Yachting: First glimpse into Artemis' recovery

By Dana Johannsen, in San Francisco

The Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran, an America's Cup entry from Sweden, lies capsized after turning over during training in San Francisco Bay. File photo / AP
The Artemis Racing AC72 catamaran, an America's Cup entry from Sweden, lies capsized after turning over during training in San Francisco Bay. File photo / AP

Artemis Racing have opened up their base to media for the first time since their fatal accident on San Francisco Bay two months ago.

The Swedish team today invited America's Cup media to tour their massive 110,000 sq ft facility across the Bay Bridge in Alameda, which was formerly a US Naval air station.

It was the first glimpse into Artemis' recovery operations as they battle to get their second boat ready for racing after their first boat was destroyed in a training accident that killed British sailor Andrew 'Bart' Simpson.

The Swedish team's new boat carries a tribute to their team mate - a blue ribbon painted on the wing, with the word 'Bart' written inside.

"He'll be riding with us," said Artemis chief executive Paul Cayard.

The Artemis team hope to get their boat on the water in two weeks, but Cayard said at this point they are not working towards any "hard dates".

Once the assembly is complete it must undergo rigorous structural testing - as per the new safety requirement implemented by regatta director Iain Murray.

With the Artemis team still working round the clock to get their boat finished while their rivals are about to start racing, Cayard accepts the chances of his team making it to the startline, let alone being competitive, are slim.

But he believes it is important they try - and they are going to eye-watering expense to do so.

"Life is never as you expect it to be, we've seen more of that in this America's Cup than any other America's Cup and there could be more surprises to come," said Cayard.

"What you do as a competitor is not worry about the odds. We're competitors, we're here to race and our heads are focused on what we're doing."

While Artemis would do anything to get out on the water again, Luna Rossa today confirmed they will not take the startline for tomorrow's opening race of the Louis Vuitton challenger series against Team New Zealand.

Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena signalled his team's intentions to boycott the opening race unless the international jury agreed to rule on their protest before tomorrow's opening race. But the heading remains set for Tuesday, and so Luna Rossa will keep their AC72 in the shed.

Team New Zealand will still have to complete the race to get the point on offer.

- NZ Herald

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