The semifinal round of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, between Artemis Racing of Sweden and Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge commences on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
The Swedish team has been fighting the clock to be ready to race in time. With six days of training on the new boat under his belt, Artemis Racing helmsman Nathan Outteridge says the team is learning how hard they can safely push their boat, noting how difficult it is to sail cautiously: 'The only way to sail these boats is hard and fast. The moment you take your foot off the throttle is when it's going to bite.'
Both teams are planning to get more training in over the weekend ahead of Tuesday’s first race.
On Friday morning key members from both teams met with the media to share their thoughts ahead of the first elimination round of the event. The winner of the semifinals will advance to meet Emirates Team New Zealand in the Louis Vuitton Cup Finals. The loser is eliminated from further competition.
Racing is scheduled to start at 1:15pm PT for the semifinals, which is a best-of-seven series. Tickets are available now for new grandstand seating at the America’s Cup Village at Marina Green.
Below are quotes from team representatives who attended today’s media briefing at the America’s Cup Media Center.
Iain Percy, skipper, Artemis Racing:
On the battle against the clock to get his team ready to race: 'Personally, it’s been one of my most enjoyable weeks of sailing. We’ve learned so many things at such a fast rate. But to say that we’re ready to go would absolutely not be the case… Our competitors launched their boat nine months ago. We launched our boat nine days ago. Obviously if we had nine more months we would progress a lot more. That’s not an excuse. It’s our fault we are in this position. But those are the facts. We’ve had our foiling 72-foot cat for nine days and the event starts on Tuesday.'
Max Sirena, skipper, Luna Rossa Challenge:
On final preparations ahead of Tuesday’s race: 'We will make a few changes to the aero package, put new tips on the daggerboards, and look at new rudder elevators. After the next couple of sailing days we will decide which configuration to use for semifinals. Chris (Draper) will choose what combination feels the best. We will be ready to go. We want to use the next two days to get around marks and do crew training, and we are looking forward to starting on Tuesday.'
Nathan Outteridge, helmsman, Artemis Racing:
On sailing the AC72 compared to the AC45: 'Everything that happens on the AC72 is a scaled up version of the AC45. Because the AC45 is smaller, it’s more unstable and harder to sail than the AC72. The AC45 is a tiller, bumpy and jerky on the hand. The AC72, because it’s heavier and more powered up it glides along nicely. Above 20 knots of wind the power starts working against you, but in the 13- to 18-knot wind range, so far everything we’ve learned on the AC45 has scaled nicely to the AC72.
'The AC72 is an easy boat to sail upwind, but a hard boat to sail fast. Downwind, it’s a hard boat to sail, and a harder boat to sail fast. We tried to take on the harder things earlier. You’d be surprised how much analysis we do of other teams. We’ve done lots of research watching what the other teams do.'
Chris Draper, helmsman, Luna Rossa Challenge:
On the damage suffered to the wing sail during practice this week: 'We had a bit of damage on Wing 2, the most recent wing we have. We managed to de-load the rig quickly so it wasn’t an issue. It’s getting worked on now. Unfortunately, there’s quite a lot of work going on right now so it’s going to take a few more days than we thought.
'We have our other wing on standby and ready to go. We’d like to use Wing 2 because it’s more refined, but Wing 1 is just as good and we’ve spent a lot of time working on it, making it good and reliable. We’d like to use Wing 2, but Wing 1 is just as fine.'
Adam May, Artemis Racing, Foiling Adviser, Performance and Analysis team:
On the design differences between Artemis Racing and Luna Rossa: 'I think Luna Rossa has a slightly higher-volume hull shape with more rocker profile through the mid-section. We’re probably a slightly lower volume, slightly lower freeboard shape. That’s probably the main differences between the two.
'Off the wind you’re hopefully foiling, so hull shapes are less relevant for that. I think they may have a shape that benefits maneuvering, as the rocker profile and volume are helpful for maneuvers and tacking well. Our boat is probably happier in a straight line, and for top end speeds. The contribution of the hull shape is quite a small factor now relative to the foils. That’s the biggest difference. If you want to change the mode of the boat in any way, the foils are the big ticket item.'
Giorgio Provinciali, Luna Rossa Challenge, VPP/CFD (Performance analysis):
On Artemis Racing’s performance: 'We’re really impressed with the reliability level they have achieved. These boats are really difficult with a lot of systems that can fail in some way, but they've appeared to be very reliable. It's also impressive how stable their foiling is and how in control the boat seems to be downwind.'
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Upcoming Louis Vuitton Cup schedule (all starts scheduled for 1:15 pm PT):
• Tuesday, Aug. 6, Semifinal Race 1
• Wednesday, Aug. 7, Semifinal Race 2
• Friday, Aug. 9, Semifinal Race 3
• Saturday, Aug. 10, Semifinal Race 4
by Tim Jeffery, America's Cup - 6:58 PM Fri 2 Aug 2013 GMT
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