On the boat’s maiden sail, Artemis Racing got hull #2, “Big Blue,” up on its foils in winds as strong as 15 knots—a dramatic statement from the team that has been in crisis mode ever since the May 9 capsize of its first boat took the life of strategist Andrew “Bart” Simpson.
This past Sunday, Emirates Team New Zealand won its ninth consecutive race of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, cementing its status as the top team in the challengers’ series.
Looking back on how Oracle Team USA staged one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history, it’s hard to be it all happened in only a little over a week. As late as a 11 days into the 18-day regatta, an Emirates Team New Zealand victory was pretty much a forgone conclusion, as they led series by an apparently insurmountable score of 8-1.
For months now, it feels like Cup fans have been waiting for some kind of a sign as to whether the 34th America’s Cup will be worth the effort. Unfortunately, despite some positives, the event has been afflicted with a serious case of “one step forward, two steps back.”
Despite a truly heroic effort to get their boat out onto the racecourse following the fatal capsize of hull No. 1, time was against Team Artemis from the outset, and they were unable to upset the more experienced Italians.
If Oracle was hoping that giving up its wins in last year’s America’s Cup World Series would put the controversy surrounding the team’s illegally modified AC45s to rest, they must be seriously disappointed.
In the wake of the death of America’s Cup Team Artemis sailor Andrew Simpson, regatta director Iain Murray has issued a list of 37 recommendations to be incorporated into the safety plan for the Summer of Racing.
An America’s Cup that has already been marked by unprecedented change and tragedy appears destined to remain very much in a state of flux until well into the Louis Vuitton challenger elimination series, scheduled to begin July 7.