Top contender


We look at Torbjorn Tornqvist's Artemis campaign and its latest challenge - the America's Cup
The Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas - to date held in Auckland and Nice and with four regattas planned for 2010 - are providing an opportunity for potential challengers for the 34th America’s Cup to emerge from the closet. One of the surprises among these has been Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis team. Tornqvist, a Geneva-based Swede, who’s company Gunvor is Russia’s biggest oil exporter, only got into competitive big boat racing in 2004 with his Swan 601. Just three years later Tornqvist moved into the TP52 class and under the tutelage of one Russell Coutts, in his first year, incredibly, helmed his Artemis to victory on the Audi MedCup. He has continued to campaign his TP52 over the last two seasons squeaking on to the Audi MedCup podium this year, just one point ahead of Alberto Roemmers’ Matador. The 2009 season has also seen him join Coutts’ RC44 class. A feature of both these campaigns has been that Tornqvist, an avid sportsman, gets to helm. However this will not be the case with his newly launched campaign on the Louis Vuitton Trophy series. "I’m sure no one will allow me to steer this boat!" Tornqvist told thedailysail down in Nice. "I enjoy sailing and the TP52 and the RC44 are great classes to sail in and take part in. This I do for different reasons - to see if we can bring it to another level. I am like a sponsor of this." As to why he is doing this, Tornqvist says: "It has been in the back of my head for some time and with this Louis Vuitton Cup it is a good thing to get started in this class." Whether this is indeed the penultimate step before embarking on a fully-fledged America’s Cup campaign, Tornqvist says he

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