Artemis hoping to not let down home fans
There will be added incentive for Artemis Racing to put their best foot forward at this month's Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Sweden.
The fleet racing event featuring all of the teams vying for the 35th America's Cup competing in the one design foiling AC45F catamaran will take place at Artemis's home port in Gothenburg.
“We are really looking forward to Gothenburg at our home event,” Nathan Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, told The Royal Gazette. “It's going to be nice to get all of the locals down to watch us and follow us and hopefully we can put on a good show.”
Outteridge and his Artemis colleagues did not enjoy the best of times at last month's truncated World Series opener in Portsmouth where they finished at the bottom of the six-boat fleet.
“We really let ourselves down in terms of our boat handling and our tactics around the racecourse,” said Outteridge, who is an Olympic gold medal-winner and multiple world champion. “Probably the thing for us was that in training we did a lot better than we did in the racing.
“We just need to remind ourselves that in the training, it was going quite well and then if you don't have a good day racing, it's not the end of the world. At the end of the day, it's the first event of many leading up to the Cup, so there's a lot more to go from here.”
Artemis were dealt a cruel blow when the second day of racing in Portsmouth was cancelled because of strong gales that scuttled any chance of the team improving their position on the leaderboard.
“It's a tough sport, sailing sometimes,” Outteridge said. “You're always having to do whatever the weather allows you to do. We were all ready to go, but it was just too windy.”
Coming to grips with the modified AC45F has been a steep learning curve for all of the America's Cup teams.
“These boats are very different to what we have been sailing the last year,” Outteridge said. “But we have had some training and have learnt a lot of things on the boat. We will watch the video to see what the other teams are doing and find a few little things you can improve, which is really nice.”
Artemis sailors have kept busy since Portsmouth, with Outteridge taking part in Olympic testing in Rio de Janeiro and the rest of the team competing on the RC44 Championship Tour in Sweden.
The Swedish challengers are due to return to Bermuda this month for small-boat training in their foiling Phantoms and Moths before heading off to Gothenburg for the second event of the America's Cup World Series from August 27 to 30.
• A provisional schedule for the 35th America's Cup, to be held in Bermuda in 2017, has been released by event organisers.
The Challenger Qualifiers will take place between May 26 and June 12, with the America's Cup Match to be held between June 17 and 27.
The challenger events will begin with the Qualifiers, which is a double round-robin series also featuring Oracle Team USA, the defender, to be held between May 26 and June 5.
The top four challengers will then advance to the play-offs from June 7 to 12 when best-of-nine semi-finals and finals will determine the challenger to compete in the match against Oracle Team USA for the oldest trophy in international sport.
The match will be contested over a best-of-13 series, with four races scheduled for the opening weekend. The competitors will be given a five-day break to make adjustments before racing resumes on June 24. During the off period, the Red Bull Youth America's Cup will take the spotlight, with four fleet races over June 21 and 22.