Artemis rebounds from collision to win AC World Series stop
Artemis Racing of Sweden rebounded from a pre-race collision with an umpires boat to win the second of three races Sunday and claim the overall championship of the America's Cup World Series stop in Bermuda.
The crew stripped away the broken bow sprit and useless headsail and, with less than two minutes to spare, lined up for the start. They won the start and the race.
In the third race, Artemis made a pass on the last leg to finish fourth and clinch the points needed to win the regatta. Artemis, which was second in the first race, finished with 52 points, two ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, which won the third race. Two-time defending America's Cup champion Oracle Team USA, which won the first race, was third with 48 points.
''This event meant a lot to us,'' Artemis skipper Nathan Outteridge said. ''We've always known we had the potential, but we've been tripped up by mistakes.''
Not only did the Swedish challenger come in in fifth place overall in the season standings, but in looked like it might get knocked out of the regatta after the pre-start collision in race two.
In the moments before the starting gun, the team ducked behind the Japanese boat. As Outteridge turned up toward the line, he was confronted with an umpire boat heading directly toward his 45-foot catamaran. The closing speed would have been in excess of 25 knots.
''At that point we couldn't go anywhere,'' Outteridge said. ''He went straight between our bows but thankfully nobody was hurt. There was a serious amount of damage to our boat though.''
The crew quickly stripped off the broken bow sprit and the useless Code Zero sail. After a quick check for reliability and with less than two minutes to spare, the team was lining up for next start. It sped off the starting line with more speed than the five other boats and won not only the start but the race.
''We owned that start,'' Outteridge said. ''It was huge payback for all the hard work from the guys who stripped the gear off, checked the boat and got us ready just in time.''
Saturday's two races were postponed by lack of wind, forcing organizers to schedule three races Sunday.
Emirates Team New Zealand, the hard-luck loser to Oracle in the 2013 America's Cup, won the season series, with Oracle in second and Land Rover BAR in third. Artemis was fourth, followed by SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France.
The 2017 America's Cup will be in Bermuda.