Artemis Racing AC72 was launched at the team’s base in Alameda. The team first attempted the launch on October 18,
but an early morning tow test revealed a structural issue and the boat needed two weeks of repairs, delaying the ceremony until Saturday at midday. 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.
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“We have a little bit of time to make up . . . We have some catching up to do,” admitted skipper Terry Hutchinson. “We’re going to sail as much as we possibly can and develop the reliability of our boat. That’s ultimately the goal. How many days? As much as we can.”
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.
4 November 2012 8:44 GMT