The Maritime Report: Artemis set to race

The Maritime Report: Artemis set to race

Dave Bloch


Since last week, Artemis Racing has been out on the Bay in their new AC72, "Big Blue," and even got up and foiling the very first day. They're working incredibly hard to make up for the fact that the other teams have been on their AC72s for months and have had many runs on the course itself. They're starting with Day One. (Helmsman Nathan Outteridge pointed out that this is the first time he has ever sailed a yacht with a wheel - as opposed to a tiller - so he had to figure out which way to turn it.)

They've got until August 6 to train themselves and tweak the boat, and then they will be out on the central Bay on Tuesday, August 6 against the Italian Luna Rossa team. Luna Rossa has not done well against Emirates Team New Zealand, but they still have far more experience than Artemis so it should be a great series. The schedule calls for racing on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday next week. If a team has not won four races by then, it continues on August 12, 13 and 15. (But this August 6 race is a victory no matter what; just being out there on the course after what Artemis has had to go through is a real tribute to the entire team.)

There is a very well-done video on the Artemis website, with skipper Iain Percy talking about how emotional a time this is for their whole team. A few minutes very well spent:


A news story popped up last week concerning a lawsuit filed a couple of years ago by a North Carolina organization called African Disapora Maritime. The organization's stated goals are "participating in the America’s Cup match races, broadening public awareness of the history of black mariners, and educating young people in science and math through the study of sailing."

With an up-front "I am not a lawyer" disclaimer, the current story is that, after being dismissed by two lower courts, a portion of ADM's lawsuit has been accepted for trial by the New York State Supreme Court. (Under the protocols of the America's Cup, all legal issues are heard in New York.) The ADM claims that they made application to the Golden Gate Yacht Club to be the team that would defend the Cup for GGYC, and that GGYC did not give their application due consideration.

The suit reminds us all that the America's Cup trophy, and the title of "Defender," belongs to the YACHT CLUB and not the team doing the racing (e.g., Oracle). Even though it was Oracle Racing that won the cup in AC33, its ownership actually moves to the club, whose job it becomes to select the next team to represent it.

The suit is scheduled to be heard in mid-August, and it will be interesting to watch what maneuvers, if any, happen between now and then.

There's always something new and different going on around the America's Cup! But in the meantime, look forward to "Alameda's Team" of Artemis Racing to take on Luna Rossa next Tuesday.

Go Big Blue!!