The Maritime Report: Artemis out of Cup competition

The Maritime Report: Artemis out of Cup competition

Dave Bloch

Artemis Racing foils on San Francisco during the Louis Vuitton Cup semifinals. Photo by Dave Bloch.

A CURVE TOO STEEP

Artemis Racing ended its campaign for the America's Cup last Saturday with their fourth loss to Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge. It was the best race of the lot, and might have turned out differently if not for some penalties assessed against the team.

But there has been nothing but praise from all quarters for this team based here in Alameda. They came back from the tragedy of mid-May, built their new boat, and went out to race after being on it less than a week. (Think about it: You're suddenly told you have to learn to drive a high-technology racing car in the biggest race of the year, and you've got a week to learn after never driving anything but a regular car on the freeway. Add to it that each AC72 is unique, NOBODY had ever sailed a boat just like that one before it was put in the water.)

Now we want to know what's next for Artemis. They are sponsoring the Swedish Youth Challenge in the Red Bull Youth Americas Cup coming in early September; that boat is in the water and their team is starting to practice. There are also other big regattas that happen around the world, and they get to decide in which ones they want to compete.

Nobody knows what's to become of the AC72s at this point, either. This America's Cup created a brand new class of racing catamaran - capable of speeds over 50 knots by flying on carbon fiber foils - that these teams and other might, or might not, want to race again.

Here in Alameda, we especially want to know how long the team will be staying around. More than 100 families have become a part of this community, and they have millions of dollars’ worth of materials and equipment (including "Big Blue") in their hangar at Alameda Point. We're going to have to wait for answers to those questions for now, as the team is taking a well-deserved rest.

AC-RELATED HAPPENINGS ON OUR ISLAND

Two local yacht clubs have public events coming up with expert speakers talking about the America's Cup.

The first comes up TOMORROW - Friday, August 16 - at Oakland Yacht Club, and it features John Craig, the principal race officer for America's Cup Race Management, which is responsible for conducting all of these races. John is a really friendly guy, and he always answers questions from the audience openly and honestly. The $20 ticket covers dinner, which starts at 7:00 p.m. and his presentation at 8:30 p.m. Not much time on this one so go to http://oyccraigevent.eventbrite.com right now and see if there are still tickets available.

On Friday August 23, stop by Encinal Yacht Club to hear Kimball Livingston, an international sailor, author, screenwriter and commentator. He has covered every America's Cup since 1980. Livingston will speak at 6:30 p.m. with a buffet dinner to follow at 7:30, both for $25. For reservations, call EYC at 522-3272.

ESTUARY CLEANUP GRANT

The state office CalRecycle has approved a $1.3 million cleanup project for the Alameda/Oakland Estuary. Among other things, the goal is to rid the waterway of the abandoned boats stuck in the mud out there. The project organization will be meeting next week; your reporter will be there and will report on it here the week after. More on the cleanup effort here.

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