In a vast hangar (formerly part of the Pan Am Seaplane base) on West Tower Avenue in Alameda, the Artemis Phoenix is arising from the ashes of the May 9th accident that took the life of Andrew Simpson.
It hasn’t been an easy process, as Paul Cayard, the CEO of the Swedish team pointed out. 'Quitting or retiring was not an option, but every one of the 130 people in this team has had different agenda to satisfy.'
From his office on the first floor, Paul can keep a wary eye on the progress on the team’s second boat. The blue hulls, bearing the three crowns (Tre Kronor) of Sweden, are now upright, after the exhaustive stress tests that took the best part of a week, the trampoline is in place and many of the control systems were fixed. 'We aim to put her in the water on Monday,' said Paul.
It will have been just over two months since the tragic accident before the Challenger of Record is sailing again, but it should be remembered that Oracle Team USA to more than three and a half months to be back on the water after its capsize. Both boats suffered catastrophic damage, but the heavier demands of taking part in the Louis Vuitton Cup has required round-the-clock working for Artemis.
Paul shrugged off the 'elevator' issue – 'We will conform to the class rules when we re-launch,' - as being a non-issue. As the holder of a pilot’s license, he is perhaps more aware than most of the technology involved and said that many hours of design and building time had been expended on the rudder stabilisers, as they might be more properly called.
Just when Artemis will be ready to race remains a matter solely for the team and while Cayard points to August 6th as a realistic date (the start of the Louis Vuitton semi-finals) there is every chance that the racing crew could push to meet the last two of their scheduled Round Robin races – against Emirates Team New Zealand on July 30th and Luna Rossa on August 1st.
by Bob Fisher
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11:32 PM Thu 18 Jul 2013GMT
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