'Big blue' is launched
At its base in Alameda, Artemis Racing today launched and christened its second AC72.
Founder of the Sweden challenge for the 34th America's Cup, Torbjörn Törnqvist, attended the ceremony along with 300 members of Artemis Racing, including family and friends and Törnqvist's son Frederic. The team’s new yacht, was christened Artemis Racing, by team member Sarah Gundersen. The latest AC72 is navy blue in colour following on from the team's red hulled first AC72.
The team’s Swedish roots are recognised with the Swedish flag painted on the sterns and three crowns on the bows. The tres kronors is a national emblem of Sweden.
“This is a great day for many reasons,” said Törnqvist, who spoke before the crowd. “It’s the culmination of a heroic effort to put together this beautiful boat. The shore team has put so much into this, and now for our sailing team to get out there and give her justice. I am proud to share with you this great moment.”
Artemis Racing suffered an accident on May 9 in which the team’s first yacht capsized and broke apart and crewman Andrew Simpson perished. That accident was just two and a half months ago, and since then the team has been working many hours to get back on the water.
“I don’t think anyone fully appreciates the hill Artemis Racing has climbed to get to this point,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray. “It’s a substantial rebuild of the team in terms of building the confidence back, the morale, and I’ve seen the momentum gathering. They’ve worked tirelessly, and I have my admiration for the way they’ve gone about it.”
The team said that the yacht, dubbed 'Big Blue', will undergo dock tuning in an effort to get it ready for sailing.
Significantly compared to the team's previous effort, the new boat will be a foiler with a layout and configuration that is much more in the ball park with the AC72s from the other teams. The central cockpit slung on the forward side of the aft beam on their first AC72 has gone. The daggerboards have the normal giant lateral part of their foil at the bottom, but there is less curvature in the vertical part of the boards - a set-up more like Oracle Team USA's than Emirates Team New Zealand/Luna Rossa which is felt could be faster in theory but less stable in terms of its ride.
You will also notice the shortened bowsprit - indicating that there is no intention to use kites as they had been previously trials on their Mk1 boat.
Team members give their views on the program in this video and indicate that they are looking to be in action ready for the semi-finals, starting on 6 August: