Artemis lend a helping hand
Bermuda's Red Bull Youth America's Cup sailors got a helping a hand from the competition after their GC32 foiling catamaran wiped out during a training exercise in the Little Sound this week.
The team's boat capsized near Artemis Racing's base at Morgan's Point, with the crew and boat both emerging from the incident unscathed.
A safety unit from Artemis, who have also entered a team in the Youth America's Cup, went to the aid of Bermuda's sailors.
“We were watching our new AC50 for our first sail and we saw them [Team Bermuda] capsize so we went out and asked them if they were OK,” said Anthony Nossiter, who runs Artemis' safety programme and on water operations.
“They were all good and were happy for us to help right the boat with the recovery.
“We asked the sailors to move around the other side of the boat in case the mast broke because it was in the mud. It was actually a difficult scenario because the bows were in the water and the stern was up in the air and so it pitched pole.
“We sent our safety diver Walker Potts down to check the mast and see how deep it was in the sand. It was buried because it had been there for a while bouncing up and down. We attached to the lower hull and dragged the mast along the bottom of the ocean basically to dislodge it from the sand otherwise you would break it trying to bring the boat up.
“Then we started to manoeuvre the boat to get it right side with a few different techniques that we use and eventually got it to the right-wind angle where we could actually put it back on its feet and then they carried on sailing for the next three hours.”
Bermuda's sailors were sailing downwind when they ran into difficulty.
“I think they were deploying the gennaker coming downwind,” Nossiter said. “It wasn't really that windy but they are powerful little boats, the GC32s. They have a very friendly set of foils but they don't have a lot of control. Sometimes you can be a passenger on those boats.”
Bermuda and Artemis have been kept apart in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup qualifiers that will determine the eight teams to contest the final.
Bermuda are grouped in pool B with champions NZL Sailing team, Land Rover BAR Academy and Next Generation USA, with Spanish Impulse team) and Candidate Sailing team, of Austria, completing the field.
Artemis, who compete on the World Match Racing Tour in the high-performance M32 catamaran, have been pitted in pool A along with Team France Jeune, Kaijin Team Japan, Youth Vikings Denmark, Team Tilt, of Switzerland, and SVB Team Germany.
Nossiter said Bermuda's sailors have made significant strides coming to grips with high-performance sailing.
“Their progress is incredible and we have seen them from early on when they were very loose,” he said.
“They've had good guidance and good coaches and it's a nice little community of GC32 sailors out there now with other youth teams getting involved.”
This year for the first time, the Red Bull Youth America's Cup will be contested in the AC45F foiling catamarans — the same boats raced by the professional sailors in the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series.
The regatta runs from June 12 to 21.