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Artemis Racing completes dinghy repairs

Artemis Racing volunteered their services to repair extensive damage to a Royal Bermuda Yacht Club owned Optimist dinghy that was stolen from West End Sail Boat Club last month(Photo by Artemis Racing)

By Colin Thompson

Sailing Correspondent

Artemis Racing has added an Optimist dinghy to its fleet — well, sort of.

The Swedish challenger for the 35th America’s Cup has completed repairs to a stolen Optimist dinghy and returned the boat to owners The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club sporting the same paint scheme as the team’s wing-sail, foiling catamaran.

The single-handed training boat was stolen from the West End Sail Boat Club, located next to the lodging where Artemis Racing team members are staying on Watford Island in Somerset, and later found in a cave in the Great Sound with extensive damage to its hull.

The dinghy, designed for kids aged seven to 12, had been loaned to the Bermuda Schools WaterWise programme for Sandys Middle School students to use in the West End.

After learning of their neighbour’s ordeal, Artemis Racing volunteered their services to repair the damaged boat which now stands out among the RBYC’s fleet of Optimist dinghies.

“We’re more than happy to help out our neighbours where we can,” an Artemis Racing spokesperson said.

Gus Miller, who developed the Bermuda Schools WaterWise curriculum, thanked Artemis for their generous support. “Thank you so much for making the repairs and refurbishment,” he said.

The veteran Finn sailor and Olympic sailing coach added: “It is exactly the kind of ground level connection where the America’s Cup can make an immense positive impact on Bermuda.”

WaterWise is a school-based programme that has integrated science, technology, engineering and maths. The school’s academic curriculum is woven into the ten WaterWise teaching segments that includes learning the discipline of the sea, while sailing in the Optimist dinghy.

The programme was relaunched this year after receiving considerable grants the from Bermuda Security Group and the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation which Iain Percy, the Artemis Racing manager and tactician, is a trustee.

“We go around representing schemes in line with our values and our values are basically giving a leg-up to people that are passionate about bettering themselves and enjoying the sport of sailing, and Waterwise fits in perfectly,” Mr Percy explained.

“It’s not just a learn-to-sail programme. There are many sailing programmes around the world but this is about giving people a head start in life who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity.”