Artemis Racing and Oracle Team USA AC72 training in San Francisco Bay in early February
Artemis Racing's CEO, Paul Cayard has confirmed that the team has a second AC72 under construction, in Sweden, and that they expect to be sailing the new boat in early May, two months ahead of the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
Writing in his blog, Cayard doesn't reveal whether the team will opt for a fully foiling AC72, or if the Swedish America's Cup Challenger will stay in partial foiling mode, where the leeward foil produces some lift, sufficient to reduce the displacement and drag of the leeward hull, but not sufficient for full flight as the other three teams have been able to demonstrate.
Paul Cayard, Artemis Racing - Vulcain Trophy, Grand Prix Les Ambassadeurs D35
I am currently fully immersed in my role as CEO of Artemis Racing. This is the team’s first America’s Cup Challenge and it happens to be the most complex of the seven Cups I have experienced.
Artemis Racing started off 2013 as the first team to sail with its second AC72 wing. The new wing is a step forward for the team and the performance shows. The team is focusing on getting as many days of sailing on the San Francisco racecourse in as possible. We will be lining up with repaired Oracle AC72 in February. Both Oracle and Artemis suffered set backs last year which deprived them of sailing time. Fortunately, there was limit of 30 days of sailing prior to February 1, 2013 so the cost wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Still, Emirates Team New Zealand got the most out of 2012.
Meanwhile, the build of the team's second AC72 is well underway in Sweden. This is the culmination of many months of research by Juan K and his talented design team, which includes input from our sailing in boat 1. We expect to be sailing boat 2 in May in San Francisco.
Foiling has become as big a feature of this America’s Cup as the wing. Emirates Team New Zealand has demonstrated good control of their boat while fully foiling downwind. Luna Rossa has a virtual copy of the Kiwi’s boat. Oracle is trying a variation on the theme and so far hasn’t achieved the same degree of steady flight. Foiling has a cost in term of the amount of drag produced by the dagger-boards. So far, Artemis has not pursued fully foiling. It will be interesting to see which strategy pans out.
It is hard to know what racing AC72s on the Bay in summer will be like. These boats are overpowered, fragile and as we all know, the San Francisco Bay is very windy in July and August. The management of the asset and maintenance and spares planning is going to play a big part. Having the fastest boat is of little use if it can’t get around the track. The interesting part of this Cup is being faced with choices that we never had to make before.