Fisher's View- In the Shotgun Seat on Artemis Racing - AC World Series

August 6th 2011, AC45 World Series, First day of the Americas Cup World Series.

Bob Fisher, one of the worlds top international yachting journalists, and certainly the top writer on the America's Cup, is in Cascais, Portugal for the first round of the America's Cup World Series.

Bob is a multihuller from way back, having competed for Britain in the Little America's Cup and has been covering the America's Cup since 1967.

He writes:

Dear Diary – Day 2 America's Cup World Series - Cascais, Portugal

Where did we finish? Who won? Don’t know, and frankly, don’t care.

I was in Nirvana as the sixth man aboard Artemis.

It may have been grey, drizzly even, but as far as I was concerned the sun shone in all its glory and I beamed back in pleasure (and it was only a boat race!) as five men in front of me went about their business in a manner that would shock the faint of heart.

I may have written before in support of the AC-45 as a training boat for the 'real thing', but I will do it again and again now that I have experienced the racing at the leading edge. Terry Hutchinson and the rest of the Artemis crew deserve my thanks and will get them because this was an experience I will long remember. Please Terry, take me again; and that goes to all the skippers. I cannot possibly get enough. I’m a junkie for this type of racing.

I have said before that the switch to catamarans for the America’s Cup came too late – 45 years too late – or I would have been there doing it, along with my mate, Reg White, but since it didn’t happen then, I can only take a vicarious view of the scene, and can report that it is all good.

After just one race I was exhausted – and that from doing nothing but watch the five members of the crew working their butts off. I hate to think how much harder it would have been if they were not coordinated, but sails went up and came down without a word being said and I am glad that I didn’t have a heart-rate monitor on them.

Whereas the hard work on the ACC Version 5 boats was largely in the hands of the grinders, these guys reminded me of the one-armed paper-hanger, somehow coping with the multi-tasking that these boats demand of a crew intent on winning. No wonder they spend so much time in the gym.

Yeah, I was impressed, but I have some idea what they were doing and I just hope that the general public will appreciate what goes into the sailing of these exciting boats. I have yet to see what sort of coverage the television guys (all 120 or so of them) have put together and will not do until condemned to stay ashore.

I have subsequently found out what happened in the racing – Artemis was fourth when I sailed with them, their worst result of the day! Emirates Team New Zealand had the best of the day, by one point over Artemis, but all might have been different if Jimmy Spithill hadn’t dived into the alphabet soup, with a DSQ in race one – for being late into the starting box and not taking his penalty immediately. He won both the other races.

I can’t wait for tomorrow . . . I’m on a promise of another ride.

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