The Swedish America’s Cup Challenger, Artemis Racing, is the first team to sail its AC45 catamaran boat in Bermuda, host of the 35th America’s Cup.
After two weeks of practicing in Phantoms, Moths and A-cats, Artemis Racing launched its wing-sail, foiling AC45 Turbo yacht from a temporary base at the Royal Naval Dockyard.
In a dramatic rule change, the America's Cups teams have voted to switch to smaller boats for the America's Cup World Series events and the main battle in 2017.
The video below shows the Swedish team heading out in their AC45 yacht in Bermuda’s Great Sound. The AC45 had to be put back together after it was shipped from San Francisco, where it was a month ago.
Artemis Racing’s team manager and tactician the British champion sailor and double-Olympian Iain Percy, says, “[We’re] really excited to be the first Challenger to be on the Bermuda waters in the 45. We’ll be out for three or four hours, and it will be one hell of a good day and a good week”.
The AC45 is truly wow-worthy as she flies across the water, showing what these boats are capable of. Artemis Racing puts their craft through the paces, making the handling look easy.
“These boats are just awesome to sail, unfortunately, we do have to come in sometime, and I’m sure we would’ve been happy to do another three hours,” says team helmsman, Australian Nathan Outteridge. “So we’re really looking forward to doing it again tomorrow and for the next couple of months.”
The America’s Cup Bermuda racecourse
The testing is as much about checking out the boat as it is testing the new racecourse. Artemis Racing learned a lot about what conditions to expect in Bermuda.
“We learnt that the racecourse is pretty small, but we’re really fortunate today that we have eight to 12 knots, so the perfect breeze for these boats”, Iain Percy says.
He adds that they’ve learned that Bermuda will be a “tricky venue – it’s shifty and gusty.”
Adding to the challenges are shallows and rocks, “You need to understand the charts, where the rocks are, where you can and can’t go”, Percy says. “There will be lots of tacks and gybes, the crew will be working incredibly hard getting the boat through the transitions.”
Iain Percy says that the America’s Cup in Bermuda will be a “sailor’s race”, making it exciting both for the sailor’s competing and for the spectators watching – just one of the ways the America's Cup is going mainstream.