SAN FRANCISCO - All hands are on deck now at the 34th America's Cup. Team Artemis, after their horrific accident on May 9th, launched Blue Boat this morning in Alameda at a christening ceremony with a crowd of almost 300 sailors, team members, family, and friends.
Announced via a post on the team’s website, owner and founder Torbjörn Törnqvist spoke at the launch. “This is a great day for many reasons" said Törnqvist. "It is 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.”
The Blue Boat will now undergo the dock tuning process and, according to previous statements by the team, be out practicing tomorrow.
Team Artemis is allowed to advance in the round robin series without incurring penalty, but having missed so much time on the water, the team's chances of winning the Louis Vuitton series seem slim.
Artemis is scheduled to race against the Italian team Luna Rossa this Thursday but so far it is unconfirmed as to whether they will participate.
Yesterday cup fans were treated to the most entertaining race of the AC34 to date. Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) faced off for a second time against the Italian challengers and, despite losing their jib midway through the race, the kiwis managed to hold onto their well established lead and defeat Luna Rossa in the second time the two teams have come head-to-head on the water.
|Author Sketch- Race Day Crowd|
On leg three of the seven leg race, a clip at the head of ETNZ’s jib broke letting the sail go slack. About five minutes later, with the crew scrambling to get it down, the whole sail slid off the boat and into the water.
Skipper Dean Barker explained after the race “The problem is the sail is attached on a zipper, there was nothing containing the top of the sail, and it just sort of blew off.”
Barker gave insight into sailing specific Murphy's Law – “We’ve never ever had an issue with the attachment of the jib before, but as is normal, when you start racing things like this happened.”
|Author Sketch- Emirates Team New Zealand Loses Jib|
The kiwis did an incredible job of adapting to the new balance of the boat sans-jib mid-race. If anything, their performance was a testament to the changes of these revolutionary new boats. The real engine of the AC72 is its 131-foot-tall wing sail. The jib on these boats doesn’t generate much power for the boat, but rather, helps smooth the air pressure over the massive wing to optimize its performance. Some experts question whether or not the boats really need the jib at all, and certainly the kiwis performance illustrates their argument.
The Italians were handily defeated yet again on the heels of their five-minute loss last week, but on Sunday managed to halve their previous losing time finishing only two minutes and 19-seconds behind the New Zealand team. The chrome boat and its shiny crew are steadily improving.
The two are set to square off again tomorrow.