Artemis pay dearly for mistakes
The past 48 hours have not been good to Artemis Racing.
Back-to-back defeats by Emirates Team New Zealand were followed by another loss at the hands of Land Rover BAR, who came into the day on the back of four races without a win.
From being among the pre-America's Cup favourites, the Swedish team are languishing at the bottom of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers standings and are in serious danger of being eliminated.
While that is still unlikely, given that SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France are level on points with Artemis, the situation that Nathan Outteridge and his crew find themselves in is something of a surprise.
“It's pretty obvious that we're disappointed with how the racing has been going so far, but it has been really close,” Outteridge, the Artemis skipper, said. “You saw how close it was with New Zealand at the finish of that one.”
For the second day running, a penalty contributed to Artemis's defeat by New Zealand, a race they were leading at the start, and might have won if not for a costly right-of-way error at the end.
Against BAR, a poor start, where the British team managed to slingshot past their opponents, put Artemis behind. Sir Ben Ainslie made sure there was no repeat of the mistakes that have dogged his team over the past couple of days.
“We just misjudged that top-mark approach that let them [New Zealand] go through, and then not a good start against Ben [Ainslie] which put us out of the race,” Outteridge said.
Still, the Artemis skipper is confident that his team can recover, although they may be alone at the bottom come Friday, when they get to race again.
SoftBank and Team France both race twice today; with SoftBank taking on France and Oracle Team USA, and France racing against BAR in the last race of the day.
“A lot of the races that we have been losing have been really close,” Outteridge said. “We've got a couple of days off now, so we'll get a chance to regroup and get ready for the final two days.
“I've still got massive confidence in the team and I'm sure we'll come out fighting.”
Mistakes, though, have been a telling factor in all the races, although not always fatal to a team's chances of winning, as New Zealand proved.
Artemis, however, have paid dearly for some of theirs, which Ainslie can sympathise with after a painful run of four defeats.
“You make one mistake and it can cost you everything,” he said. “And once you do make a mistake, trying to recover from that is incredibly hard for everyone on board.”