Artemis Racing, the Swedish challengers for the 35th America’s Cup, launched their America’s Cup Class yacht earlier this week at a ceremony at their team base in Morgan’s Point.
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, was on hand to see the hard work and thousands of hours of design and build culminate in the launch of the team’s ACC boat.
“This is a great day,” he said. “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.
“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, the Artemis skipper, also spoke about Magic Blue.
“It’s very exciting, rolling out the boat,” Outteridge said. “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.
“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.”
With the wraps now off Artemis Racing’s boat, that brings to four the number of America’s Cup team ACC boats that have now been launched. Land Rover BAR, Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand have all unveiled the incredible foiling catamarans that they will be racing on the Great Sound in May and June 2017, leaving only SoftBank Team Japan and Groupama Team France to show the world what they will be racing in their challenge to win the 35th America’s Cup.