Back on the water training on an AC45 after losing teammate Bart Simpson in a capsize of its AC72 last month, America’s Cup team Artemis Racing plans to have a new AC72 on the water by early July and race in this summer’s Louis Vuitton challenger series, although the team likely will begin racing late.
“We are working around the clock to get our new boat ready, in the water and to prepare our team to race,” Artemis Racing CEO Paul Cayard said in a statement. “We still have a mountain to climb, but our plan is to launch our new boat in early July and get ourselves in a position where we can race by the end of the month.”
The team says the new 72 will undergo rigorous testing and will join the competition only when the team is satisfied that the boat can be pushed hard in race conditions.
“Artemis Racing’s decision to continue will inspire race fans,” America’s Cup Event Authority CEO Stephen Barclay said in a statement. “I’m sure we’ll see massive support and goodwill for the Swedish team.
“Learning that Artemis Racing is focused on getting to the start line is truly great news,” he added. “I don’t think we can expect them to be ready for the first races, but I’m certain the America’s Cup community will support them in every way possible.”
If it misses the first round, Artemis could still race in the semifinals against the second-place team and have a chance to race against Oracle in the America's Cup.
After confirmation from Artemis Racing that it intends to continue, regatta director Iain Murray updated the schedule to reflect one of the safety recommendations he developed after the capsize — reducing the number of preliminary rounds from seven to five. This recommendation follows team feedback that more maintenance time between races is desirable.
The racing starts with an opening ceremony July 4, followed by a fleet race July 5 with the defender and challengers. The first race day of the Louis Vuitton Cup is July 7.