Artemis Racing has exited the Semi-Finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup after match racing and course penalties effectively cost them the race.
Two penalties in the start, after the teams lack of match racing practice showed itself, coupled with twice sailing out of the boundary marred a performance, which could well have given the Swedish Challenger of Record their first win in the best of seven series. Later it seemed that the confusion over penalties was over an umpiring snafu, compounding the error of the competitors.
With winds clocking up above 16kts and peaking at 19.3kts, on San Francisco bay, Artemis engaged with the Italian Luna Rossa in the prestart, picking up a penalty from the prestart when Luna Rossa, to windward, completed her tack as both boats were tacking simultaneously, and there was contact as Artemis completed her turn onto starboard, made contact in the process, and infringed. Click here to see the incident replay from the Umpire Booth.
Artemis bolted out of the start with a big 200 metres lead at the first mark and at that point, the race should have been in the bag, but the Blue penalty light flashed for them after round the first reach mark and by the time they were released by the Umpires the Italians were leading by over 100 metres.
The two out of bounds incidents appeared to be caused by a lack of crew co-ordination in terms of managing their position on the course, coupled with hitting some high speeds at the time of having to gybe to stay inside the course boundary, and they simply overshot the course.
Artemis, like every other race they have sailed improved greatly, but couldn't make inroads into the Italians despite recording the fastest speed for the day of 42kts. Lua Rossa’s peak was two knots slower.
The race turned in to the usual high speed procession after the first reaching mark, and the Italians never looked threatened once the teams had cleared the first gybe, and Luna Rossa had taken the advantage off the starting penalties and went on to win by 2minutes 11 secs.
With the elimination of Artemis Racing the mantle of Challenger of Record now passes to Emirates Team New Zealand. For the Italians, a smoother performance today was an improvement on the Round Robin efforts, and they come up against the first Finalist, Emirates Team New Zealand on August 15 in the Final of the Louis Vuitton Cup.
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by Richard Gladwell
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9:17 PM Sat 10 Aug 2013GMT
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