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A Bermuda first for Artemis Racing

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We have lift off: Artemis Racing’s AC45S flies along just above the water in the Great Sound during the challenger’s first training run earlier this week

Artemis Racing became the first America’s Cup challenger to launch its turbo charged catamaran in Bermuda this week.

The Swedish team’s wing-sail foiling AC45S began sea trials in the Great Sound on Tuesday after being launched from its new base at the Royal Naval Dockyard.

“We’re really excited to be the first challenger out on the Bermudian waters on the AC45,” Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis helmsman, said.

“There have been a number of critics of the Bermuda venue, but foiling around in 10 knots of breeze in flat turquoise water is pretty sweet.”

Outteridge and four of this Artemis colleagues spent four hours sailing around the Great Sound — venue for the 35th America’s Cup to be held in 2017.

“I’m sure we would have been happy to be out there for another three hours,” said Outteridge, who won the gold medal in the 49er skiff at the 2012 Summer Olympics in England. “But unfortunately you do have to come back in.

“These boats are just awesome to sail and we’re really looking forward to getting back out there.”

Also on board during Tuesday’s launch was Iain Percy, the multiple world and European champion and Olympic medallist, who serves as Artemis’s sailing team manager and tactician.

“We were really just out there exploring the course on day one and checking the equipment after its journey from San Francisco,” Percy said.

“We learnt that it is a tricky venue, it’s really shifty and gusty, and further to that, it’s tight. You need to understand the charts, where the rocks are, where you can and can’t go.

“There will be lots of tacks and gybes, the crew will be working incredibly hard getting the boat through the transitions.

“It’s certainly going to be a sailor’s race, which will be great for everyone watching.”

Artemis Racing is a professional sailing team founded in 2006 by businessman and sailor Torbjörn Törnqvist who announced his challenge for the 35th America’s Cup with the Royal Swedish Yacht Club — the fifth-oldest yacht club in the world.