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America's Cup Replay: Artemis Racing masters big breeze for Semi win

by Richard Gladwell 17 Jun 2018 15:58 PDT 18 June 2018
Artemis Racing - Leg 4 - Semi-Finals, America's Cup Playoffs- Day 13, June 9, 2017 (ADT) © Richard Gladwell

Our apologies for getting a little behind with Sail-World.com/nz's replay coverage of the 12 month anniversary, however from here on there are plenty of gaps in the racing calendar which will allow the catch up.

Following is the Sail-World coverage of the day, along with the report from America's Cup Media. Also included is the timeline from the Race Management team - showing wind strengths, timings and key events. This was not available to be published at the time of the Event.

Wind at close to the top end of the scale greeted Artemis Racing and Softbank Team Japan for two scheduled races in the second Semi-Final of the Louis Vuitton Trophy, part of the 35th America's Cup Regatta, being sailed in Bermuda.

The first Semi-Final was decided yesterday when Emirates Team New Zealand, the top Challenger from the Round Robin, reached the requisite five wins to knock Britain's Land Rover BAR out of the competition.

The aqua blue waters of the Great Sound in Bermuda were dotted with white caps as the two Challengers headed out of the Royal Dockyard.

Softbank Team Japan hit a submerged object (a turtle?) when travelling at 16kts, about 30 minutes before the start. There was insufficient time for her to haul out. However, divers were tasked with an underwater inspection which found nothing. The episode did cost Softbank Team Japan valuable practice time to get boat handling properly co-ordinated in the testing conditions, and that incident played a big part in their racing.

Artemis Racing meanwhile had an extensive practice session of their base at the top of the Great Sound, and looked very comfortable and controlled from a distance.

Officially winds were averaging 19.5kts with a peak of 21.6kts at the start of the eight-minute wind measurement system, the breeze reduced by a knot in the crucial period before the start, and three minutes out from the designated start time the start was given the all clear by Race Director Iain Murray.

The winds did increase during the race but did not go over the pre-start limit, and once a race has started it cannot be stopped for a blown wind-limit.

Dean Barker started well and led for the first two legs, but dropped 23 seconds on the first beat and once through Sweden never looked like being beaten.

That gave Artemis Racing four wins on the trot and with her win from the first day that was sufficient for the Swedes to go through to the Final, which starts tomorrow.

The forecast for Saturday is for lighter winds than today, getting lighter on Sunday and lighter again on Monday with three races scheduled per day. A team will need to win five races to become the Challenger.

If the wind does not co-operate the series may be extended a day or two as the America's Cup Match does not get underway until Saturday.

Emirates Team New Zealand remained in the shed today. Oracle Team USA rigged, but did not venture out onto the Great Sound.

America's Cup - Outteridge leads Artemis Racing on the road to Finals - America's Cup Media

Nathan Outteridge, the skipper of Artemis Racing, woke up Thursday morning staring down a three - one deficit in his Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoff semi-final match against Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan.

But by mid-afternoon Friday, Outteridge and his team had won four consecutive races, claiming the match five - three, and landing date in the Challenger Playoff Finals against Peter Burling’s Emirates Team New Zealand.

Conditions on Friday were near the top end of the wind spectrum at 19-22 knots. Earlier this week, in similar strong weather conditions, Barker had beat Outteridge in both races sailed. He needed to pull off the same trick today if his team was to advance, but with a loss in the first race, SoftBank Team Japan was eliminated from the competition.

In the pre-start to the race, Barker pushed Artemis Racing skipper Nathan Outteridge towards the starting line early and as the Swedish challenger slowed so as not to break the start prematurely, Barker put his bows down, the boat raised up on its foils and Japan sped away to mark one with a narrow lead.

Outteridge kept it close on the first run and then on the upwind leg he made the pass. As Artemis Racing tacked at the edge of the race course, Barker was required to give room. A moment of hesitation meant SoftBank Team Japan made a late tack that left the boat in a vulnerable position and Outteridge pounced. With rights he luffed aggressively. Barker kept clear, but was pushed to a standstill, head to wind, while Artemis sped off into the lead and into the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoff Finals with what would be recorded as a 12-second win.

“Absolutely stoked,” was the reaction from Outteridge on board immediately following the race.

“That was a tough race and to come back the boys really had to dig in. We’re really happy to take it to the next round and we’re going to be ready to go tomorrow.”

Outteridge and Artemis Racing, after recovering from a three - one deficit to win the series five - three over Japan, will now face Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand beginning at 14:08 local time in Bermuda on Saturday. The winner of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs advances to the America’s Cup Match against Oracle Team USA.

For SoftBank Team Japan this marks the end of the fourth Japanese challenge for the America’s Cup. Each one (1992, 1995, 1999) has fallen at the semi-final stage of the challenger series.

But Kazuhiko ‘Fuku’ Sofuku, the General Manager and bowman for the team, who was also a sailor with the ’95 and ’99 efforts, says this was the most rewarding experience.

“I hope this will have a big impact for the Japanese and for sailing in Japan,” he said. “I hope we are sending a good message to the people in Japan. We’ve been working really hard and from the first day we have had a never give up spirit. Nothing is impossible!”

“I’m disappointed we’re not competing tomorrow,” said Japan skipper Dean Barker, when asked how he felt after the race.

“But I think the main thing I feel is immense pride in what we’ve achieved in two years. We started from nothing… When we arrived back at the dock just now, words can’t describe the feeling with the families, team members and friends and all of that support. I’m very proud of the environment we’ve created and I hope we can continue through to the next Cup cycle.

“I’d like to thank all our supporters. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride but the support we’ve had in Japan and New Zealand has been phenomenal. It’s been quite an amazing journey and experience and I wouldn’t change it for anything.“

Artemis Racing now has less than 24 hours to prepare to race Emirates Team New Zealand. Outteridge and Burling are old foes; each can claim an Olympic victory over the other, as they’ve traded off gold and silver medals in the 49er class in the past two Games.

“I’m personally looking forward to it,” said Outteridge, when the rivalry was mentioned at the press conference on Friday. “But this is about much more than Peter and myself. This is two big, well-supported teams going head to head.”

And he said his team is confident after four consecutive race wins.

“The main thing is we’ve simplified our racing slightly. It’s easy to get caught up in the battle and forget the details required to sail well. (Tactician) Iain Percy reminded us to just trust our gut and sail to our capabilities.

“On top of that we’ve made a nice improvement to the control system

“We need to keep the momentum going and to keep sailing error-free. That will be our best chance of moving forward. Our confidence in the boat is growing every day and when you have confidence in you equipment you can push hard. The teams are pretty evenly matched. It’s about how well we sail as a team.”

The forecast is for wind at near 15 knots at midday and easing over the course of the afternoon. Foil selection will be critical.

“It will be a big call on what boards to use,” Outteridge said. “The first thing is to make the right decision and then we’ll see how we stack up. I’m confident in our foils we just have use them in the right wind range.”

Three races are scheduled in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Finals on Friday beginning at 2:08pm local time in Bermuda.

Liveline Chatter Feed - Race management timeline of events
11:55:28 ABBY Hello from Bermuda. It's Friday 9 June 2017.
11:55:58 ABBY Louis Vuitton America's Cup Semifinals
12:28:34 PRO Race 98 Start: 14:08
13:06:57 PRO Race 98 Start: 14:08
13:07:21 PRO Race 28 Start: 14:08
13:12:20 WND Wind 198 at 19.7 kn, 21.5 kn peak
13:15:22 UMP JPN Penalty
13:17:34 UMP JPN OCS/Prestart Penalty Complete
13:18:42 PRO Race 28 Start: 14:08
13:33:45 TIM At 13:24:53, JPN travelling at 16 kn appears to have struck an underwater obstacle
13:48:20 WND Wind 198 at 19.6 kn, 23.1 kn peak
13:49:29 PRO SF2-Race 8
13:49:33 PRO SWE port
13:49:35 PRO JPN stbd
13:49:37 PRO Course 6-F
13:49:43 PRO Axis 200
13:49:51 PRO Length 1.62nm
13:49:56 PRO M1-boundary 475m
13:50:00 PRO Good Luck
13:50:03 WND Wind 198 at 19.5 kn, 21.6 kn peak
13:53:03 WND Wind 193 at 18.3 kn, 19.0 kn peak
13:56:03 WND Wind 192 at 18.5 kn, 21.1 kn peak
13:59:02 WND Wind 197 at 18.6 kn, 20.4 kn peak
14:02:03 WND Wind 196 at 18.6 kn, 20.4 kn peak
14:05:00 Race 28 (SWE,JPN): Warning, 3:00 until start
14:05:03 WND Wind 197 at 18.6 kn, 21.4 kn peak
14:05:54 SWE Began Entry
14:05:56 SWE Completed Entry
14:06:05 JPN Began Entry
14:06:08 JPN Completed Entry
14:07:33 WND Wind 201 at 18.7 kn, 19.5 kn peak
14:08:00 Race 28 (SWE,JPN): Started
14:08:01 JPN Crossed Start Line
14:08:01 SWE Crossed Start Line
14:08:44 JPN Rounded Mark 1, 0:44.4 after start
14:08:44 SWE Rounded Mark 1, 0:00.1 behind leader
14:10:07 JPN Rounded Mark 2, 2:07.8 after start
14:10:12 SWE Rounded Mark 2, 0:04.5 behind leader
14:11:03 WND Wind 203 at 19.2 kn, 21.5 kn peak
14:12:24 SWE Yankee Flag
14:12:28 UMP SWE No Penalty
14:14:03 WND Wind 200 at 19.6 kn, 21.1 kn peak
14:15:21 SWE Rounded Mark 3, 7:21.6 after start
14:15:40 JPN Rounded Mark 3, 0:19.0 behind leader
14:17:03 WND Wind 199 at 20.1 kn, 23.3 kn peak
14:18:22 SWE Rounded Mark 4, 10:22.0 after start
14:18:36 JPN Rounded Mark 4, 0:14.7 behind leader
14:20:03 WND Wind 204 at 20.9 kn, 23.3 kn peak
14:23:03 WND Wind 201 at 19.9 kn, 21.9 kn peak
14:23:28 SWE Rounded Mark 5, 15:28.2 after start
14:23:39 JPN Rounded Mark 5, 0:11.2 behind leader
14:26:03 WND Wind 201 at 19.7 kn, 23.2 kn peak
14:26:19 SWE Rounded Mark 6, 18:19.9 after start
14:26:29 JPN Rounded Mark 6, 0:09.2 behind leader
14:26:56 SWE Crossed Finish Line
14:26:59 PRO SWE Finished: time 14:26:56.701, 18:56.701 after start
14:27:09 JPN Crossed Finish Line, 0:12.4 behind leader
14:27:11 PRO JPN Finished: time 14:27:09.101, 19:09.101 after start
14:27:13 PRO Race 28 Terminated
14:29:03 WND Wind 202 at 19.8 kn, 20.3 kn peak
14:31:03 TIM SWE advances to meet NZL in the LVAC Finals
14:31:15 TIM Racing finished for today
14:31:21 TIM Chatter out

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