Artemis to Press On
Artemis Racing yesterday announced it would compete in the 34th America's Cup after the tragic loss of Olympic sailor Andrew Bart Simpson last month.
CEO Paul Cayard commented that the team will not sail unless all members are confident the new boat, dubbed Big Blue, is structurally safe.
This has led industry insiders in America's Cup circles to believe the tragic accident on May 9 of Boat 1, which was plagued with problems from day one, was structurally inferior.
And now there are questions the team’s leadership abilities from the beginning.
Mr. Cayard's sailing career has been brilliant up until now. His quest for the Cup has been unyielding for a win of the coveted Auld Mug. Recently inducted in the America's Cup Hall of Fame, Cayard has remained silent about the fatal incident involving Artemis’ first prototype AC 72.
America's Cup Event Authority is taking the brunt of the attention away from Artemis' racing during the teams' grieving and seemingly small restructuring of the team’s boat’s key design elements and staff.
Emirates Team New Zealand’s CEO Grant Dalton is discounting the team’s second boat efforts but applauds that sailing crew of Artemis Racing will continue in memory of their fallen teammate, hero, friend, father and Olympiad.
Extraneous would be one word to sum up Cayard’s mission statement of late. What sailing crew members remain is still to be announced. It has been reported helmsman Nathan Outteridge, AUS, has returned and has begun training again on the teams foiling AC 45, the training version of the AC 72.
Iain Percy, fellow Olympian and lifelong sailing mate of Andrew Bart Simpson, has yet to report back to the water as the key member of the sailing team’s personnel and coaching staff.
Louis Vuitton Cup in JeopardyOrganizers this week, after meeting with the three challengers and defender ORACLE Team USA Racing, will try to decide a format that would not disrupt the current summer of sailing, summer of racing or now for now the summer of waiting. Because of Artemis Racing’s fatal crash, they are now unable to make the July 5th scheduled start date of Louis Vuitton America's Cup Challenger series.
This threatens to undermine the House of Vuitton's historic commitment to the sport of sailing and the Louis Vuitton Cup itself. Historically, the Louis Vuitton Cup has brought the grace and elegance of yachting to pivotal climactic competitions among the world's best sailors and designers. You must first win Louis Vuitton Cup to challenge for the greatness of winning the America's Cup.
With Artemis Racing now not meeting its deadlines due to the crash, new safety standards and the lack of countries competing or inability to raise millions of dollars associated with this level of competition sailing days are now threatening to be only five during the round robins of Louis Vuitton Cup - what was originally to be a full month of July sailing.
To Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record, this affords them the luxury of skipping the entire planned round robin schedule in the beginning, with actual racing starting in the semi-final rounds of the Louis Vuitton Cup in August.
Further, a fleet race involving all the teams competing in the 34th America's Cup (Luna Rossa, Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing and defending America's Cup Oracle Team USA) scheduled for July 5th after the opening ceremonies, and now earmarked as a special event, is in jeopardy, as well
A glimmer of hope will be the Red Bull Youth America's Cup. This regatta will feature sailing’s up-and-coming bright stars. Featuring the all-nationality rule, each country’s team must be no older than 24 years old and be of that country's origin. Ten teams have qualified to compete in the Red Bull youth America's Cup.
This regatta features the training vehicle used, the AC 45, in the America’s Cup World Series that just concluded in Naples, Italy . The schedule is now for only 4 days of racing in August but it promises to be the star of the show, not to undermine the magnitude of the AC 72's. The AC 45 design is the one-design and does not fall within the deed of gift of the America’s Cup.
A event the size of the 34th America's Cup, Louis Vuitton cup and Red Bull Youth America's featuring “The Best Sailors and Fastest Boats” scheduling needs to be revamped with more forward thinking with a respect for The Louis Vuitton Cup and that its creator Bruno Trouble deserves and warrants.
This Author recommends changing the Youth America's Cup format to the Louis Vuitton Trophy namesake and the finals could be the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup to fill the dead space and days created by Artemis Racing’s delays and adapt the successful America's Cup World Series form of racing. And let the show begin!
But to now offer this selective fill-in-the-gaps format is an insult to the Louis Vuitton Cup and Bruno Trouble. With all due respect to The Cup I love, the America's Cup is indeed shadowing its own namesake and great partner Louis Vuitton and of course one of the greatest sailors, yachtsman and gentleman Bruno Trouble as well as former Ceo Yves Carcelle, his greatest supporter. What is left of July is only left to be seen as well if Artemis even makes it to the line. At least there are strong programs in Luna Rossa, Emirates Team New Zealand and our own Oracle Team USA. Sailing has never been pushed to this level of technology, level of funding and new design all put into place within a small three years.Artemis is facing looming time restraints as safety issues as well as training on a completely new boat new design with limited to what will amount to almost no practice compared to the above teams. It is thought this is just a exercise of face and career saving of Paul Cayard. One would believe they have as slim a chance one has to salute their vigor to take this task on but at the same time wonder is it all worth it for this round of America's Cup. One designer’s career is over - who is next to befall the Cayard curse?