Artemis Racing's AC72 hit San Francisco Bay under sail on Tuesday for the first time, with the team training for over three hours in winds of 8-12 knots.
It was a milestone moment for the team who has seen this inaugural test sail delayed first by a damaged wing sail and then by structural issues with the platform during load testing last month.
But the problems have been forgotten today. When the team returned to base after sailing there were a lot of smiles among the crew.
'It’s a big milestone for the team,' said skipper Terry Hutchinson, who came off the boat with a noticeable bounce in his step. 'We’ve been working tirelessly towards this day and have had a few setbacks which have been painful for all of us to deal with, so this is the first day of many and it’s nice to get it rolling.
'We were quite conservative about the way we sailed the boat today and we worked through the process methodically and signed off on the checklist. You have to show these boats respect; you can tell already that this is going to be a beast.'
Juan Kouyoumdjian, principal designer for the team, said the first sail was all about working through structural tests to ensure the boat was sound. He said the boat passed with flying colors.
'Today was about slowly loading the boat and making checks and then when those boxes are ticked and no funny noises are heard, going on to the next step,' he said. 'It was successful. Nothing happened that shouldn’t have happened, so it’s been good.'
'We’re very excited to get out there for day one,' agreed team CEO Paul Cayard. 'It was a perfect first day – nothing bad happened and we got a lot of valuable data… We have 30 sailing days we can use, so we’ll review everything tomorrow and plan to get back out on Thursday and do it again. We have to learn in the most efficient way possible with the days we have.
'The first day sailing in every America’s Cup is significant,' he said. 'But this Cup it’s a quantum leap because the boats are a new class, it’s catamarans and the wing… And we’ve had a few setbacks, we’ve taken it on the chin a little bit, so it was a big deal for us to get out there and have a good day.'