The America’s Cup World Series, held in Plymouth, concluded today, Sunday 18th September 2011.
Boat speeds over 50 km/hr and winds gusting up to 35 knots made for exciting racing on the final day.
A collision just seconds before the start between GreenComm and Artemis Racing ultimately meant the race for Skipper Terry Hutchinson and the crew. It was a port starboard incident and the umpires swiftly gave the penalty to the Spanish team however, recent changes to the rules do not allow for redress.
Describing the incident Skipper Terry Hutchinson said; 'We were set up behind the fleet gauging a good spot with Oracle Racing 5 just ahead of us. GreenComm somehow ended up on port tack in front of us. They were stuck in irons so we tried to sail around them.'
Despite damage to the starboard bow, the Swedish team surged on in the tough conditions, which saw China Team and Energy Team both capsize.
Battling the way around the course, checking the starboard hull on each downwind leg as it gradually filled with water, the team fought on endeavoring to finish this important race. But on the penultimate leg, in a gust of wind the bows went down and Artemis Racing pitch poled through the air and capsized. Bowman Andy Fethers actually went through the wing but fortunately, no one was injured.
'It’s really disappointing. We sailed the entire race taking on water in our starboard hull. You could feel the inertia on starboard tack and at every bottom mark there was a bit more water,' said Terry. 'It was definitely frustrating to not have finished the race, we got the boat back up and went around the gybe mark, but we couldn’t finish within the time limit. That said, there are a lot of positive takeaways for us here. We are very happy with how we sailed. The fleet racing went well and the match racing was OK. But all total we have a long way to go to get better.'
'When I found out we were coming to Plymouth, I said to expect cold and windy conditions and that is what we got. Today was disappointing, but overall, we are pleased with the week. We dominated the fleet racing and it was a big step forward for the team. We are looking forward to the next event,' said Tactician Iain Percy.
Oracle Racing Spithill won today's Championship Race, with Emirates Team New Zealand in second, followed by Oracle Racing Coutts.
For the shore crew it will be a long night of repairs before the AC45 and base are packed and loaded on the ship for San Diego. Artemis Racing website