Published: Friday, 24 February 2017

Artemis Racing, the Swedish challengers for the 35th America’s Cup, launched their America’s Cup Class (ACC) yacht at a ceremony at their team base in Morgan’s Point, Bermuda.

Artemis Racing And Emirates Team New Zealand Launch Their Americas Cup Class Yacht 5

(Photos: ACEA - Artimes Racing)

The boat was officially christened Magic Blue by Natalia Törnqvist and was lowered into the water for the very first time in front of a crowd of invited guests and the team’s family, friends, boat builders, designers, sailors and shore crew.

Torbjörn Törnqvist, owner of Artemis Racing, said: “This is a great day. It’s very exciting to see the result of so much hard work in design, engineering and construction finally here. It feels good and the boat looks fabulous.

“We have reached this point after years of work, all starting with the rules. All the teams’ boats might look, to the untrained eye, more or less identical, but under the surface there is a lot of work in design and theory that differentiates them and which has to be tested on computer systems and on the water, so there really are many thousands of hours involved in this, getting us to this point.

“However, now, with less than 100 days to go, we are on the home stretch. The focus goes from design and development to trying to sail the boat the best we can, and extract the maximum from it.

Artemis Racing And Emirates Team New Zealand Launch Their Americas Cup Class Yacht 2

(Emirates Team New Zealand)

“We feel we have a good boat, but so do the others. We’ve all been keeping an eye on each other so we all know where the strengths of each team are, but I think the conclusion so far is that you cannot predict anything.”

Nathan Outteridge, skipper of Artemis Racing, said: “It’s very exciting, rolling out the boat today. It’s been a long time coming! We’ve had two development boats over the last couple of years, testing various foils and systems, and what we’ve launched today is the result of everything we’ve learnt. We’ll get to go sailing on it very soon and then we’ll be racing it for real in a few months.

“I’ve been watching the boat come together over the last few months here in Bermuda and as that build takes place, as members of the sailing team, you want to get in, see the boat and help everyone put it together, but we know that’s not really our job. But finally it’s handed over to us today and now it’s our turn to see what it’s capable of. We have a very exciting couple of weeks ahead, finding out what this boat is really capable of, and that’s obviously very exciting.

Artemis Racing And Emirates Team New Zealand Launch Their Americas Cup Class Yacht 4

“Now we have a few months before racing begins so we have to get out there and start pushing the boat, finding out how quick it is, and improving it. It’s not a simple job of just wheeling it out today and racing it – the shore crew and the designers have done an amazing job to give us this craft, but we’re all aware there’s going to be more development to come in the next few months, so the sooner we get it out there the sooner we can create job lists to really start learning about it.”

Mark Allanson, Build Manager, commented: “With over 80,000 man hours in design and build, it is fantastic to see our boat finally touch the water. Many parts of our new race yacht have already travelled thousands of miles globally; from the construction of our hulls in Sweden, led by Brandon Linton; to pre-assembly at our Base in Alameda, California; and onto Bermuda for systems fit out. Getting to this point has required a huge effort from all members of the Team and we cannot wait to see her flying across the Great Sound in Bermuda.”

Emirates Team New Zealand have also christened their ACC catamaran.

Artemis Racing And Emirates Team New Zealand Launch Their Americas Cup Class Yacht 3

In front of the team, their families, sponsors and official suppliers, the boat was christened in Auckland by Tina Symmans, member of the Board of Directors of Emirates Team New Zealand, and blessed by Ngati Whatua.

The ACC boat, 15m long with a 25m wingsail, is the result of the team working six- and seven-day weeks since July 2016. All the boat’s components were built in New Zealand involving works at Southern Spars, Cookson Boats and C-Tech, with the meticulous fit out process being done at the team base.

Sean Regan, Shore Team Manager, said: “The guys have just been working so incredibly hard to get to this point. Some guys have been working 12+ hour days everyday without a day off since the 3rd of January. The fact we are the first team to go sailing on the race boat, considering how late we were compared to the other teams is an unbelievable testament to the drive, focus and determination this very special team has collectively.”

The innovation of the Emirates Team New Zealand racing boat is the cycling grinding system the team is using to produce the energy to power the hydraulic systems throughout the boat.

Artemis Racing And Emirates Team New Zealand Launch Their Americas Cup Class Yacht

Dan Bernasconi, Emirates Team New Zealand Design Coordinator, said: “When we sat down to think about the overall design of this boat three years ago the benefits of cycling opposed to regular grinding were obvious, but certainly not without issues and difficulty with functionality, and this is what we have been working incredibly hard on overcoming for the past three years.

“Winning the next America’s Cup is all about maintaining a stable flight on the entire race course and that’s the reason why this boat contains some of the most innovative and powerful technology used in this competition in its systems, electronics, hydraulics and foil designs.”

The campaign now moves from inside the confines of the boat shed to the open water of the Hauraki Gulf, led by skipper and Sailing Team Director Glenn Ashby.

Glenn Ashby said: “It’s been a challenge to get to this point, and the first sailing has been a very special moment for the entire team. The next few months of sailing and development with our race boat will be some of the most important in this America’s Cup. We’ll do a month of intensive testing here in Auckland, then we will suspend the test programme and move to Bermuda where we will resume our training until racing starts on May 26th.”