by Bob Fisher
Artemis Racing is being launched and christened by Sarah Gundersen in the presence of Torbjorn Tornqvist and his son Frederic. The Christening was witnessed by the whole team and their families and friends. 22nd of July, 2013, Alameda, USA
As he had promised a week earlier, Paul Cayard was on hand when the new boat hit the water this morning. There was little fuss as Sandra Gunderson, the Sailing Team Coordinator, broke the traditional bottle of bubbly on the starboard bow and named her 'Artemis'.
Some 300 members of the team and their families were present along with Torbjörn Törnqvist, the founder of this Swedish syndicate. He said:' This is a great day for many reasons,' when he spoke to the assembled crowd.
Artemis Racing is fitted with her wingsail after launching 22nd of July, 2013, Alameda, USA
'It’s the culmination of a heroic effort to put together this beautiful boat. The shore team has put so much into this, and now [it remains] for our sailing team to get out there and give her justice. I am proud to share with you this great moment.'
Great moment it is indeed – just two and a half months of round-the-clock working have passed since the tragic accident with the team’s first boat that took the life of Andrew Simpson – a full month less than Oracle Team USA to get back on the water after its catastrophic capsize last year.
Shortly after the navy blue hulled boat was in the water, the wing rig was erected, but there is still considerable work to be completed before Artemis Racing will leave the dock with a crew aboard for sailing. A team spokesman said: 'It will be as soon as we are ready.'
It is unlikely that this sleek blue boat will enter the Louis Vuitton Cup Rounds Robin until July 30th when she is due to meet Emirates Team New Zealand in the fifth round.
Race Director, Iain Murray was full of praise for the efforts of the team: 'I don’t think anyone fully appreciates the hill Artemis Racing has climbed to get to this point. It’s a substantial rebuild of the team in terms of restoring the confidence, the morale, and I’ve seen the momentum gathering. They’ve worked tirelessly, and have my admiration for the way they’ve gone about it.'
Artemis Racing is being launched and christened 22nd of July, 2013, Alameda, USA