport: re-energised by unprecedented collaboration between the Defender and the Challengers

– New, fair rules and independent professional management will give an equal opportunity to all teams
– A new class of fast, exciting boats created in conjunction with all teams
– The 159 year old competition made irresistible to commercial partners with regular racing in multiple venues under professional, neutral race management
– Transformed television and online coverage will place race fans right at the heart of the action, wherever they are in the world

This was the message today at the first press conference of the 34th America’s Cup, which saw the trophy brought to the home city of the Challenger of Record, the Club Nautico di Roma.

Speaking in the Sala Exedra in Rome’s Musei Capitolini, surrounded by some of Rome’s most precious treasures, Russell Coutts representing the defending Golden Gate Yacht Club and Vincenzo Onorato on behalf of the Challenger of Record, mapped out the future of the America’s Cup.

The press conference webcast was streamed live around the world.

Discussion & debate; consultation & collaboration

“Diktat has been replaced by discussion, confrontation by consultation,” said Coutts, four time winner of the iconic competition.

“Our minds and our ears are open. We are receptive to ideas.”

The opportunity to shape the rules and the design of the new boat has been offered to potential teams.

The management of the on-the-water racing will be controlled by an independent, neutral and professional authority, not the Defender.

New Protocol rules

Yesterday teams received the Protocol used in the 32nd America’s Cup and were asked: “What would you change to make the competition better?”

This document was negotiated by the Golden Gate Yacht Club and produced the successful 2007 America’s Cup. Feedback from the teams will be used to shape a new Protocol for the 34th Match.

The wide-ranging reforms would not have been possible without close co-operation with the other teams – who will be the Defender’s rivals when racing gets underway.

In particular Coutts noted the unprecedented collaboration between the Challenger of Record and Defender: “The task would have been impossible without working in partnership with Vincenzo Onorato.”

Onorato was given the honour of revealing the key decision date targets on behalf of the entire America’s Cup community.

Key dates announced

  • – Protocol for the 34th America’s Cup will be issued by 31st August
  • – Design rule released by 30th September
  • – Notice of Race & Sailing Instructions published by 31 December
  • – Venue confirmed by 31st December
  • – Challenge Period open from 1st October – 31st January 2011

New thinking on television

A bow-to-stern re-think of the entire television and media output is already underway.

Not only will fans be able to turn-on and tune-in, anytime, on any platform, but they will be made to feel as if they are on-board themselves, right at the heart of the action, alongside the best sailors in the world.

New boat- faster sailing & thrilling racing

The new design rule will be a critical element of building a spectacular event.

Renowned but neutral designers – Bruce Nelson and Peter Melvin – have created two different concepts – a multihull and a monohull.

Teams will sit down this month and discuss which concept to adopt and begin the process to create a design rule.

The requirements of the new America’s Cup Class rule are:

  • – It should produce dynamic and close racing
  • – It should use advanced, efficient and cost-effective technologies
  • – It should be distinctive and epitomize the pinnacle of the sport
  • – It should be able to race in any venue in winds from 5-35 knots

The ability to race in all venues and in most wind strengths is vital to make race scheduling reliable for fans and broadcasters.

“Delays kill interest. Even the hard-core fan doesn’t like having to wait for enough wind to race,” said Coutts.

Venue and Year-host cities evaluated

2013 and 2014 were named as the most likely dates for the next Cup.

Sufficient time is needed to evaluate venues and create impressive, efficient infrastructure for the Cup Village.?Coutts confirmed that American sites were not the only ones under consideration. But he noted: “Every candidate city knows that a very strong case has already been put forward by San Francisco.”

Cities in the USA and Europe are under consideration. Highly experienced specialists have been engaged to manage the evaluation process.

Regular racing in multiple locations

Host cities are also being sought for a series of regular racing for Cup teams. This racing will be integrated into the America?s Cup, in a plan developed in conjunction with the World Sailing Teams Association.

Changes welcomed by Cup community

Paul Cayard, six-time America’s Cup competitor and representing not just Sweden’s Artemis but the World Sailing Teams Association, commented on the reform package:

“We believe that the WSTA and its Louis Vuitton Trophy events are exactly the type of activity that needs to be incorporated into the big picture of the America’s Cup.

“With its global venues in important markets, regular calendar of events, tight racing in America’s Cup class boats, equal representation for each team, these events represent great commercial value that the teams can pass along to their sponsors.”

Challenger trials for the challengers & litigation ended

Coutts confirmed that the Defender will not participate in the Challenger trials as the previous Defender had done. And that all litigation from the contentious 33rd America?s Cup was over because of a settlement signed last month with the Swiss.

“That episode is history. Our focus is the future,” Coutts said.

With a light air forecast for today the two finalists, Team New Zealand and Mascalzone Latino were held at the dock for 2 hours hedging for a 1200 start.

Race PRO Peter Reggio moved the racecourse out to the Hauraki Gulf once again to try to get steadier conditions in these mild southwesterly’s.

Because of the delays, the Race Committee decided to shorten the series to a best of three. This was a bit of a tough pill for Mascalzone being down 1-0 after yesterday.

The race was finally started around 1210. Team NZ split to the right heading on port and Mascalzone at the pin end on starboard at the gun. The two drag raced to the right then both tacked simultaneously and drag raced out to the port layline. Nothing in it at the two came together overlapped at the first mark.

But just as they rounded in a left shifted breeze, Team New Zealand was ready to pounce on the shift and the Italians could not follow. The Kiwi’s got the jump that would last them the race.

There was a rather large crowd on the water in as many as 200 spectator craft but unfortunately as the decision had already been made to shorten the series, racing ended for the day at 1330. Most of the spectators were Kiwi fans so they were happy with the win.

Tonight is the gala dinner and prize giving at the Auckland Museum. Yves Carcelle, CEO of Louis Vuitton will be on hand to give out the prizes.

Next event for Artemis is Palma Vela in Mid April.

The author is heading to San Francisco for a few weeks at home.


It was a long day of waiting for us today and finally we raced Azzurra for 3rd/4th place. The race was over just as it started. The jury decided we fouled Azzurra on the entry and penalized us. From there we hung close waiting for an opportunity to pass, which we almost did on the final run. It would have been a lot to ask to pass them and get a penalty on them but stranger things have happened. Unfortunately, in the only minor scrap we got into with them, the jury awarded us another penalty.

That was it for us. Hats off to Azzurra. They sailed well.

Still the big picture for Artemis is that it has been a fantastic two weeks of sailing, we beat some very good teams here. The competition is getting very tight and that means all the teams are catching up to Emirates Team New Zealand.

Emirates Team New Zealand had beaten Azzurra in the 3rd and final race of their semi final yesterday and won the first race of the finals against Mascalzone Latino before we raced our match for 3rd and 4th. The best of five finals will continue tomorrow.

For WSTA and the Louis Vuitton Trophy, it has been a very successful two weeks as well. The sailing, much of it on the edge of too much wind, has produced some incredibly spectacular races. Most of the event was held in the shifty Southwesterly breeze which has allowed for lots of lead changes and the short course has meant high impact sailing.

The future is bright and now that America’s Cup 33 is behind us, we can move forward in a collaborative way with the new Defender and Challenger of Record to shape the future.


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An up and down day for Artemis

We sailed a best 2 out of 3 against Mascalzone Latino today. They got the first one, we got the second one and they got the third one. All the races were very tightly contested and it was quite a battle.

The wind was down in velocity today, mostly in the 10-15 knots range. It was still shifty and tricky as ever with the breeze coming off the land. We raced the first race in the harbor as usual, but then the wind just got too fluky and Race PRO Peter Reggio moved us out on to the Hauraki Gulf where we had the America’s Cup races in 2000 and 2003.

In the first race, we got off the line to the left and battled out way into the lead. Near the top, the Italians got a wind we never saw and went from 4 meters behind to 1 boat length ahead. We stayed on their heels all the way around but could never pass.

Then Emirates Team New Zealand and Azzurra had their first match. The Italians had a penalty and were behind but managed to the left of the Kiwis for the second windward leg. They passed the Kiwis and then got far enough ahead to take the penalty and win.

Then Artemis and Mascalzone Latino got back out on the water. Terry Hutchinson got a great start against Gavin Brady, forcing the latter over the line early and that was a lead that we would not give up. 1-1.

Then we rolled into our third and final race. In this one, Gavin got a penalty on us in the pre-start. We hung tight and even got the penalty wiped off on the first run when Mascalzone Latino took us both past the gates. But we could not close up the final 80 meters and they went on to win the decisive race.

Emirates Team New Zealand and Azzurra got back in the boats, now at 1800, and had their second race. Azzurra put a penalty on ETNZ in the pre-start and it boiled down to weather or not the Kiwis could get far enough ahead to do the penalty turn and still cross the line first. They waited until right on the finish line to do it and they got it done with just one second to spare. So they are tied 1-1 and will race their decisive semi-final race first thing tomorrow.

If time permits, we will then take on the loser of that semi-final to battle it out in the petit-final, while the final will take place Sunday.

Obviously, we are disappointed not to be in the final but we have made a big improvement in our performance over the Louis Vuitton Trophy – Nice and we feel we are competitive with any team out there now. So this is a good foundation for us to build on.


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Artemis moves into the Semi-Finals

Another good win for Artemis today over the Brits on TeamOrigin. It was another tight race in tricky conditions. Winds were 12-14 knots from the Southwest.

We were on hold for two hours as the winds were absent at 1000 this morning. The race committee informed the competitors that the best of three quarter final was reduced to sudden death as there would not be time to run 6 matches which would have been required had both quarter final matches gone the full three races.

At 1330, conditions were acceptable and the heat was on….win and go forward…lose and go home.

We wanted tight left but Ben Ainsle did a nice job in the prestart and had that spot occupied. He was in a bit of trouble as the wind went even further left in the last 30 seconds prior to the start. Terry Hutchinson was quick to take the race back at them and that got us out of phase and a tacking duel ensued. We kept it close up the first windward leg and trailed by two boat lengths at the top. My strategy was to keep it close and not do anything that had low probability of paying off. Down the run, we gybed first on a nice shift and closed in to round the gate just one length behind.

We rounded the same gate as the Brits which plays to their advantage but the other gate was surely out in more adverse current so again…keep it close.

Up the second windward leg we had to tack away first and TeamOrigin tacked on us the next time we came back. We were forced out toward the worse current but we were on a big left shift. So we rode it out patiently and sure enough a righty filled in. When we met the next time we were just ahead crossing on starboard tack.

Normally in this position, we should have tacked on them and kept to the right as this puts you on starboard tack right of way the next time the boats meet. And I have gotten burned in the first race we had with TeamOrigin two days ago by not following this strategy.

BUT, we were on a big lift as we crossed and it is also important to “stay in phase” with the wind. So I took the risk and played the odds which were in my favor. Fortunately, the wind cooperated and we crossed them the next time but just 1/2 a boat length but with much more speed and on lay line. So we simply sailed with full speed around the mark while they were slow and had to tack to round. We stretched to three lengths ahead there and that was pretty much it.

The made a desperate gybe away from us, we chose not to match them as we stretched into the stronger current, now favorable, and kept it simple…one gybe and in.

We won the race by 30 seconds in the end.

In the other quarter final race, the Italians from Azzurra beat All4One.

At the draw tonight, Emirates Team New Zealand the top ranked semi finalist, got to pick their opponent and they chose Azzurra. That means that we will meet the other Italian Team, Mascalzone Latino.

Racing resumes tomorrow at 1000 and the forecast is for 12-16 knots from the Southwest again.


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Another good win for Artemis today over the Italians on Azzurra. No wild excitment like yesterday against the Brits, just steady control of the race, abeit in the upper wind range. In fact we were on hold for 45 minutes as the wind had built to 25 knots at our scheduled start time. It came down to 20 knots and we were underway. It was still a race in which I felt keeping it simple would pay off.

Our call for the start was “wide right” and we ended up with “tight right” which was still ok with me. We hung on the hip of Azzurra for about 40 seconds while both boats rode out a lift on starboard tack. As that lift faded, and before we got weak, we tacked away onto a nice lift on port tack. Just as we finished building back up to full speed the wind faded back to the right and we tacked back onto starboard. Instantly, we were strong on Azzurra and from there on we just controlled them. By tacking on them every time they came to the right, we forced them up against the exclusion zone on the left side of the course and carried a three length lead into the top mark.

We kept it simple again down the run, one gybe and in to the right gate mark while the Italians attempted to go to the left gate and they had a few more issues than we did at the bottom mark. From that point on things were pretty easy for us and we went into cruise for the remainder.

In the other races, Origin beat All4One, Masclazone beat Aleph and Team New Zealand beat Synergy. So at this stage, Team New Zealand and Masclazone move straight to the semi final round as the top two winners and Synergy and Aleph go home as the bottom two teams. The other four of us will race in two, two out of three series, to determine the other two semi finalists.

Tonight we are having an “all teams” photo with the America’s Cup which is on display here in Auckland, also signaling the America’s Cup Defenders belief in the Louis Vuitton Trophy’s importance in the road to the next America’s Cup.


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We had a great day today on Artemis. Things really went our way and it was very satisfying. First, we had a good tussle against ALL4ONE. We had the left off the line and tacked soon there after. We got good pressure from the left and were ahead at the first cross. From there we just worked the shifts, and there were plenty of them today, to stretch out to a 5 length lead. We were fairly comfortable at the last windward mark and then down the final run the wind almost died for us and shift 80 degrees. We almost lost the race on this wierdness but managed to hang on for the win.

Our second match of the day, ranks right up there with some of the all time races I have had in 20 years of racing in this class of boat. Neither boat was ever more than 50 meters ahead, there were 4 or 5 lead changes and 3 penalties. Near the end of the first run, the Brits got too close to us and got a penalty. But we sailed them past the gate and they were able to get the penalty erased by tacking to get back to the mark. The second windward leg was a real battle with them slightly ahead at the outset and us overhauling them by having better current out to the right. Then right at the top mark, I made a bad tactical error and this allowed TeamOrigin to get a penalty on us and the lead. Terry and the guys did a nice job down the run to keep it close and we even got a bit of help from the Brits who were a bit greedy. We got overlapped with them near the finish and they fouled us and got a double penalty as it was race determining.

The best thing about that race wasn’t that we won. The best part was the experience that we shared as a team. There were so many situations, most we handled well, a few we made errors on, but we can learn more from that race than a week of training on our own.

There were 6 other matches out there today and plenty of action. Team New Zealand won their only race and the other team that did well in the end was Mascalzone Latino who finished the round second.

We ended up in the three way ties for third but ALL4ONE had beaten Mascalzone Latino in the round so that moved them to third and we lost to Azzurra so that put them in fourth and us in 5th.

Scores after the round robin:
TNZ 6 wins
Mascalzone Latino 5 wins
All4One, Azzurra, and Artemis on 4 wins
Origin on 3 wins
Aleph 1 win
Synergy with 0.

Tomorrow Artemis takes on Azzurra in the first match of the knockout series. It is a bit complicated but essentially, the two lowest ranked losers….ie, the two lowest ranked teams (coming out of the round robin) that lose tomorrow, are eliminated. The two highest ranked winners in tomorrow’s races will move directly to the semi finals and the 4 in the middle race a 2 out of 3 series in which the winners move onto the semi finals.

I know you probably cant understand this but I haven’t figured out how to explain it yet.


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