Must-see video of the Australian sailor, core member of Artemis Racing, explaining the nuts and bolts of the Exploder A13 foiling A-Class that he’s racing during the 2014 A-Class Worlds in Takapuna, New Zealand:
Posted on 15 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing
Must-see video of the Australian sailor, core member of Artemis Racing, explaining the nuts and bolts of the Exploder A13 foiling A-Class that he’s racing during the 2014 A-Class Worlds in Takapuna, New Zealand:
Posted on 13 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: Artemis Racing] Artemis Racing announced today that it has secured the signature of Danish sailor and former Team Origin trimmer, Christian Kamp, as the team prepares for a possible 35th America’s Cup bid.
Christian was part of Luna Rossa Challenge for the 32nd America’s Cup in 2005 before joining Team Origin in 2007. For three years he campaigned with Iain Percy in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, TP52 and the World Match Racing Tour, winning the World title in 2010. In recognition of his achievement, he was awarded 2010 Danish Sailor of the Year. Kamp’s career highlights include three world championships, one European and three national titles, as well as more than 20 Grade 1 Level wins in match racing. More recently he sailed on board Team Aqua as trimmer in the RC44 circuit, winning the last three consecutive seasons.
On joining the team Christian commented “I’m very excited to be joining such a talented team as Artemis Racing. It’s great to be united with old team mates such as Iain Percy, Adam May, Chris Brittle and Thiha “Winnie” Win, but also to have the opportunity to sail and work with some of the biggest natural talents in our sport in Nathan and Goobs.”
Christian has joined the team this week in the British Virgin Islands for the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup, the first event of the 2014 RC44 Championship Tour.
Christian is joined by former ORACLE Team USA team member Richard Kent who will bring his expertise leading the Electronics unit. Kent is no stranger to the America’s Cup having competed in the last four, winning the 33rd edition with BMW ORACLE Racing in 2010 and successfully defending in San Francisco last summer. Richard also ran the electronics departments for winning Volvo Ocean Race teams ABN AMRO (2006/2007) and Ericsson Racing (2008/2009).
Artemis Racing is also delighted to welcome back Chay McIntosh, who served as Shore Team Manager in the last campaign. Chay has found success throughout his career, winning the 29th and 30th America’s Cups with Team New Zealand, and the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race with Ericsson Racing.
Iain Percy said “We continue to build our core team and have been working hard on securing the right people. I am very pleased to have Christian, Richard and Chay with us for the next cup; as I am sure each one of them will contribute with their talent, passion and expertise to reaching our goal. We have a very talented group from the previous challenge, but we have also been able to reinforce that experience in a number of key areas; making us much stronger. It has also been great to recognise our recent recruitments throughout the various areas of the campaign, as all contribute significantly to the end result.”
Artemis Racing announced earlier this month that it had secured the first phase of designers for the 35th America’s Cup with Michel Kermarec and Thiha “Winnie” Win joining returning designers Adam May and Nico Rousselon.
Posted on 13 February 2014 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: RC44 Class] Virgin Gorda served up perfect match race conditions for the first day of the 2014 RC44 Championship Tour. A steady 11-14 knot easterly breeze and flat water allowed the race committee to complete all nine flights inside the confines of Virgin Gorda’s beautiful North Sound. Penalties flew and a few collisions meant it was an exciting day for both the sailors and the umpires alike.
Defending match race champions Team Aqua, with tactician Cameron Appleton at the helm, made sure they stayed at the top of the leaderboard, losing just one of their eight matches to Synergy Russian Sailing Team, with Ed Baird driving.
Swedish team Artemis Racing, with owner Torbjorn Tornqvist at the wheel and triple Olympic medallist Iain Percy calling the shots, lost their first race to Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge; with Russian Olympic match racer Ekaterina Skudina at helm for the day, but quickly found their form winning the next four races.
Flight seven saw the top two performing teams, Aqua and Artemis, meet. As the pair approached the leeward gate Team Aqua luffed, Artemis didn’t stay clear and found themselves a penalty down, Aqua went on to take the win.
In the penultimate match of the day, a collision with the Lunajets Aleph Racing saw Tornqvist’s Swedish team black flagged; handing victory to Aleph Racing, who limped back into port for overnight repairs, Artemis finished the day on four wins and four losses. Not able to compete in the final race of the day the French Aleph team still managed to finish fourth overall with five wins and three losses.
Artemis Racing’s tactician Iain Percy explains the moment of the crash “We tried to go inside (of Aleph at the top mark) but didn’t have the space to do the turn. It’s hard with these keelboats, once you’re going in a certain direction, you’re committed. Everyone knew the crash was coming about five second before it happened but there’s not a lot you can do.” Percy added “We’re going to help the Aleph team get out there tomorrow, they have been gracious in understanding that it is one of those racing incidents that adds spice to the sport.”
Synergy Russian Sailing Team and Katusha with Andy Horton at the helm, both won five and lost three, leaving them second and third respectively on the leaderboard after the first of five match racing days throughout the RC44 season.
This was Andrea Pozzi’s, owner driver of Bombarda Racing, first foray into match racing having only started competitive sailing two years ago in the Melges 32 fleet. The Italian team finished the day with just one win from eight races, but Pozzi enjoyed the experience. “Today was very difficult, for me there are lots of professionals to compete against and this is my first time match racing. It is a new style of driving and very different to what I’m used to with fleet racing but we won a match so I am happy with the day. “
The RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup continues through to 18th February, with four days of fleet racing where only the amateur owner helms can take the wheel.
RC44 Championship Tour Overall Match Race Ranking
(After one event)
1. Team Aqua – 7 wins – 1 loss = 7
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team – 5 wins – 3 loss = 5
3. Katusha – 5 wins – 3 loss = 5
4. Lunajets Aleph Racing – 5 wins – 3 loss = 5
5. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team – 4 wins – 4 loss (1*) = 3
6. Team Nika – 3 wins – 5 loss = 3
7. Artemis Racing – 4 wins – 4 loss (3*) = 1
8. Bombarda Racing – 1 win – 7 loss = 1
9. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge – 2 win – 6 loss (2*) = 0
Posted on 23 January 2014 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: Artemis Racing] Artemis Racing has signed designers Michel Kermarec and Thiha “Winnie” Win, who will join returning designers Adam May and Nico Rousselon, as the team prepares a possible AC35 bid.
“The America’s Cup is not just about innovative design or sailing talent, but about how they work together successfully,” said Artemis Racing owner Torbjörn Törnqvist. “We’re pleased to have Michel and Winnie join our team to help exemplify Artemis Racing’s collaborative spirit as we move toward the next Cup.”
Michel brings a wealth of experience to Artemis Racing, having served as a key member of Oracle Team USA’s design team during their AC33 and AC34 victories. He specializes in performance prediction and appendage design, and holds a PhD in hydrodynamics. Michel is a talented sailor, and represented France in the Soling class at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
Winnie has been involved in many high-profile advanced engineering projects all over the world in both marine and non-marine industries. After a very successful period in motor sport in the early 2000s, he turned his attention to America’s Cup yacht design in AC32, with Luna Rossa Challenge. Winnie was a key member of BMW Oracle Racing’s design team during their victorious AC33, and was part of Emirates Team New Zealand’s successful AC34.
On joining the team Winnie said: “We hope this next America’s Cup will be racing on foiling catamarans and continue to excite sailors, designers and general public alike. I’m extremely excited to be joining such a talented group of sailors and designers, and look forward to pushing myself to the limits to find success with Artemis Racing.”
Nico, a specialist in aerodynamics, graduated from Southampton Institute in 2004 with a BEng in Yacht and Powercraft Design, before specializing in Computational Fluid Dynamics with an MSc at Southampton University. In 2007, he integrated the Cape Horn Engineering (then CFD branch of Juan Yacht Design) to start the aero side of the company. His skills were further developed through two Volvo Ocean Race wins (Ericsson4 and Groupama).
Adam competed for Great Britain at the Sydney Olympics in the Tornado class, and is an aeronautical engineer by trade, having worked for Airbus UK in their wind tunnel and design office. He was a technical coach for TeamOrigin and Skandia TeamGBR, working closely with Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson during their successful 2008 and 2012 Olympic campaigns. Adam was part of the AC32 Victory Challenge team, before joining Artemis Racing for AC34.
“It is great to be back with Artemis Racing, and roll straight into things,” said Adam. “We are very fortunate to have attracted top designers like Michel and Winnie to our team and who share in our vision. I’m looking forward to working with Nico again as well, a young talent who I was fortunate to work alongside last time around.”
Artemis Racing continues to assess the criteria for the next America’s Cup, and is in the meantime building a winning team based on experience, talent and collaboration, and looks forward to making additional team announcements soon.
Posted on 11 December 2013 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: Artemis Racing] Artemis Racing is pleased to announce that Olympic Gold medalists Nathan Outteridge and Iain “Goobs” Jensen are continuing with the team, which is currently preparing its bid for the 35th America’s Cup.
Nathan and Goobs will be once again joining forces with existing sailing team members triple Olympic medalist Iain Percy and legendary grinder Chris Brittle. This combination of sailing talents will serve as the foundation of Artemis Racing on the water and will work closely with designers to develop a winning boat.
“With Iain, Nathan, Goobs and Chris all on board, Artemis Racing has a core of talent and experience that will drive us toward the next Cup,” said Artemis Racing owner Torbjörn Törnqvist. “They have individually and together already achieved very much and I believe in their potential as a team. We look forward to seeing what the 35th America’s Cup will bring.”
Nathan served as helmsman and Goobs as wing trimmer in the 34th America’s Cup, giving them invaluable experience on AC72s. The pair have sailed together from childhood and have achieved numerous victories, including a Gold Medal in the 49er class in the 2012 Summer Olympics – a feat which they look to repeat during the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
“Torbjörn and Perce are great to work with and are truly passionate about wanting to build a strong, youthful team capable of winning the Cup,” said Nathan. “They fully support our Olympic ambitions and have made it very clear that Goobs and I are the right people to be leading this team.”
Added Goobs: “I feel a lot of loyalty towards the people involved with Artemis Racing. Towards the end of the last Cup, we had something very special. We had our backs against the wall, and the shore team, the designers and the sailors were able to work miracles in those last few months. This gives me a lot of confidence going into the next cycle, and I’m very excited to see what will be achieved in the coming years.”
Artemis Racing continues to assess the criteria for the next America’s Cup, and is in the meantime building a winning team based on experience, talent and collaboration.
Posted on 20 November 2013 by Valencia Sailing
The three-time British Olympic medalist is in Puerto Calero, calling tactics for Torbjörn Törnqvist oboard Artemis Racing at the RC44 World Championship. We caught up with him and talked about his new role as Team Manager and the present and future of the team and the America’s Cup.
VSail.info: Let’s start with a personal question. How does it feel to go from flying AC72′s that were doing 50 knots to sailing the RC44′s that do 15?
Iain Percy: It’s a very different boat! You get very used to the speed and certainly it does feel quite slow. It’s funny because when you go from a slow monohull to a catamaran for the first time, they feel very similar in terms of the challenges. When you go back the other way it feels very different, it never feels fast. The AC72′s are incredibly fun boats to sail, they are truly awesome bits of kit. They, obviously, have to be treated with huge respect, something that, as a team, we probably know more than anyone but they are incredible bits of engineering and design and produce the fastest boat upwind and downwind that has ever been by any margin.
VSail.info: As a tactician, what is trickier for you? An AC72 or an RC44?
Iain Percy: It’s funny, I had thought and people would have thought that your decision-making must be much faster on a bigger boat but the truth of it is that on any big boat, be it an AC72 or an RC44, you can’t do a maneuver 10 seconds after the last maneuver. You always have to wait for 30 seconds, so you still have the same amount of time to make those decisions that you do. In some ways, in the Star class or the RC44′s where there are 14 boats, you have to make quicker decisions because suddenly a boat below you will tack and you will instantaneously have to decide what your response is. In some ways, in the older Version 5 boats or the AC72′s, you have that time. You made your maneuver and you have another 30 seconds before you do another straight away. The difference on the AC72′s is that in those 30 seconds you traveled a lot of distance.
VSail.info: What is the next small boat you will sail now? The Moth?
Iain Percy: I wanted to sail a Moth and I asked my friend Adam May who works for Artemis Racing. He said I wasn’t allowed to sail it because I was too fat and I was going to break it. We are trying to find a solution to that with a different boat. We will do a lot of foiling in-house and that’s, obviously, the future of the America’s Cup. You see it everywhere, it is becoming the future of sailing as well. It is a real step change, it’s a cool feeling and it’s incredibly efficient.
However, the focus now for myself and Artemis Racing is to build a strong team, capable of winning and dominating the America’s Cup arena. That’s our goal, that’s Torbjörn’s goal. Artemis went through some very tough times last year and some real highs when we managed to race against all the odds. It’s time now to show we are a winning team, a serious, professional team that is going to win the next America’s Cup. That’s the team we are building right now, quietly, as we tend to do, not always to the pleasure of everyone else, including the press, but we get on with our business quietly, respectfully to all our competitors. This is the way Torbjörn likes it, the way he is as a man. We are very professional and with a real will to win.
VSail.info: I’d like to step back to the previous America’s Cup. Artemis Racing was one of the teams that started very early, as early as the fall of 2010, had ample resources and became the Challenger of Record. However, it suffered from a series of very serious setbacks that culminated with the unfortunate and tragic accident last May. In hindsight, looking back, what were the errors the team committed? What lessons did you draw so that you avoid repeating them in this America’s Cup?
Iain Percy: Huge lessons! To be fair, I think that all teams that did this new challenge for the first time learnt a lot and you learn from doing things badly. Like everyone else we learnt through both, through making mistakes. I wasn’t very involved until after the 2012 Olympics but I must say that in the final 6-8 months, because of guys like Bart, Nathan or Iain Jensen, the feeling in the camp was absolutely incredible. I have, personally, never worked in such a politics-free team, such a hard-working, driven team. Where we were for most of the time I experienced, there was very little wrong. We are now going to be one team, in one venue, concentrating on winning the America’s Cup. This is probably our central message.
VSail.info: In what regards the 34th America’s Cup as an event how would you assess it? What do you think were its strong points and where do you think it could be improved? Do you have any criticism regarding the organization, the format or what you personally think should be done?
Iain Percy: One thing I never doubted was that Larry’s and Russell’s vision, what they truly believed, was going to be the best for our sport and the best for the America’s Cup. I always supported that, I never was one of those cynics and, in the end, I think that the final product proved to be a step transformation for our sport. Finally, it was very appealing to the non-sailing public as well as the sailing public. Like we all learnt from our good and bad things, I’m sure the event will too. I think it’s clear that both on the safety side and the cost side, it would be good to increase safety and reduce costs, so that we have more teams.
VSail.info: This means you personally think there should be more teams. Isn’t the America’s Cup after all meant to be just for the Torbjörn Törnqvists and Larry Ellisons of the world?
Iain Percy: I think the America’s Cup will always be exclusive, it will always be the premiere event and it’s never going to be an event for the masses. This is clear, it never has been and never will be. This is precisely part of its appeal. For centuries we had the involvement of people like Sir Thomas Lipton and it’s always going to be the pinnacle and premiere. Just like Formula 1 or Premier League Football, it’s an expensive game. However, there is a balance. You can make it so exclusive that just one man in the world can afford it and you can go down to the Optimist level where you have hundreds and thousands of people.
I think that collectively, ourselves, Torbjörn and the other teams would like to see a few more teams involved. It doesn’t need to be a huge event, we want to keep it exclusive and we want to keep the “wow” factor in there and a few of the things that were breathtaking, not just on TV but also from the shore. I think that requires a certain boat size but for sure we support very much the efforts of Oracle and we are regularly communicating with them about cost, trying to get that balance just right. You want to keep the development element as much as possible, the excitement and the “wow” factor, that also comes from the development.
VSail.info: Everybody’s raging about foiling but, after all, it wouldn’t have existed if Emirates Team New Zealand hadn’t developed it!
Iain Percy: Absolutely and that’s another thing I have huge respect for them, having led the development side of that cycle, but there is a balance. We are trying to bring the costs down by 20-30% so that the next Cup can include a few more enthusiasts of our sport, companies and commercial partners, to join and make it slightly bigger.
VSail.info: That would also allow your buddy Ben Ainslie to find the adequate corporate funding and come in with a British team, wouldn’t it?
Iain Percy: That would be great. I’m really proud of what he’s trying to achieve. It takes a lot to take that on. He’s genuinely trying to be a businessman as well as a successful sailor. Whether he succeeds or not takes nothing away from the effort he’s putting in, which I think is fantastic for the sport. He’s a huge name for our sport, he’s a good friend but also incredible competitor. It takes personalities like him to take our sport beyond its traditional public and as a result, I really support what he’s doing. I talk to him regularly and I wish him very well with that.
VSail.info: If at the end, unfortunately, he’s unable to come up with the necessary funding for the British team, will you hire him for Artemis Racing?
Iain Percy: We are currently building a team independent of that, we have to. Myself and Ben are pretty open with each other that we don’t need to play games with each other, after knowing him for 30 years. We at Artemis Racing need to build a team that is capable of winning and dominating the Cup arena. We are going ahead doing that.
VSail.info: If I’m not mistaken, the official title you have in Artemis Racing is Team Manager. Does this mean there will, eventually, be a CEO in the team or are you the boss?
Iain Percy: Torbjörn and myself wanted to pick a name that was a little bit less hierarchical. It is quite significant, we don’t want to have a team that has too many layers, we are a flatter structure and Torbjörn has ran his business in this way. It was a subtle but significant change in the title for the leadership of the team. in some ways, even in business, the almighty CEO title is going away and this is ironically coming out of California. Companies are working now in a slightly more collaborative way, maybe with strong leadership and direction, but not necessarily in a hierarchical top-down layer structure. Torbjörn is very innovative in his business and although it is a subtle name change, it is significant.
VSail.info: Will you be onboard the boat?
Iain Percy: Yes, if, of course, I’m up to standard.
VSail.info: Can you be the team manager, CEO or call it what you like and at the same time sail?
Iain Percy: I think if you have a lot of support you can. If you look at all the successful Cups, probably before this one, the leadership of the team came from the boat. You can think of Brad, Russell and Dennis before that, it was very unusual for the team leader not to be intrinsically involved in the boat.
VSail.info: Russell Coutts won the Cup without going onboard.
Iain Percy: That’s why I said before this Cup. This was probably the first time with Russell a CEO that wasn’t sailing. You can do it in both ways but technically it doesn’t hurt to be that type. You win the America’s Cup by going faster the right way and starting better. We can’t lose sight of that and if you’re on the boat, you’re living it, and you bring it back home to the base when you make decisions. It’s much easier.
VSail.info: In a recent statement by Torbjörn Törnqvist on Bloomberg, you and Nathan Outteridge are the nucleus of the core group that will form Artemis Racing. Will Nathan be again the helmsman?
Iain Percy: We aren’t going to make these announcements right now. We are building a team and it’s going to be a very, very strong one. It won’t be long before we make any announcements, both on the sailing and design side, that, I think, will impress the people who study this game closely and you will realize what I mean when I say we are very serious about dominating this game.
VSail.info: I look forward to reading that impressive press release. However, you still haven’t officially challenged for the 35th America’s Cup. When are you going to do that?
Iain Percy: Torbjörn has made no bounds about his ambitions to win the America’s Cup. The only thing, of course, we need to check are the rules of the competition… [Laughs] There is absolutely no cynicism in that, we are in regular contact with Russell and Oracle Team and we share very much their vision on where to take things. We don’t foresee any problem there but I think it would be prudent to wait and see what the rules are before we make that final commitment.
VSail.info: You stated a few minutes ago that one of the things you were working on was a 20-30% reduction in costs. How would you do that? Will a smaller boat bring down costs or should the next Cup also be sailed with the AC72′s?
Iain Percy: I don’t think that size is particularly the crucial factor. There has been some talk about a slightly smaller boat and to me that wouldn’t matter, to a point. Myself and Torbjörn talked a lot about this because we watched quite a lot of that fantastic final from the shore and it is important to know that, even though they are huge boats with huge wings, you couldn’t get that much smaller and still be able to watch it well from the shore. That is quite an important element of bringing that to the people of San Francisco and to those that travel to watch it. I would, personally, be happy to see a slightly smaller boat to save costs and increase safety to some extent, which is also very important.
But, the way you really reduce costs is by reducing the amount of people you have involved and you have to look at how you do that. This is something we are doing quite collaboratively in our discussions and one thing Russell is looking really hard at is how to best reduce numbers of people, number of design hours, number of sailing hours without reducing from the event. There will be a one-design element involved in that.
VSail.info: Are you in favor of incorporating one-design elements in the new America’s Cup boat?
Iain Percy: Yes but with a lot of careful forethought. I come from a dinghy background where I have seen one-designs like the 49er which I don’t think it is necessarily right when you see the top 49er sailors having to buy 20 masts before they find the right one. My opinion is that when the boats get more and more critical and technical it’s much harder for them to be one-design.
If you supply equipment where even half a millimeter makes a difference, like daggerboards, you open up the event to a lot of problems if someone suddenly feels they were supplied with a poor set of daggerboards. It would become the story of the Cup and that would be a real shame. Let the guys build their own daggerboards, it’s a small design sphere and it wouldn’t really affect the cost very much. There are bigger items of the boat, maybe an element of the wing, the beams maybe or some other elements of the boat that organizers can overbuild, supply, make them very safe without affecting performance too much.
That’s the key point for me, to find the elements that aren’t critical to performance because that would be a difficult game for me. It’s also the interesting part for both the public to watch and the teams to do: Daggerboards, hull shapes, to some extent maybe the elements of the wing and the mechanical systems. These are the things that are extremely exciting and interesting to watch and understand for an increasingly technical viewing public. But how do we cut costs? We have to look at one-design elements without really affecting performance. You see that in Formula 1 all the time. There are elements they try to keep the same to keep the costs down but they are also trying to keep as much of the design element for the spectators that very much enjoy that aspect.
VSail.info: We are sitting right now in the Puerto Calero marina and right in front of us we have the Team SCA VO65. There you have an example of race organizers that go all the way to one-design where everything except clothing, food and logos will be strictly the same.
Iain Percy: For me that’s gone a little bit too far. I think it takes away an interest from technical partners. I think that one thing that differentiates our sport is its so visibly incredible technology. That aspect is very attractive to partners that are in that sphere. I think that could be another slight danger, if commercial partners can’t be seen to be making a technical difference. It might distract them from wanting to be in the sport.
VSail.info: Another major unknown is the date of the next America’s Cup. Conventional wisdom wants it to take place either on 2016 or 2017. Do you have any preference?
Iain Percy: I don’t think Torbjörn Törnqvist minds particularly but we don’t want it to be too long away. It’s also very tricky with the Olympic year, in 2016, and it would have to be 2017 if they want to encourage new teams, as early in the year you can in San Francisco. It was a fantastic venue and there aren’t many places in the world that allow you to guarantee start times and wind conditions every day. There are a few but San Francisco is the home town of the Defender. For me, I can see no reason why it wouldn’t be in San Francisco in 2017, unless they have issues locally.
VSail.info: If it’s in 2017, as early in the year as possible as you stated, would San Francisco be the ideal venue in, let’s say, spring?
Iain Percy: It doesn’t have to be as late as September and I think we can start a little bit earlier, in May or June. I’ve been there for the last summer and conditions started getting pretty good as early as April. It wouldn’t be good over the winter as the conditions then wouldn’t make it viable. The seabreeze and the pressure difference, obviously, must be established and that comes in spring. It could be some time in the summer and we could move it a little bit forward but last time they tried to have it as late as possible.
VSail.info: Do you rule out 2016?
Iain Percy: It has always been a challenge for the Cup as the Olympics are a huge sports event, as is the World Football Cup. It’s hard to find the dates in which such a premier sporting event can stand alone and stand out. From a commercial standpoint it’s also good not to be in an Olympic year.
VSail.info: The city of Cagliari announced that Luna Rossa had officially requested space to have a base there for two-three years. Is this something Artemis Racing will do?
Iain Percy: Yes, you need to have a base but then again you don’t make any commitments until you absolutely know where it is exactly going to be held. If, for any reason, the Cup is in the Mediterranean or on the US East coast we would need a very different base than if it were in San Francisco. For sure, we are a technical sailing team and we will need a base to develop and train.
VSail.info: Short term, what is your goal on the eve of the RC44 World Championship? Is victory a feasible goal?
Iain Percy: Victory should always be your goal! This is my second regatta in the class and I really enjoyed the first one. Again, for me it has been a long time since I had done this style of grand-prix racing and there are some excellent teams here, full of past RC44 champions, America’s Cup sailors. For me it’s actually the start of the RC44 season even if it’s the end and for sure I haven’t been into any competition without wanting to win it and do as well as we possibly can. We will fight for every place in every race. Next year and the year after we will be doing the RC44 circuit and this has been a big part of Artemis Racing.
This has been a sailing team, not solely an America’s Cup team, for a lot of years and Torbjörn has been a huge supporter of a lot of classes, the TP52′s, the RC44′s and the D35′s. We look forward to the 2014 season and we will have more involvement from our America’s Cup guys, I will be more involved and that will be fantastic for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we will have the chance to develop and race a technical boat together. We will also have more time to interact with Torbjörn and having been through last year with him as the leader of the Cup team, each time we have his involvement we make smarter decisions.
VSail.info: Won’t that interfere with the America’s Cup World Series or whatever that America’s Cup circuit is called?
Iain Percy: Artemis Racing and Torbjörn were active in the RC44 class in the past and that hasn’t clashed with the America’s Cup campaign. We are going to commit to the RC44 class and I think it’s a great boat for us as a squad and I don’t think the America’s Cup will ramp up that much for a little while and that fits very well. It gives us the opportunity to develop our team before the AC45 or whatever circuit they produce.
VSail.info: Are you in favor of the AC45 circuit continuing as well?
Iain Percy: Yes, I think that everyone felt it was a real success. It was fun to do, it was great for the spectators. Fleet racing is exciting and always gave good capsizes. The AC45′s are great boats that can capsize safely, they never break. Artemis Racing had 14 capsizes and nobody was hurt. I think it’s a fantastic boat, very well designed by Oracle Team and it was a good circuit. I look forward to Oracle taking the lead again and don’t forget that takes a lot of investment in time and money that Oracle did last time. We are very grateful and we hope they will do it again this time because it is good for our sport. It is very good for sailing, it is fun for the teams to do and builds interest among the spectators.
Posted on 24 September 2013 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: RC44 Class] Artemis Racing has consistently been on the podium of the RC44 Championship Tour for the past four seasons. Currently sitting on equal points with third placed Synergy, the Swedish team has announced their America’s Cup Team Manager, the two time British Olympic gold medallist, Iain Percy as their new RC44 tactician.
Joining the team for the penultimate event of the 2013 season, it will be Percy’s first time racing in the RC44 Class. “I am really excited to be doing my first RC44 regatta, especially because I am joining Torbjorn and his team.” Percy maybe new to the RC44 class, but has competed at the host venue, Cascais, Portugal on many occasions. “Cascais is one of my favorite places to race in the world. Results normally come from good starts, upwind speed and safe boat handling. Artemis will have to be at the top of our game to make an impression in this incredibly strong fleet”.
Team owner and helmsman, Torbjorn Tornqvist, is looking forward getting racing again in Cascais with his new tactician. “We welcome Iain on board Artemis Racing’s RC44 team, replacing Morgan Larson who has been in this position for two years and is moving on to new ventures. We wish Morgan well, and look forward to the skill and experience Iain will bring to our team.”
The fourth event of the 2013 RC44 Championship Tour will return, for the second year, to the picturesque bay of Cascais, Portugal from the 2-6 October 2013. In 2012 the venue unleashed everything it had at the fleet, from boat breaking conditions to a light sea-breeze, sun to torrential rain.
Posted on 12 September 2013 by Valencia Sailing
Update: In what regards the nationality rules Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa might impose, there is an important issue we overlooked. Törnqvist might be Swedish, however he has no obligation whatsoever to represent a Swedish yacht club in order to challenge for the 35th America’s Cup. Outteridge is Australian and could very well build an Australian core group, so the obvious solution would be to challenge through an Australian yacht club.
If you have been following this website during the current America’s Cup cycle, the statement the Swedish billionaire and owner of Artemis Racing made today in an interview with Bloomberg’s Aaron Kuriloff shouldn’t come as a surprise at all. In fact, we have written extensively in the last couple of months about it and it was widely rumored since a month or so that Paul Cayard was on the ejection seat.
Törnqvist seems to have full confidence on Percy and states that “Iain is one of those people who never seeks leadership, but people ask him for it and that’s very unique. Iain has that charisma and that personality — he earns it somehow.” If Törnqvist is sincere in this interview, it appears he’s seriously contemplating to continue his America’s Cup adventure and challenge for the 35th edition of the world’s oldest sports event.
Artemis Racing will keep a core group of people to build around Percy and Nathan Outerridge, helmsman of the Swedish team, and see what happens before taking a decision whether to go ahead or not. However, there seems to be potential hurdle in the Swedish billionaire’s plans, mainly the prospect of stricter nationality rules onboard the racing yachts.
If Emirates Team New Zealand comes out victorious in San Francisco, Luna Rossa will be the Challenger of Record and both Grant Dalton and Patrizio Bertelli have made public statements strongly in favor of imposing nationalities rules. Even if they soften the regulations and allow 20-25% of foreign nationals onboard, it is difficult to imagine they will not require the key afterguard positions, especially the helmsman, to be of the challenging team’s nationality. Outteridge is a superb sailor that “can drive anything”, according to Törnqvist. He won an Olympic Gold medal last year in the 49er class but he’s not Swedish.
In any case, it’s encouraging to see Törnqvist already planning for the next campaign, despite the serious and tragic setbacks the team suffered in the last three years. It’s also good to see Percy taking such a prominent position in what could certainly be one of the most serious America’s Cup challengers.